EAN Symbology

EAN is the European name for a group of barcode standards which have their counterparts in the US UCC standards. These standards define several different barcode types used for traded articles.

EAN-13

EAN-13 is the main scheme used throughout Europe for retail article numbering and is identical to UCC-13 used in the USA. It is a numeric only coding scheme. The > symbol in the right margin is a light margin indicator. In the left margin the first code digit is used as the margin indicator. No other marking should appear in the light margins.

EAN codes require 13 digits (12 if the check digit is calculated automatically. Numbers used for EAN article numbering are assigned by the country’s Article Number Association (the E-Centre in the UK).

EAN codes may contain 2 or 5 digit supplementaries:

EAN13+2
EAN13+5

The ISBN coding scheme is EAN13, with the first three digits being 978, and 9 digits the ISBN number of the book (without check digit). The final digit is the EAN calculated check digit.

   The ISSN coding scheme is EAN13, with the first three digits being 977, 7 digits showing the ISSN number of the periodical (without check digit), and 2 spare digits (used in the UK to indicate price code changes). The final digit is the EAN calculated check digit.

Bookland barcodes are unique numbers that are printed on the covers of books. They contain the book's ISBN number and pricing information encoded using EAN 13 bar codes with a 5 digit supplementary code.

   For a book with ISBN 1-234-5678-9 retailing at $19.95 in the US, the data to encode is generated by taking 978, followed by the ISBN number 12345678 (the last digit of the ISBN number is a check digit and is not included), followed by a currency digit (5 for US$) and a four digit price (51995), ie.9781234567851995

The JAN coding scheme is EAN13 with the first two digits being 49.

Note that there is not a one to one correspondence between bars and the code numbers.

EAN-8

EAN-8 is a smaller and shortened version of the EAN code.EAN-8 requires 8 digits (7 if the check digit is calculated automatically), and support 2 and 5 digit supplementaries.