Guide to Barcode Symbologies



Example of EAN-13


Example of EAN-8



European Article Numbering (EAN). From Europe a version of UPC and which is used internationally for the marking of retail items. EAN numbers (in a similar way to UPC), are registered to different companies and their products through a the central organization ICOF, based Belgium (Brussels).

EAN-13, a 13-digit numerical (0 to 9), fixed length, 1-dimensional format used for encoding a products European Article Number (11 digits). EAN-13 is almost identical to the UPC-A symbology, except for the use of the extra 13th digit at the front of the bar code message. this extra number, with the existing parity bit, represents the country code (two-digits). The EAN-13 has been adopted by the publishing industry as the standard to encod ISBN numbers for all periodicals and books.

EAN-8 a shorter, more compressed version of the EAN-13 which will encode eight numerical digits that consist of the 2 digit country codes, 1 check digit and 5 data digits.

UCC Council declared that, from 1st January, 2005, barcode reading systems in Canada adn the US must be compliant to the EAN-13 barcode format.