EAN 13

The European Article Numbering system, EAN, developed in 1977, is a superset of UPC. EAN-13 is a numeric, continuous and fixed-length code. The EAN-13 symbol contains the same number of digits as UPC-A. It also includes a thirteenth digit as a check character, calculated using the Modulo 10 algorithm.

Applications
EAN-13 is used worldwide for marking retail goods.

Benefits
EAN-13 system meets global numbering requirements and systems set up to use EAN can also use UPC.

Limitations
EAN-13 only encodes EAN data and cannot include any in-house alpha-numeric codes.

Technical Specifications
EAN-13 is a numeric, continuous and fixed-length code. The EAN-13 symbol contains the same number of digits as UPC-A. Every product, service or location is identified using a unique 13-digit number. Each EAN-13 code has three parts: a number system, a company prefix and an item reference. The number system consists of two digits (sometimes three digits), which identify the country. Any number system that starts with the digit 0 is a UPC-A barcode. The company prefix number is unique worldwide, and can be seven to ten digits in length. The company prefix (also refred to as the manufacturer code) is assigned by the numbering authority. The item reference digits, which are allocated by the company wishing to identify its items, can be two to five digits in length, depending on the length of the company prefix number. The two sets of numbers added together form a 12 digit number. The last digit is a check digit calculated using simple arithmetic.

Additional Information
By inserting a zero in front of the UPC-A barcode you can convert it to EAN-13. To obtain EAN numbers you must register with ( http://www.ean-int.org). The Uniform Code Council requires all retail scanning systems in the USA to accept the EAN-13 symbol as well as the standard UPC-A. This requirement eliminates the need for manufacturers who export goods to the US and Canada to double-label their products.

Solutions
One can use Label Flow™ barcode software for printing EAN-13 product labels or use Asset Track (inventory software) for tracking inventory levels.

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