Barcode Country Codes
What are Barcode Country Codes?
Barcode Country Code Prefixes are the starting digits of barcode numbers. Barcode numbers beginning with specifically assigned country codes are the barcode numbers that come directly from GS1 in a specific country OR are issued by an official standards agency in that country.
In countries where GS1 exists, the ONLY legal way to get to start with these assigned country codes is to join GS1 – this means completing their membership forms and paying a joining fee and annual membership fees to GS1 – which is VERY expensive (GS1 only license the numbers to you – so you have to pay their annual fees every year for the rest of your product life). Please read this article by Peter Strong (head of the Council of Small Business of Australia) on ‘shadow regulators.’ These are not-for-profit organisations that have monopolistic control over the business community.
In countries where there is a non-GS1 Standards Body, the country-specific numbers can be obtained from that body or the International Barcodes Network agency in that country.
Do I need to get barcodes with a specific country code prefix?
No you don’t. Many people mistakenly believe that the first few digits of the barcode numbers show the product’s country of origin. However, the barcode number says NOTHING accurate about the product’s country of origin. The only thing that these first few digits show is the country of origin of the barcode number itself. So, in reality, products that come from any specific country can have any barcode number on them.
If you want to demonstrate that your product is made in your own country, e.g., New Zealand, then the best way to do this is to print “Made in New Zealand” or similar on the product. This is an advertising claim and must be provable if challenged. (Some manufacturers also print “Made in New Zealand” directly above the barcode to help customers).
The myth of the barcode number showing the product’s country of origin is incorrect and has been thoroughly debunked. Please see this Snopes article which explains the origin of this misconception.
All barcodes and barcode systems are designed for international use, so there are virtually no restrictions based on the country of origin worldwide. Any specific examples of stores placing any type of restrictions on barcodes can be seen here.
We are a member of an international network of barcode sellers that have customers in more than 120 countries using our barcodes without any problems.
How can I register my barcode number and product to my country?
- Buy EAN or UPC Barcodes from our International Barcodes website or from your local IBN barcode seller (search for your country on the “select a country” drop down list on the top right side of this page to find your local barcode seller that’s a member of our International Barcodes Network (IBN). Barcodes purchased from any member of the International Barcodes Network can be registered for free on the International Barcodes Database.
- Register your barcode number(s) on the International Barcodes Database. You can include your company website, a picture of your product, and the country of origin of your product.
If you purchased your barcode number(s) from another company (not a member of the International Barcodes Network) then you can purchase barcode/product registration here.
Country codes from GS1 organisations worldwide:
|0||USA / Canada|
|30–37||France & Monaco|
|387||Bosnia & Herzegovina|
|54||Belgium & Luxembourg|
|629||United Arab Emirates|
|660||Benin – issued by ANM Benin|
|760–769||Schwitzerland & Liechtenstein|
|96||GS1 Global Office: GTIN-8 allocations|
|977||Serial Publications (ISSN)|
|980||Return Coupons (refund receipts)|
|981–983||Common Currency Coupons|