Barcode Country Code Prefix
What is a Country Code Prefix, and do I need one?
A Barcode country code prefix is the first few digits of a barcode number, which indicate which country the barcode number originally came from.
Many people mistakenly believe that the first few digits of the barcode numbers show the country of origin of the product. However, the barcode number says NOTHING accurate about the country of origin of the product. The only thing that these first few digits show is the country of origin of the barcode number itself. So, in reality, products that come from any specific country can have any barcode number on them. If you want to demonstrate that your product is made in your own country then the best way to do this is to print “Made in Australia” or similar on the product. This is an advertising claim and must be provable if challenged. (Some manufacturers also print “Made in Australia” directly above the barcode to help customers).
The myth of the barcode number showing the country of origin of the product is an old myth that has been thoroughly debunked. Please see this Snopes article on the origins of this myth as well as a debunking of it. All barcodes and barcode systems are designed for international use, so there are virtually no restrictions based on the country of origin worldwide. Any specific examples of stores placing any type of restrictions on barcodes can be seen here.
We are a member of an international network of barcode sellers that have customers in more than 120 countries using our barcodes without any problems.
Please note that our barcodes begin with “07” or “06” (USA country code prefixes, suitable for use in Australia and internationally). The only way to get barcodes that start with the Australian country prefix (93) is to join GS1 Australia and obtain your barcodes directly through them.
How to get a barcode with a specific Country Code:
In countries where GS1 exists (e.g. Australia), the ONLY legal way to get to start with these assigned country codes is to join GS1 – this means completing their membership forms and paying a joining fee and maybe also paying annual membership fees to GS1 – which can be very expensive. Please read this article by Peter Strong (head of the Council of Small Business of Australia) on ‘shadow regulators.’ These are not for profit organisations that have monopolistic control over the business community.
In countries where there is a non-GS1 Standards Body, the country-specific numbers can be obtained from that body, or the International Barcodes Network agency in that country.
A List of Country Codes:
Below is a list of country codes from GS1 organisations and other Standards Agencies around the world:
|0||USA / Canada|
|30–37||France & Monaco|
|387||Bosnia & Herzegovina|
|54||Belgium & Luxembourg|
|629||United Arab Emirates|
|660||Benin – issued by ANM Benin|
|760–769||Schwitzerland & Liechtenstein|
|96||GS1 Global Office: GTIN-8 allocations|
|977||Serial Publications (ISSN)|
|980||Return Coupons (refund receipts)|
|981–983||Common Currency Coupons|