GTIN-13, EAN-13

Description of GTIN-13, EAN-13

ActiveBarcode: GTIN-13, EAN-13The International Article Number (also known as European Article Number or EAN) is a standard describing a barcode symbology and numbering system used in global trade to identify a specific retail product type, in a specific packaging configuration, from a specific manufacturer. The standard has been subsumed in the Global Trade Item Number standard from the GS1 organization; the same numbers can be referred to as GTINs and can be encoded in other barcode symbologies defined by GS1. EAN barcodes are used worldwide for lookup at retail point of sale, but can also be used as numbers for other purposes such as wholesale ordering or accounting. These barcodes only represent the digits 0-9, unlike some other barcode symbologies which can represent additional characters.

The most commonly used EAN standard is the thirteen-digit EAN-13, a superset of the original 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC-A) standard. An EAN-13 number includes a 3-digit GS1 prefix (indicating country of registration or special type of product). A prefix with a first digit of 0 indicates a 12-digit UPC-A code follows.

The less commonly used 8-digit EAN-8 barcode was introduced for use on small packages, where EAN-13 would be too large.
2-digit EAN-2 and 5-digit EAN-5 are supplemental barcodes, placed on the right-hand side of EAN-13 or UPC. These are generally used in periodicals, like magazines and books, to indicate the current year's issue number and in weighed products like food, to indicate the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

The 13-digit EAN-13 number consists of four components:
  • GS1-Prefix - 3 digits
  • Manufacturer code - variable length
    The manufacturer code is a unique code assigned to each manufacturer by the numbering authority indicated by the GS1 Prefix.
  • Product code - variable length
    The product code is assigned by the manufacturer and immediately follows the manufacturer code.
  • The remaining last digit is the check digit. ActiveBarcode calculates this check digit for you.
Historical background: In 1977 the EAN code was used by 12 countries all the countries of the European Community. The EAN code has spread to all west European countries, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan and eventually most countries of the world. Today the EAN is called GTIN (Global Trade Item Number).

JAN (Japanese Article Numbering)

ActiveBarcode: JAN (Japanese Article Numbering)A prefix with first two digits of 45 or 49 indicates a Japanese Article Number (JAN) follows. Use the GTIN-13 barcode type to create a JAN barcode with ActiveBarcode.
Japanese Article Number (JAN) is a barcode standard compatible with the EAN. It is a subset of EAN and the use of the JAN standard began in 1978. Originally, JAN was issued a flag code (EAN's number system) of 49. In 1992, JAN was newly issued an additional flag code of 45. In January 2001 the manufacturer code changed to 7 digits (9 digits including the flag code) for new companies.

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Technical data

Valid characters: 0123456789
Length: 13
Check digit: Calculated according to Modulo 10
ActiveBarcode calculates the check digit automatically.
Type#: EAN-13 - #01 - CODEEAN13
GTIN-13 - #111 - CODEGTIN13