Commerce Commerce 1.x Miscellaneous Country Restrictions

When configuring the availability for Shipping Methods or Payment Methods, as well as the price-per-country in the Country-based shipping methods, you can enter a list of countries to apply it to.

Basic Rules

The countries list is always a comma-separated list of 2-character country codes.

Note that the maximum length of the countries field is 250 characters.

Whitespace is ignored and both the provided country and list of countries are normalised to uppercase.

Excluding countries (v1.1+)

Excluding a country is done by prefixing its country code with a dash (-).

Note that a provided country that is not excluded can be accepted or rejected, based on the entire countries definition.

  • If you only define exclusions (e.g. -GB, -FR, -US), and the provided country is not excluded (e.g. NL), then it will be accepted.
  • If you define both exclusions and inclusions (e.g. NL, EU, -FR), a country that is not specifically included (e.g. US) is rejected. This scenario is most useful with the EU short-hand, see below.

European Union short-hand (v1.1+)

To immediately accept or reject all European Union Member States, add the EU or -EU short-hand respectively. At time of writing, the following country codes are considered part of the EU:

['BE','BG', 'CZ', 'DK', 'DE', 'EE', 'IE', 'ES', 'FR', 'GR', 'HR', 'IT', 'CY',
'LV', 'LT', 'LU', 'HU', 'MT', 'NL', 'AT', 'PL', 'PT', 'RO', 'SI', 'SK', 'FI', 'SE']

Note that releases prior to v1.2.0-rc3 the United Kingdom (GB) was considered to be part of the European Union. That has since been removed following Brexit. If it is important for your integration that the United Kingdom is always included (or excluded), add it separately like EU, GB or -EU, -GB for consistency across releases.

ISO 3166 vs European Union country codes

Commerce uses ISO 3166 2-character codes to represent countries. That includes in the address handling, validation, country restrictions, the EU VAT module, and others.

In all its wisdom, the European Union uses codes UK to represent the United Kingdom (while ISO 3166 uses GB) and EL for Greece (while ISO 3166 uses GR) in the context of VAT and VAT registration numbers.

As the VIES webservice by the EU, used for validating VAT numbers, requires the EU-specific country codes to be provided (UK/EL), Commerce will automatically translate GB > UK and GR > EL in that specific context. This happens internally, so you do not have to adjust templates and should always ask customers for their ISO code (GB/GR) - the default checkout does that correctly.

As of Commerce 1.2.0-rc3, validation of VAT Numbers for the United Kingdom (GB country selected) goes directly to the HMRC and the translation from GB to UK no longer happens on the country code.

Processing Order

Countries are evaluated in the following order until a result is determined.

  1. No countries defined => country is accepted
  2. An exact inclusion match (e.g. NL in BE, NL, LX) => country is accepted
  3. An exact exclusion match (e.g. NL in EU, -NL, US) => country is rejected
  4. If the country is in the European Union…
    • EU is defined => country is accepted
    • -EU is defined => country is rejected
  5. If only negative matches are defined (e.g. -NL, -BE, -LX) => country is accepted
  6. Country is rejected


  • Given an empty countries definition, all countries are accepted. (Rule 1)
  • Given the countries definition NL, BE, DE, only NL, BE, and DE are accepted countries. (exact match, rule 2)
  • Given NL, -BE, FR, any country except for NL and FR are considered rejected. This is technically equivalent to NL, FR (rule 6, because none of the rules match).
  • Given EU, any country in the EU is accepted (rule 4).
  • Given EU, -NL, any country in the EU is accepted (rule 4), except for the Netherlands (rule 3).
  • Given -EU, -US, countries in the EU are rejected (rule 4), the US is rejected (rule 3), but any other country is accepted (rule 5).
  • Given -EU, -US, CA, DK, countries in the EU are rejected (rule 4) except for Denmark (rule 2), the US is rejected (rule 3), Canada is accepted (rule 2), and all other countries are rejected (rule 6)
  • Given EU, -US, CA, -DK, countries in the EU are accepted (rule 4) except for Denmark (rule 3), the US is rejected (rule 3), Canada is accepted (rule 2), and all other countries outside the EU are rejected (rule 6)

Integrating country rules in custom code (v1.1+)

To run these same exact rules in a module or other Commerce-based code, you can use the modmore\Commerce\Services\Countries static service. The isAcceptedCountry static method takes in a provided $country and the $countries definition, and returns a boolean true or false to indicate the country is to be accepted or rejected.

The method automatically normalised the country and countries to uppercase, splits the string based on a comma, and trims away any whitespace.

For example:

use modmore\Commerce\Services\Countries;

$country = 'NL';
$countries = 'EU, US, CA';
if (!Countries::isAcceptedCountry($country, $countries)) {
    throw new Exception('Country is not allowed.');

Commerce 1.0 and before

Prior to Commerce 1.1, you can only add a country restriction to Shipping Methods, separated by a comma. The country-based shipping method also only supports the simple list.

Whitespace and upper/lower case is ignored.

For example:


When leaving the country availability empty, all countries are accepted.