Barcodes – Where Products Come From

This viral email has been going around for a couple of years that is mainly untrue. The email says that you can tell where a product has been manufactured by the UPC or EAN barcode. This tutorial will help you understand how to read a barcode. Here is the email that is going around…and after the email, I will explain how this really works.

 Bar Codes – Where Products Come From

 If it starts with a 0 – 9 it is from USA or Canada. Read on down for the other countries codes. Very helpful information. I checked the cans and cereal in the cupboard and they all started with 0 – 9. This makes it very easy.

 HOW TO READ BAR CODES…(very good to know)
I am going to watch those bar codes a LOT more now… I am busy reading the ingredients..

Boy.. shopping is a full time job!!!

ALWAYS READ THE LABELS ON THE PRODUCTS YOU BUY–NO MATTER WHAT THE FRONT OF THE BOX OR PACKAGE SAYS, TURN IT OVER AND READ THE BACK—CAREFULLY!

 With all the food and other products now coming from China, it is best to make sure you read label at the store and especially Walmart when buying food or other products.

 Many products no longer show where they were made, only give where the distributor is located. It is important to read the bar code to track it’s origin.

How to read Bar Codes …. interesting!

This may be useful to know when grocery shopping, if it’s a concern to you.

GREAT WAY TO “BUY USA & CANADA AND NOT FROM CHINA!!

The whole world is concerned about China-made “black hearted goods”. Can you differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China ?

If the first 3 digits of the barcode are 690, 691 or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA.

471 is Made in Taiwan .

This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves.

 Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products “MADE IN CHINA “, so they don’t show from which country it is made.

 However, you may now refer to the barcode – remember if the first 3 digits are:

 690-692 … then it is MADE IN CHINA
00 – 09 … USA & CANADA
30 – 37 FRANCE
40 – 44 GERMANY
471 … Taiwan
49 … JAPAN
50 … UK

BUY USA & CANADIAN MADE by watching for “0″ at the beginning of the number.

We need every boost we can get! Pass this on to everybody on your E-Mail Contact List!!

If the government won’t help us, we MUST help ourselves.

The Real Story….

EAN and UPC Barcodes all originate from the GS1.

Whether you purchase a barcode prefix from the GS1 or purchase a barcode from a company like Nationwide Barcode, the barcode will indicate the country where the prefix originated regardless of where that company has their products manufactured.

The GS1 is a corporation, they are not a government agency. The GS1 originated in the US and are now in every major country in the world.

All UPC-A barcodes (12 digit barcodes) originate from either the US or Canada and do not show the country code in the human readable numbers (the numbers below the barcode).   If it’s a 12 digit number, its a UPC Barcode and the company received their barcode prefix or barcode number either in the US or in Canada.

UPC Barcodes numbers look like this:
X XXXXX YYYYY Z
X XXXXX XYYYY Z
X XXXXX XXYYY Z
X XXXXX XXXYY Z

The Xs represent the prefix that the company received from the GS1. If a company purchases a barcode from a company like Nationwide Barcode or another barcode subdivider, that company owns the prefix.

The Ys are left up to the owner of the barcode prefix to generate at their discretion.
In the first example YYYYY can be 00000 through 99999. Once they run out of barcode numbers, they need to get another prefix and start over with that one.

The majority of POS systems (Point of Sale – Electronic Cash Registers) in the US and Canda can only read UPC numbers. They are not set up to read EAN numbers that are used in the rest of the world. Products that are sold in Europe, Australia, Asia or other parts of the world are usually imported by an American or Canadian company, are private labeled or relabeled and include a UPC barcode.

Elsewhere in the world, EAN barcodes are used. Originally used in Europe, EAN originally was an abbreviation for ‘European Article Number’ after EAN barcodes started being used in other countries it now stands for ‘International Article Number’

Using the same example as above, a British company selling products in any countries excluding US and Canada will have barcodes that look like this

5 0XXXXX YYYYYZ
5 0XXXXX XYYYYZ
5 0XXXXX XXYYYZ
5  0XXXXX XXXYYZ

The best way to determine whether or not something is made in the United States or Canada is to look at the packaging for an indication of where the product was made, visit the American Business First Website or to contact the manufacturer.

For the entire list of Country Codes and to learn more about Barcode UPC and EAN, read or download a free copy of Barcodes Demystified here: http://www.nationwidebarcode.com/Barcodes-Demystified/

 

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. Edgar says:

    hi, this is my first visit to this site, i like your writing style. i’m very interested in your posts, please keep up the good work!

  2. Ceres says:

    good information – thanks

  3. Dafne says:

    even though the info is good and helpful, it needs more posts.