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EAN 13 Barcode

EAN 13 barcode (European Article Numbering) is used world-wide for marking retail goods. It is a superset of U.P.C and was introduced about 1978. An EAN 13 barcode symbol contains the same number of bars as U.P.C Version A, but encodes a 13th digit from the character set pattern of the left-hand six digits, in the same manner as the encodation of the check digit in a U.P.C Version E symbol.




An EAN13 barcode is divided into four parts:
  • The number system - consists of two digits (sometimes three digits) which identify the country numbering authority which assigned the manufacturer code.
  • The manufacturer code - the next five digits on the left-hand side below the barcode.
  • The product code - the first five digits on the right-hand side below the barcode
  • The check digit - the last digit on the right-hand side below the barcode.
The Uniform Code Council has announced that January 1, 2005 will be the date by which all retail scanning systems in the USA must be able to accept the EAN-13 symbol as well as the standard UPC-A. This change will eliminate the need for manufacturers who export goods to the US and Canada to double-label their products.

EAN 13 Checksum

The checksum digit is calculated using the country code, manufacturer's code, and the product code. The odd numbers starting with the right most digits are multiplied by 3 and added to the sum, while the even numbers are simply added to the sum. The modulus of 10 is then taken of the summed total. This is subtracted from 10, and the modulus of 10 is taken again.

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Information on the different RFID encoding schemes (EPC/ISO)

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