How to create a product barcode

Creating a GTIN for a retail product

blue_jar_100pxRetail products are also known as consumer units or base units. Products for sale in a retail outlet or online should be identified with a 13 digit number. If the product is to be made available for sale in the United States or Canada and your retail customer requests a 12-digit UPC code please contact us for further information.

A consumer product GTIN or barcode number is created by combining the GS1 Global Company Prefix licenced to you with a unique item reference. Depending upon the length of your company prefix (7, 9 or 11 digits) you will allocate a 5, 3 or 1 digit item reference for your product. The company prefix plus the item reference will give you a total of 12 digits. The final 13th digit is a "Check Digit".

Barcode allocations and recording the product information that relates to them, should be completed using the online GS1 Barcode Manager tool.


Key points

  • EAN 13 SymbolA 7-digit GS1 Company Prefix (GCP 7) plus a 5 digit item reference (from 00000 to 99999) enables the identification of up to 100,000 items
  • A 9-digit GS1 Company Prefix (GCP 9) plus a 3 digit item reference (from 000 to 999) enables the identification of up to 1,000 items
  • An 11-digit GS1 Company Prefix (GCP 11) plus a 1 digit item reference (from 0 to 9) enables the identification of up to 10 items
  • It is recommended that you licence the appropriate prefix to accommodate your entire product range, including all product variants (e.g. size, colour, weight, flavour) and future new additions
  • Item references should be allocated sequentially from zero, without any in-built significance and recorded securely and accurately.
  • The 13-digit GTIN may be represented in barcode format using the EAN 13 symbol (member login required to access specifications).

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