There are essentially two barcode types used in retail sales: UPC EAN barcode. The UPC format is 12 digits long, but the EAN is 13 digits long. These two forms are mostly utilized in their respective regions; the UPC is exclusively used in the United States and Canada, while the EAN is used worldwide. The UPC EAN barcodes is the only two types of barcodes that exist.
What is the distinction between a UPC and an EAN code?
The E.A.N. refers to European Article Number and UPC stands for Universal Product Code (also known as UPC-A) (aka EAN-13 or International Article Number). In the 1970s, the UPC (Universal Product Code) was the standard for product barcodes. As demand expanded across Europe, Asia, and Australia, country codes were added to the front of the barcode number, bringing the total to 13 digits. The country code for the United States and Canada is zero, which is not written under the buy barcodes online and is not input in inventory point of sale systems in the United States and Canada.
For both, the width of the bars and the width of the intervals between the bars are the same. The only significant change is the location of the numbers underneath (human-readable digits), which serve as a backup if the barcode does not scan properly and the information must be manually input into the register, POS (point of sale system).
Because GS1 didn’t respect the relevance of the USA and Canada providing a nation code back then, the country code does not display beneath the barcode in a UPC. Because the bulk of items supplied in both nations come from importers, wholesalers, or manufacturers in the United States or Canada, GS1 decided that the leading zero in the human-readable digits may be omitted.
It is advised that you utilize UPC to buy barcodes online for your items if you are only conducting business in the United States and Canada. Many merchants, particularly small businesses, maybe utilize outdated inventory systems that only enable them to enter 12-digit UPCs rather than a 13-digit string. Whether this changes in the future, you can attach a 0 to the beginning of your 12-digit UPC to make it a 13-digit EAN.
The Roots of the EAN vs. U.P.C. Debate
There appears to be a lot of misunderstanding about the distinction between the U.P.C. code and the EAN code, as well as how to apply both.
The symbols “U.P.C. Version A” and “EAN-13” are and have always been 13 characters long, as have the numerals themselves. The EAN13 sign and the U.P.C. (Version A) symbol are virtually the same. There is the same number of bars and spaces in both.
Only 12 digits, including the check character, were necessary when I created the U.P.C. for grocers in the United States. I constructed a symbol with the left half consisting of “odd” consistency letters and the right half consisting of “even” parity characters. Each printed character is made up of seven modules with two bars and two spaces. The printed representation of the numeric digit contains an odd number of dark modules, which is known as odd parity. Even parity printed digits, on the other hand, have an even number of black modules.