European Article Number


European Article Number (EAN) (AKA International Article Number) is a standard describing a barcode symbology and numbering system used in global trade to identify a specific retail product type, in a specific packaging configuration, from a specific manufacturer.

European Article Number standard has been subsumed in the Global Trade Item Number standard from the GS1 organization

European Article Number format#

The 13-digit EAN-13 number consists of four components:
  • GS1 Company Prefix - 3 digits
  • Manufacturer Code - variable length - The manufacturer code is a unique code assigned to each manufacturer by the numbering authority indicated by the GS1 Company Prefix.
  • Product Code - variable length - is assigned by the manufacturer. The product code immediately follows manufacturer code. The total length of manufacturer code plus product code should be 9 or 10 digits depending on the length of country code (2-3 digits).
  • Check Digit - is computed modulo 10, where the weights in the checksum calculation alternate 3 and 1. In particular, since the weights are relatively prime to 10, the EAN-13 system will detect all single digit errors.

More Information#

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