EAN-13

What is a EAN-13?

The International Article Numbering Association (EAN) in Europe designed the EAN-13 barcode type. Most European countries are using this barcode type.

EAN-13 is a 13-digit (12 data and one check) barcoding standard which is a superset of the original 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC) system. Therefore, any software or hardware capable of reading an EAN-13 symbol should automatically be able to read an UPC-A symbol.

The 13 digits in the EAN-13 barcode are grouped as follows:

  • 2 or 3 digits for number system or country code
  • 5 or 4 digits for manufacturer (company) code or prefix
  • 5 digits for product code
  • 1 digit for checksum

A typical EAN-13 barcode looks something like this:

EAN-13

Since 2005, all retail scanning systems in the USA have accepted the EAN-13 symbol as well as the standard UPC-A. So, it is recommended that all new designs implement EAN-13 rather than UPC-A. This will make your software/hardware appealing to the international community. It also eliminates the need for manufacturers who export goods to the US and Canada to double-label their products.

Where is a EAN-13 used?

The EAN-13 barcode is used worldwide for marking products often sold at retail stores and point of sales.

Industry

  • Retail