1. How to handle solicitations from third parties to obtain and maintain ISINs?

The Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) confirms that only official National Numbering Agencies (NNAs) can issue valid ISINs (International Securities Identification Numbers). The majority of NNAs do not charge for ISIN allocation and fees are not levied for maintenance/renewal of allocated ISINs. In the few instances where fees are charged for ISIN allocation, this is done on a cost-recovery basis only, in accordance with ANNA’s ISO 6166 ISIN Registration Authority obligations. The same applies for CFI (Classification of Financial Instruments) according to ISO 10962.2015 and FISN (Financial Instrument Short Name) according to ISO 18774.2015.

ANNA and its member NNAs have no dealings or affiliation with any third parties offering commercial services for assisting to obtain or maintain ISINs. Similarly, any threats from these organizations to purge a valid ISIN from certain systems, if “maintenance fees” or other monies are not paid, should be viewed with scepticism and challenged.  To avoid incurring unnecessary costs, we strongly recommend all market participants request ISIN, CFI, and FISN identifiers only from an official NNA source. The process is very straightforward.


2. Which numbering agency allocates ISINs for “International” issues, i.e. should it be the International Central Securities?

According to the present version of ISO 6166, the ISINs for international issues are under the responsibility of the ICSDs (Euroclear Bank and Clearstream Banking). ISO/TC68/SC4 is currently conducting internal member discussions to determine the optimal way of covering such issues.

3. Are new ISINs issued following various types of event, such as corporate actions or change of securities form?

The ANNA guidelines provide rules according to which ISINs are issued, replaced or deleted following corporate actions and other events. See website: www.anna-web.com

4. Are ISINs issued for unlisted and grey market securities?

The vast majority of the ANNA member NNAs have signed a Letter of Understanding in which their obligation to cover all financial instruments in their jurisdiction is mentioned. However, we assume that the coverage is less than 100% in some areas.

5. At what stage are ISINs issued for new securities, i.e. does it depend on whether the security has started trading?

The answer to number 3 applies to this question as well. In addition, ANNA has published ISIN Quality Management rules, according to which the ISINs should be allocated and publish in a timely manner, i.e. according to the market requirements.

6. What are the turnaround times on requests for allocation of ISINs to new securities and minimum data required before an ISIN will be issued, i.e. is it the minimum data specified by ISO 6166 and ANNA Guidelines or is additional information required?

The ANNA recommendations state that the NNAs should allocate ISINs within 24 hours following the request and also making the ISIN available to users at the same time. The minimum set of data necessary for allocation may depend on the individual NNAs and on the type of financial instrument involved.

7. Who should allocate ISINs to securities that are subject to Rule 144A and Regulation S, i.e. to avoid duplicate ISIN being allocated due to ambiguous interpretation?

The ANNA Guidelines provide a comprehensive rule on who should allocate the ISIN. See website: www.anna-web.com

8. Clarification of the circumstances where dummy ISINs should be used, i.e. those beginning with XA, XB, XC and XD

ISINs with such prefixes are not dummy ISINs but official ones. The prefixes have been assigned for use by the substitute agencies, (i.e. WM Datenservice, CUSIP Global Services, SIX Financial Information and The National Securities Depository, Russia) to cover cases where a NNA exists in the responsible assigning country, but is not able to allocate the ISIN for that specific instrument.

9. Please clarify the allocation rules about which Numbering Agencies should allocate ISINs to instruments issued by an overseas branch.

ANNA ISIN Guideline 2.2.8 regulates warrants issued by foreign branches of banks as follows: “When such branches have no separate legal entity the ISIN-prefix will be the one of the headquarters country. If the branch is a separate legal entity, the country of the branch should be considered for the allocation and the prefix accordingly.” The same principle applies to other financial instruments.

10. I have two ISINs for the same issue which is the correct one?

The only valid ISIN would be the one issued by a National Numbering Agency or recognised Substitute National Numbering Agencies who are normally members of ANNA. Your local National Numbering Agency should be contacted and asked to investigate.

11. Reuse of ISIN Codes

As a general rule ISINs should never be re-used. Where this is unavoidable, such a re-use shall not occur before the expiration of a 10 Year period following the inactivation of the ISIN. This rule applies to all kinds of financial instrument, except for options, futures and other short term money market instruments for which the re-use may occur one year after the expiration date.

12. Issuer Names that have letters that do not conform to the English alphabet

Issuer names should always have letters that conform to the English alphabet this will enable users to load these securities into their systems.

13. Why should I use ISIN as a method of security identification?

ISIN is the only internationally recognised standard for the unique identification of a security. Used globally as a means of identifying securities, it is a key data field for cross border trading and recognised by many regulators as a mandatory data field for transaction reporting.