Barcode Countries Origin 2022

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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:

Barcode Prefix

Used by companies with restricted circulation numbers

0000001-0000099

Used to avoid confusion with GTIN-8

001-019

GS1 US

020-029

Also used when issuing restricted circulation numbers with a defined geographic area

030-039

GS1 US

040-049

Issued with using restricted circulation numbers within a company

050-059

GS1 codes for future use for US-based companies

060-139

GS1 US

200-299

Also used when issuing restricted circulation numbers with a defined geographic area

300-379

For French-based GS1 companies

380

For GS1 companies in Bulgaria

383

For GS1 companies in Slovenija

385

For GS1 companies in Croatia

387

For GS1 companies in Bosnia-Herzegovina

389

For GS1 companies in Montenegro

400-440

For GS1 companies in Germany

450-459

For GS1 companies in Japan

460-469

For GS1 companies in Russia

470

For GS1 companies in Kyrgyzstan

471

For GS1 Chinese Taipei

474

GS1 companies in Estonia

475

GS1 companies in Latvia

476

GS1 companies in Azerbaijan

477

GS1 member companies in Lithuania

478

GS1 member companies in Uzbekistan

479

GS1 member companies in Sri Lanka

480

GS1 companies in Philippines

481

GS1 companies in Belarus

482

GS1 companies in Ukraine

483

GS1 companies in Turkmenistan

484

GS1 companies in Moldova

500-509

GS1 member companies in the UK

520-521

GS1 companies in Association Greece

540-549

GS1 companies in Luxembourg and Belgium

570-579

GS1 companies in Denmark

600-601

GS1 companies in South Africa

640-649

GS1 members in Finland

690-699

GS1 members in China

700-709

GS1 members in Norway

730-739

GS1 members in Sweden

754-755

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.

Barcode Countries Origin 2022

Barcode Countries Origin 2022