Barcodes for Retail Products
Barcodes are used on retail products to help retailers. They are used for scanning at the checkout, stock tracking etc. They do need to meet accepted retail industry standards.
There are 3 types of retail barcodes:
EAN13 – 13 digit globally unique barcodes used in most countries outside the USA and Canada – can be used on products worldwide.
EAN8 – a smaller globally unique barcode intended for VERY SMALL products – difficult to obtain and only available from GS1. GS1 is a membership organisation. – EAN8 barcodes are only 8 digits long – this means that there is a limited number of them, and hence GS1 guard them carefully. So to obtain these, you need to submit proof that your product is very small, and wait to see if GS1 approve this.
UPC (also called UPC-A) – 12 digit globally unique barcodes commonly used in the USA and Canada, but can be used on products worldwide.