Friday, May 10, 2013

Boys and girls, if you’ve seen this before...

...you’re about to see it again. If you haven’t seen it before, you actually may learn something useful.

Apparently the words “Made in [wherever]” on clothing tags or on packaged items can be downright misleading. To determine where the things you buy were manufactured, all you need to do is check the first few digits of the numeric code that appears under the now-ubiquitous barcode symbol:



In some places this number is called an EAN and in other places it is called a UPC, so let’s check what Wikipedia has to say:

“An EAN-13 barcode (originally European Article Number, but now renamed International Article Number even though the abbreviation EAN has been retained) is a 13-digit (12 data and 1 check) barcoding standard which is a superset of the original 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC) system developed in the United States. (Note. UPC barcodes do not show the leading zero. A UPC barcode that starts with 7 would have a country code of 070 – 079.)”

Are all hearts and minds clear? Let us move on.

Here is the current list of country codes:

00 – 019: U.S. and Canada
020 – 029: Restricted distribution
030 – 039: U.S. drugs (see U.S. National Drug Code)
040 – 049: Restricted distribution (MO defined)
050 – 059: Coupons
060 – 099: U.S. and Canada
100 – 139: U.S.
200 – 299: Restricted distribution
300 – 379: France and Monaco
380: Bulgaria
383: Slovenia
385: Croatia
387: Bosnia and Herzegovina
389: Montenegro
400 – 440: Germany (440 code inherited from old East Germany on reunification, 1990)
450 – 459: Japan
460 – 469: Russia
470: Kyrgyzstan
471: Taiwan
474: Estonia
475: Latvia
476: Azerbaijan
477: Lithuania
478: Uzbekistan
479: Sri Lanka
480: Philippines
481: Belarus
482: Ukraine
484: Moldova
485: Armenia
486: Georgia
487: Kazakhstan
488: Tajikistan
489: Hong Kong SAR
490 – 499: Japan
500 – 509: United Kingdom
520 – 521: Greece
528: Lebanon
529: Cyprus
530: Albania
531: Macedonia
535: Malta
539: Ireland
540 – 549: Belgium and Luxembourg
560: Portugal
569: Iceland
570 – 579: Denmark, Faroe Islands and Greenland
590: Poland
594: Romania
599: Hungary
600 – 601: South Africa
603: Ghana
604: Senegal
608: Bahrain
609: Mauritius
611: Morocco
613: Algeria
615: Nigeria
616: Kenya
618: Côte d’Ivoire
619: Tunisia
621: Syria
622: Egypt
624: Libya
625: Jordan
626: Iran
627: Kuwait
628: Saudi Arabia
629: United Arab Emirates
640 – 649: Finland
690 – 695: China, The People’s Republic
700 – 709: Norway
729: Israel
730 – 739: Sweden : EAN/GS1 Sweden
740: Guatemala
741: El Salvador
742: Honduras
743: Nicaragua
744: Costa Rica
745: Panama
746: Dominican Republic
750: Mexico
754 – 755: Canada
759: Venezuela
760 – 769: Switzerland and Liechtenstein
770 – 771: Colombia
773: Uruguay
775: Peru
777: Bolivia
779: Argentina
780: Chile
784: Paraguay
785: Peru
786: Ecuador
789 – 790: Brazil
800 – 839: Italy, San Marino and Vatican City
840 – 849: Spain and Andorra
850: Cuba
858: Slovakia
859: Czech Republic
860: Serbia
865: Mongolia
867: North Korea
868 – 869: Turkey
870 – 879: Netherlands
880: South Korea
884: Cambodia
885: Thailand
888: Singapore
890: India
893: Vietnam
896: Pakistan
899: Indonesia
900 – 919: Austria
930 – 939: Australia
940 – 949: New Zealand
950: GS1 Global Office: Special applications
951: EPCglobal: Special applications
955: Malaysia
958: Macau
960 – 969: GS1 Global Office: GTIN-8 allocations
977: Serial publications (ISSN)
978 – 979: Bookland (ISBN) – 979 formerly used for sheet music
980: Refund receipts
981 – 983: Common Currency Coupons
990 – 999: Coupons

Boys and girls, be the first one in your school to collect them all.

7 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

500 – 509 is United Kingdom but what is the barcode opening for England and more importantly what is the code for Yorkshire? All very interesting sir. You have taught me something today. I am your pupil and you are my teacher. Please don't whack me with your stick!

rhymeswithplague said...

Yorkshire Pudding, you will get extra credit for the course if you research these for yourself and report back here with the information within three days. Since there are ten codes for the UK (500=509) my guess would be that some of them might be used exclusively for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, but I do not know that for a fact. If you return with your report within three days, you will be granted immunity from stick whacks for the remainder of this term. If you do not, howeffer, chust so you know, vee have uzzer verrry effective vays of punishing you of vich you may not kurrrently be avare....

Jinksy said...

Goodness me! What will you astonish us with next?!

rhymeswithplague said...

Jinksy, I know, it's just one surprise after another, isn't it?

Pat - Arkansas said...

Interesting information, RWP. I suspect that 690-695 codes are prevalent in some retail establishments. I shall try to be more aware of the source of my purchases.

rhymeswithplague said...

Pat in Arkansas, prevalent, ubiquitous, and omnipresent.

Hilltophomesteader said...

Oh, gee, thanks. Now I can just see myself checking EVERYTHING I buy, just to see where it was made! My poor little overloaded brain is going to implode! SO, this package of Red Vines candy on my desk with the tiny 0 and then 41364 00209, which claims to be a PRODUCT OF USA falls under the "Restricted distribution" number. What does that mean? And here I was, just mindlessly eating this!