International EAN directory

Order EAN number

On the international level, EAN numbers are only assigned once. They are a secure method that can later be used to access a product. They are a complement to the barcode we all know. For numerous product variants, EAN numbers reduce the risk of confusion, such as electrical appliances. EAN code can be generated as a unique label for each article. Alternatively, they are also available for purchase.

Why buy the barcode when it is available free of charge?

Such codes are only given once. And even though they are generated free of charge. If this were the case, there would be ambiguity and uncertainty for the consumer. Sales and business are subject to damage. The EAN or European Article Number has been called since 2009 but not since then GTIN or Global Trade Item Number. Today, these EAN numbers also consist of 13 digits, or 8 digits. The GTIN or EAN is a barcode that can be read by scanners, such as cash desks. The numbers themselves assign the GS1 group. However, it is not the only place of remission. The GS1 is based in Brussels and is responsible for the country-specific EAN numbers. The system of the GS1 works mainly for the retail trade, but only for members. An annual fee and a membership fee are charged. Therefore, a reduction here is only worth for large quantities.

Purchasing at alternative suppliers is, in contrast, cost-effective.

... .Practical description

EAN numbers are also dependent on the character set between 0 and 9. Including the check digits they have fixed lengths, whereby they can be 13-digit or 8-digit. To draw a bar code, 4 different widths for gaps and bars have to be displayed. A total of 32 symbols are defined here. For this purpose, double beams form separating lines. These barcodes are now important for an inventory of goods, for tracking packets or in POS systems as a point-of-sale system. , ,

The EAN - 8 - is a GTIN short number for small items. Your ingredients are

3 digits GS1 - Country prefix

4 to 5 characters Item number

1 digit check digit

The EAN - 13 - today a GTIN. It consists of:

* 7-9 Job base number. For this the Global Location Number:

- 3 digits Country prefix for GS1 members

Country prefixes have a known distribution point. International traders are mentioned here:


Additional country prefixes can be found at

- a company number. The GLN indentifies full company names and addresses in a global context. There is a license fee for GS1. The first 3 digits are a country prefix, as above.

* 3 - 5 digits Article number of the manufacturer, depending on the GLN

* 1 digit check digit

EAN numbers now consist of 4 parts.

Part 1 Numbers 1 to 3 Country prefix

Part 2 Numbers 4 to 9 Company number

Part 3 Numbers 8 to 12 Article number

Part 4 Number 13 Check digit

Service providers assign the official parts 1 and 2. An article number is in turn determined by a company. If companies do not want to create barcodes and graphics, service providers offer this as a complete set. An entrepreneur then does not have to reckon and implement itself. The accuracy of the EAN is guaranteed by the check digit. Customers check themselves for orders, unless they order a full set. The GS1 requires a usage fee for this, alternative suppliers, on the other hand, do not charge an annual fee. There are providers who have purchased a large number of barcodes before an annual fee is introduced. Such providers lead EAN numbers against a one-time payment far more favorably.

... then a check digit is calculated

Reading data from a scanner and transmitting data requires accurate transmission. An absolute accuracy of an EAN is indispensable. As the last digit of an EAN, the check digit provides certainty. For these there is a formula. The code is calculated from the 12 digits multiplied by 1 or 3. The numbers are then added up. Then the difference of 10 is taken. If there is a divisibility of this sum by 10, the check digit is 0. The calculation becomes clearer in the example:

Example 1:

EAN: 978381582086 *

9 x 1 + 7 x 3 + 8 x 1 + 3 x 3 + 8 x 1 + 1 x 3 + 5 x 1 + 8 x 3 + 2 x 1 + 0x3 + 8x1 + 6x3 = 115

115 + 5 = 120 check digit is the 5, * = 5,

2. Example:

EAN: 978382731710 *

Sum = 100, can be divided by 10, check digit is 0, * = 0,

3. Example:

EAN: 400330101839 *

Sum is 72, 72 + 8 = 80, check digit is 8, * = 8,

... advantages for the customer

- No price tag on the goods

- A worldwide standardization

- Clear identification of the articles

- Fast registration at checkout

- Less typing errors and more security

- Simplified transport of goods

- Automation in warehousing

- Price independent of the annual turnover

- No VAT, sales numbers or VAT number

- Increase sales by the EAN

- Check the EAN costs

- EAN meets retailer requirements

... how are the articles to be found?

In search engines, the EAN number can be entered into the search field. This works by the code with 13 digits and the code with 8 digits. Price comparison is possible using this method.

... Decrypting barcodes

If necessary, a GTIN database can decrypt barcodes. The code is also entered in the search field of a search engine. As an option, article information is best specified to make the result clearer.

... are there other questions?

Is an EAN number mandatory for merchants?

It is actually not obligatory that an EAN number is used for an article. However, there are certain trading platforms that require an EAN. This applies, for example, to ebay, Amazon or similar platforms.

Do I need only one barcode?

You have the option to order only one barcode / EAN. However, you save a lot of money when you order a package of 100, for example. This depends on a development of the respective company.

Is it reasonable to order EAN numbers privately and without a company?

EAN numbers can even be ordered by private individuals.

Are my company data requested for my order?

A query of data is not necessary. Fixed base numbers are assigned by the service provider. In addition, the number of bar codes purchased is also allocated. Individual products can then be assigned to an EAN.

My company has to sit in Germany for this?

This is not indifferent. The country code is used in the base number.

The cost of an order is how high?

There are differences between service providers. This is also dependent on the order quantity. The finished graphics with EAN numbers generate higher costs than the EAN numbers alone. For a one-time fee, however, acquired barcodes can be used free of charge.

How long is the validity of an EAN number?

There is no time limit for EAN numbers. The overlapping of codes are excluded because the EAN numbers are assigned by the distributor.

What number of EAN codes do I need?

Each product variant and each product receives an EAN.

Does a color specification always require black and white?

A color print is freely selectable depending on the service provider.

What are the dimensions of an EAN code?

A subsequent overview shows which ideal size is recommended. The width is relevant. The height of the barcode can be changed. Because the width influences a readability for a barcode at the laser.

EAN barcode size

Ideal size 3.73 cm width x 2.59 cm height

recommended minimum size 80% of the ideal size, or 2.98 inches wide

maximum recommended size 200% of the ideal size, or 7.46 cm wide

What does the term 2-D barcode mean?

There are 2-D bar codes that can store much more data than an EAN code would be. A 2-D bit pattern is square in construction. Such bar codes are used in tickets, stamps or railway tickets. A read-out is again possible with mobile phones with a photo function, digital cameras or a 2-D bar code scanner. Exactly where a great deal of information has to be placed on a small space, the 2-D bar codes can usually be used optimally and readable by everyone. For checkers or for the buyer of a ticket itself.

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