Barcode Savers supplies EAN-13 (International Article Number) and UPC-A (Universal Product Code) barcodes with every standard package. EAN-13 & UPC-A are simply two different formats of the same barcode symbology. EAN-13 is a 13 digit a superset of the 12 digit UPC-A. Both of these formats represent numbers in the same way and the black and white bars are identical. Either can be read universally by retail scanners worldwide.
What is the difference between EAN-13 and UPC-A?
EAN means “International Article Number” – used for India and worldwide
UPC means “Universal Product Code” – used for USA and Canada
Historically EAN-13 is used in Europe and virtually all other nations and worldwide while the UPC-A is used in the United States and Canada. If your main market is outside the USA/Canada is we suggest using the EAN-13 version. Despite this both formats can be scanned worldwide.
Leading zeros: Occasionally scanners will read the EAN-13 version as 12 digits. This happens if the scanning software is programmed to “suppress” the leading zero. Conversely scanners that are programmed to “include” the leading zero will not read the 12 digit UPC-A unless the leading zero is added in the database entry. For most retailers this is self evident and easily resolved e.g. GS1 barcodes from the US often have 1 or more leading zeros. If you are having issues ask your retailer if the scanner they are using is set to “suppress” or “include” a leading zero and re-submit your barcode with the appropriate length of digits (12 or 13).