European Article Number

European Article Number

A European Article Number (EAN) is a barcoding standard which is a superset of the original 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC) system developed in North America. The EAN-13 barcode is defined by the standards organisation GS1. It is also called a Japanese Article Number (JAN) in Japan. UPC, EAN, and JAN "numbers" are collectively called Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN), though they can be expressed in different types of barcodes.

The EAN-13 barcodes are used worldwide for marking retail goods. The less commonly used EAN-8 barcodes are used also for marking retail goods; however, they are usually reserved for smaller items, for example confectionery. In EAN-13 the symbol encodes 13 numerals divided into four parts:

*System code, the first two or three digits, usually identifying the country in which the manufacturer is registered (not necessarily where the product is actually made). When the EAN-13 barcode is a conversion of a 10-digit ISBN or ISMN code, the system code will be 978 or 979 respectively, or 977 for ISSNs.

*Manufacturer code, consisting of four, five or six digits depending on the length of the system or country code.

*Product code, consisting of five digits.

*Check digit, a single checksum digit. The check digit is computed modulo 10, where the weights in the checksum calculation alternate 1 and 3. In particular, since the weights are relatively prime to 10 the EAN system will detect all single digit errors. But since the difference of consecutive weights is even, the EAN system does not detect all adjacent transposition errors.

2-digit (EAN 2) and 5-digit (EAN 5) supplemental barcodes may be added for a total of 14 or 17 data digits. These are generally used for periodicals (to indicate the serial number) and books (to indicate the selling price) respectively.

Country codes

The first three digits of the barcode of any product represents the country. Note that EAN codes beginning with 0 are rarely used, as this is just an addition to a 12-digit UPC. Since most scanners and registers worldwide can read both equally, most manufacturers in North America still only use UPC.

Encoding EAN13

To encode an EAN-13 barcode, the digits are first split into 3 groups, the first digit, the first group of 6 and the last group of 6. The first group of six is encoded using a scheme whereby each digit has two possible encodings, one of which has even parity and one of which has odd parity. The first digit is encoded by selecting a pattern of choices between these two encodings for the next six digits, according to the table below. (Unlike the other digits, the first digit is not represented directly by a pattern of bars.) All digits in the last group of six digits are encoded using a single set of patterns which are the same patterns used for UPC.

If the first digit is zero, all digits in the first group of six are encoded using the patterns used for UPC, hence a UPC barcode is also an EAN-13 barcode with the first digit set to zero.

Calculation

Taking the numbers from an EAN 8 code we get: 7351353 or in the table:

The sum from this barcode is then: 63 Rounding this up to its nearest ten we get: 70 The nearest ten minus the sum makes the checksum: 70 - 63 = 7

The complete EAN 8 code is then: 73513537

ee also

* [http://omarabid.com/barcode Free Ean13-8 Barcode Maker]
* Electronic Data Interchange
* [http://OfficialEANcode.com OfficialEANcode.com - This site operated by Simply Barcodes explains the process of obtaining single EAN codes]
* Global Electronic Party Information Register (GEPIR) a searchable distributed database of GS1 codes
* GTIN
* EAN 8, another form of EAN barcode
* [http://gs1.se/global/Om-GS1-Systemet/GenSpec_v8_i1_Jan_2008.pdf The EAN system specification]
* [http://en.barcodepedia.com Barcodepedia.com, a community based online barcode database.]
* [http://www.upcdatabase.com upcdatabase, another online barcode database]
* [http://www.chaosreligion.com/wtl/index.php5?title=EAN EAN MediaWiki extension] , a MediaWiki extension which visually displays EAN-13 BarCodes just by adding the barcode numbers to the MediaWiki article.


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