These are the first two characters issued by the Agency that you apply to, for example, IN for India, and must remain the same regardless of the territory that your recordings may be distributed in. The Country Code does not change if the recording is sold or licensed in other countries.
The purpose of the Country Code is to enable unique codes to be allocated in different territories and to avoid duplication of codes across borders. If two different agencies in two different countries had allocated the same Registrant Code – for example, K40 – when used together with the Country Code – the eventual ISRC would still be unique.
If Jamaica allocated K40 to a Registrant; and Germany did too – the ISRCs would still be unique because of the different Country Codes:
The two-character country code is assigned from the ISO 3166-1 alpha2 table of codes, corresponding to the territory of the National Agency to which the Registrant addressed a request for a Registrant Code.
Please note the Country Code does NOT reflect the country of origin of the recording, it only reflects the territory in which the registrant was allocated a Registrant Code.