This is going to pretty pretty dry and involve numbers- if you like that stuff , you might  do better than I at deciphering what these codes mean- We try to boycott certain places for political and other reasons, but  it is not a guarantee when we avoid  products marked with THAT code, that we are still not buying products FROM there- Please, read on, and visit some of these sites!

 I wouldn’t write off still boycotting the places you don’t want to support, meaning continuing to avoid the prefix of places you don’t want to give your money to, but  take a  quick look and see how it is not quite as simple as once thought- Like I said, it is fairly boring, technical stuff, but if you  check this stuff out and come away with  some new and easy way to understand all this, please, send a comment, or post back to me where I have posted this!

Find a tag and don’t know what the item was that was purchased, only have the UPC tag  (bar code) ?  you know,  the thing with all the numbers and lines that the clerk scans at the grocery- Just pick up anything with a code you have around that has a code on it, pretty sure you need to include the tiny numbers at the beginning and end of the code , up to the right and left or it won’t work.

Apparently it is easy to generate a code,  here is an online barcode generator.

(this  next site started to get  fairly technical the further I got into it, still it is good to get the full list , and find that  it is the country that issued the code ,  but not always the country of origin of the product.  Many times, it is probably one and the same- if you can understand this stuff getting further and further into it, more power to you- maybe you can explain it to me!)

Does the EAN number indicate the country of origin of a product?

No it doesn’t. The 3-digit prefix code indicates which numbering organization has allocated the bank of numbers to the company. For example, a company may have it’s headquarters in South Africa. The EAN organization in South Africa has the code “600”, but all the products of the company may be manufactured in England. The English-made products would still have the “600” prefix code. The prefix code is a way to have 70-plus EAN member organizations issuing numbers without having to worry about duplicate numbers. A list of country codes can be found here.

How Do I Get A List Of All The Product Codes And Their Respective Manufacturers?

This is the second most asked questions here at BarCode 1. Why is this question asked? There are several reasons. If someone is opening up a hardware store, for example, it would save a lot of work to have a database of all the product numbers of the products carried by the store with their descriptions. The store, of course, would still have to enter the selling price for each product. The second reason for such a list is to identify the company that made the product.

There is now a complete, free on-line database that allows anyone to type in a UPC or EAN number and get the company name and address for the product. It is a project developed by GS1 and is called GEPIR. The number contained in the UPC or EAN barcode is now called the Global Trade Item Number or GTIN. You can go directly to the UPC and EAN search page by clicking here. Please note that sometimes GEPIR is down. If you get a “page not available”, try later. Currently, the database does not return the product description. It only returns the company name and address. Some records may contain the telephone number of the company. The web service is based on XML, so it is possible to integrate an application program with this database. That means that it will be possible for a small store to scan the barcode on a product, access GEPIR over the internet, and download product and manufacturer information over the internet to build a local database of products in the store for free. GEPIR is under continuous development and will soon also provide product images, dimensions, carton sizes, tracking and tracing data. This database is open to consumers as well as companies (unlike UCCNet, a project of the Uniform Code Council).

There is a site which provides product descriptions. It’s called the Universal Product Code Database, an on-line database for Universal Product Codes (UPC).


Here you can find downloadable copies of the data in the UPC Database. Each full download contains a file of Manufacturers by manufacturer code, and a file of items by UPC. The files are ASCII text, comma-separated values (CSV), without column headings. Text fields are quoted as necessary. These files should easily be readable by MS Access (if that’s your thing), or Text::CSV (if Perl’s your thing). The item file will NOT be readable in full by Excel because of Excel’s limit of 65,535 data rows. The CSV files are bundled together with tar and compressed with gzip. If you still don’t know what any of this means, then there is information for you here.

The incremental downloads are in diff(1) format. The filenames specify the two dates compared to create the diff. If you have an older full download, you can save download time by downloading and applying the diffs (with patch(1)) rather than downloading the entire database. The diff files are compress with gzip(1).   looks like this has become freeware/creative commons

 Lots of people have requested the codes. Here is a partial list. Remember, it indicates the country that issued the code, NOT THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN OF THE PRODUCT. The authoritative list is here.

GS1 Identification Keys (ID Keys)

There are seven GS1 Identification Keys that support the identification of items, services, locations, logistic units, returnable containers, etc. The GS1 Company Prefix assigned to a user company allow that user company to create any of the GS1 identification keys.

Key Concepts

Key Questions

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