Included in our standard packages are two barcode formats, EAN-13 and UPC-A.
EAN-13 – International Article Number (previously European Article Number) is 13 digits in length.
UPC-A – Universal Product Code is 12 digits in length.
All numbers we supply originate with the Uniform Code Council (UCC now known as GS1-US) and are prefixed with either a “07” or “06”. Our barcodes can be read as either a 13 digit EAN-13 when padded with a leading zero or as a 12 digit UPC-A when the leading zero is “dropped”.
EAN-13 with the leading zero included – 0747599700743 (13 digits)
UPC-A with leading zero dropped – 747599700743 (12 digits)
Deciding which Format to use on your Product
The EAN-13 (13 digits) is a superset of UPC-A (12 digits). The barcode symbology and vertical bars are identical between these two standards. They both contain the same numerical information and are recognised by scanners globally. Historically the EAN-13 mostly used by companies in Australia/Oceania, Asia, Europe, the UK etc while the UPC-A is predominantly used by US & Canadian companies. If your intended primary market is Australia and its Territories we suggest using the EAN-13 version. Regardless of which format you decide to use both are valid barcode numbers that can be scanned globally and are not limited by any country or region.
Scanning note – Sometimes a retailer’s scanner will be programmed to either include or drop the leading zero. If your product displays an EAN-13 and a store’s scanner drops the leading zero the retailer can simply record the 12 digit code into their system. Conversely if your product diplays the UPC-A and a retailer’s scanner is configured to include a leading zero they can input the code into the system as an EAN-13 by padding the entry with a leading zero. Either way your product will be scanned at point of sale and identified easily using the globally unique barcode number.
Conversely if the Excel column is formatted to 12 consecutive zeros it will be displayed as a UPC-A e.g. 747599700743.