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EAN-13, GTIN-13

ean13 barcode

The EAN barcode is primarily used in supermarkets to identify product at the point of sales. The products contain the EAN number or GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) to identify itself.

The standard EAN/GTIN product code has 13 digits. For smaller sized products there is a short version of the EAN/GTIN code the EAN 8

  • The first 2 digits of the EAN-13 or GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) code are containing the country of the article. The country is coded with 2 numbers, e.g. the numbers 40, 41, 42 and 43 represent Germany.
  • The next 5 digits code the producer of the article.
  • The following 5 digits represent the article number which is given by the producer.
  • The remaining last digit is the check digit.

Each country has a coding authority (or numbering association) which assigns codes to manufacturers and maintains a central database.

History:In 1977 the EAN code was used by 12 countries (all the countries of the European Community). Today, use of the EAN code has spread to all west European countries, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. Today the EAN is called GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)

The article registration process in the supermarket has become easy and fast. There is no need to enter all data of the article using a keyboard – you just have to pass the article containing the barcode over a scanner. The scanner reads the barcode and sends the information (the barcode number) to the computer. The computer reads the record for the articles barcode number containing the price and article name. If the barcode is damaged there is also a way to enter the barcode number by hand.

Advantages of using the EAN/GTIN code:
1. It’s not required to label all articles with the price. The price is stored in the database and can be accessed via the barcode number. For customers the price is only needed once where the article is stored in the supermarket.
2. It is fast and safe because there is no way to make a mistake.