"Country of origin," or GS1 Prefix codes, include 00 to 13 for the United States, 50 for the United Kingdom, 30 to 37 for France, 45 and 49 for Japan and 690 to 695 for China. These prefix codes make up the first two to three numbers on an EAN 13-digit barcode number, which some erroneously refer to as the "country of origin" code. The GS1 Prefix code actually refers to the GS1 Member Organization where the manufacturer joined, and it was not intended to identify the country where the product came from, according to GS1.org.Continue Reading
The EAN-13 barcode, including the GS1 prefix, are both defined by the GS1 standards organization. EAN used to mean European Article Number but has come to mean International Article Number while still retaining the EAN article. EAN barcodes are used all over the world for marking products that are sold in retail stores, notes GS1.org.
While the GS1 Prefix may sometimes coincidentally identify the country where the product is made, the GS1.org website emphasizes that member companies can manufacture their products anywhere in the world. Apart from the GS1 Prefix code, the other components in an EAN-13 code include the Company number, Item reference and Check digit.Learn more about Mail & Shipping