Barcode Country Code Prefix
What’s behind it?
Many of our everyday products in Estonia are labeled by a barcode starting with the prefix ‘4’. Since the first digits of the EAN code are often associated with the so-called barcode country code, there is a widespread misconception that the EAN number on products indicates the country of manufacture. This is not correct.
The number at the beginning of the barcode does not give any information about the origin of the product.
The so-called country code says nothing about the product itself. It only tells you which GS1 issuing authority administers this number range. If you purchase the right to use an EAN from GS1 Estonia for an annual fee, this number starts with a ‘4’ at the beginning. However, Chinese retailers can also buy this EAN from GS1 Estonia and use it for products manufactured in China.
GS1 itself writes: “The GS1 prefixes cannot be understood as “origin identifiers”. They are only the number series of the respective GS1 member companies or special applications. Mutual assignments of sub-series or extraterritorial participation of manufacturers are quite possible.” An overview of which number series are managed by which organization can be found at the end of this page.
So if you want to determine the country of manufacture of a product, you can only do so via the EAN if it is stored in a database with the relevant information.
The EAN / GTIN of Barcode Estonia are registered in our customer database https://ibnreg.org/. There you can get information about the product based on the EAN / GTIN, if the manufacturer has registered it.
When buying EAN numbers via Barcode Estonia, the possibility to register your products is already included in the price. By registering, customers can also receive information about their products. You can order our EAN here: Buy EAN.
Below is a list of country codes from GS1 organisations and other Standards Agencies around the world:
|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|