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28 December is always in the last week of its year.

The week number can be described by counting the Thursdays: week 12 contains the 12th Thursday of the year.

However, ISO calendar dates before the Convention are still compatible with the Gregorian calendar all the way back to the official introduction of the Gregorian calendar on .

Earlier dates, in the proleptic Gregorian calendar, may be used by mutual agreement of the partners exchanging information.

There are several mutually equivalent and compatible descriptions of week 01: As a consequence, if 1 January is on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, it is in week 01.

If 1 January is on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, it is in week 52 or 53 of the previous year (there is no week 00).

[Www] is the week number prefixed by the letter W, from W01 through W53.

[D] is the weekday number, from 1 through 7, beginning with Monday and ending with Sunday.

The standard states that every date must be consecutive, so usage of the Julian calendar would be contrary to the standard (because at the switchover date, the dates would not be consecutive).

ISO 8601 prescribes, as a minimum, a four-digit year [YYYY] to avoid the year 2000 problem.

The ISO week-numbering year starts at the first day (Monday) of week 01 and ends at the Sunday before the new ISO year (hence without overlap or gap). The first ISO week of a year may have up to three days that are actually in the Gregorian calendar year that is ending; if three, they are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Similarly, the last ISO week of a year may have up to three days that are actually in the Gregorian calendar year that is starting; if three, they are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The standard does not assign any specific meaning to elements of the date/time to be represented; the meaning will depend on the context of its use.

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