Choosing International Barcodes

How does the international barcode system work?

International Barcodes consist of either EAN-13 or UPC-A barcodes. These numbers all come from an international database which is administered by GS1 who ensure that each number is only allocated to one product. GS1 also supply barcode numbers, however they charge both a joining fee and annual membership fees making this process expensive. Luckily there are barcode resellers who sell GS1 origin barcodes for a one-off cost, as the numbers are now outside of GS1’s control. This means that the numbers are considerably cheaper than GS1’s numbers.

How to choose International Barcodes

Please see Differences between EAN-13 and UPC-A Barcodes for establishing which format you will require. Apart from that all that remains is to purchase your barcodes. As discussed above there is a choice between reseller barcodes and GS1 barcodes. Reseller barcodes are a preferred option as they are much cheaper than GS1 barcodes, however there are one or two exceptions in other countries. Please see barcode acceptance for details on retrictions for reseller number use.

You can buy reseller barcodes in any format here. A full comparison of our barcodes with other barcodes can be found here.