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Barcode Countries Origin 2024

Did you know that a product’s barcode doesn’t reveal its country of origin? A post made in 2015 went viral for claiming that products whose prefixes start with zero were made in USA and Canada, and those made in China have prefixes starting with 690-699.

Dave Aston made the claim in a bid to encourage consumers to buy products made from the two countries and avoid those made in China. More than five years later, the debate rages on as other contributors make similar claims. It couldn’t be further from the truth. A product’s barcode hardly reveals the country of origin of the item. Here’s why:

What is a Barcode?

A barcode is a machine-readable number with a pattern of parallel lines of varying widths printed on an item. Manufacturers use it to encode information about the product making it easy to monitor stock levels and facilitate orders.

The code also standardizes supply chain processes and helps monitor products as they move. The Universal Product Code is the most common barcode, and it consists of 12 numbers. Here’s a list of some GS1 prefixes and the countries they represent:

Who Assigns Barcodes?

The GS1 UK Ltd is tasked with assigning barcodes to member companies. Typically, GS1 assigns unique company prefixes to each company, usually 6-11 digits. They act as the base for identifying the company, with the other numbers assigned to particular products. As such, each product has a unique barcode. Does a Barcode Denote the Product’s Country of Origin?

When applying for the GS1 prefix, a company provides its location to determine the country prefix. So it’s safe to say that country prefixes between 690 and 699 are based in China, and those starting with zero are from the USA.

However, GS1 member companies can make products anywhere in the world. This means consumers can’t rely on GS1 prefixes to determine where the product was made or the manufacturer’s nationality.

Download Table Data

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Country
Barcode Prefix
Argentina778 – 779
Armenia485
Australia930 – 939
Austria900 – 919
Azerbaijan476
Belarus481
Bolivia777
Bosnia and Herzegovina387
Brazil789 – 790
Bulgaria380
Cambodia884
Canada754 – 755
Chile780
Colombia770 – 771
Costa Rica744
Croatia385
Cuba850
Czech Republic859
Dominican Republic746
Ecuador786
El Salvador741
Estonia474
France300 – 379
Georgia486
Germany400 – 440
Guatemala740
Honduras742
Hong Kong489
India890
Indonesia899
Israel729
Italy800 – 839
Japan450 – 459, | 490 – 499
Kazakhstan487
Kyrgyzstan470
Latvia475
Liechtenstein760 – 769
Lithuania477
Macau958
Malaysia955
Mexico750
Moldova484
Mongolia865
Montenegro389
Myanmar883
Netherlands870 – 879
New Zealand940 – 949
Nicaragua743
North Korea867
Norway700 – 709
Pakistan896
Panama745
Paraguay784
Peru775
Philippines480
Russia460 – 469
Serbia860
Singapore888
Slovakia858
Slovenia383
South Korea880
Spain840 – 849
Sri Lanka479
Sweden730 – 739
Switzerland760 – 769
Tajikistan488
Thailand885
Turkey868 – 869
Turkmenistan483
Ukraine482
United States001 – 019, | 030 – 039, | 050 –059 - GS1 US reserved for future use | 060 – 139
Uruguay773
Uzbekistan478
Venezuela759
Vietnam893
showing: 75 rows

How many different barcode formats are there?

A Universal Product Code is the most common barcode type, but there are also prefixes that can be used to distinguish between different areas of the world. There are approximately 40 barcode prefixes.

Frequently Asked Questions