Country Codes

A country code is usually the first 2 – 3 digits of a barcode number.  This number simply represents the branch of GS1 that originally issued the barcode.

For example: 

060 – 099 – Issued by GS1 in United Sates and Canada

500 – 509 – Issued by GS1 in The UK

940 – 949 – Issued by GS1 in New Zealand.

In countries where GS1 is present the only legal method of obtain a given country code is to join GS1 directly.  This means paying an annual fee to maintain and use your barcode numbers.

Does a country code show the country of origin of a product?

No.  Due to the prevalence of GS1 in various countries some people assume that the country code indicates where the product comes from.  However even GS1 will tell you this is not true.   For example product can be “Made in China” while displaying a “93” barcode issued by GS1 Australia.  Country codes are simply method of ensuring that the numbers GS1 issues in various countries don’t collide with each other.   This has nothing to do with the origin of the actual product.

To show that your product is made in your home country you can include a statement like “Made in Australia” on the packaging.  In some countries there are official avenues for doing so such as the Made In Australia campaign,  Kiwi campaign etc.  Making claims like “Made in the USA” fall under various advertising laws and may require proof if questioned.

WARNING! – Any barcode seller who claims to supply barcodes starting with a given country prefix outside of the UCC/GS1-US system is misleading you.  These fly by night sellers “make up” numbers with a high risk of duplication against GS1’s authentic numbers causing disruption in the supply chain. There is no relationship between these sellers and GS1 and they’re not authorized to sell these numbers.  If you purchase a specific country prefix from a seller other than GS1 duplication is very likely. When a duplication occurs you will be liable. Retailers and distributors will generally side with an official GS1 license holder over a vendor using illegitimate numbers.

For peace of mind get your barcode numbers from GS1 or a reputable reseller

To ensure your barcode is globally unique be sure they come from the GS1/UCC system. The barcodes sold by us were originally issued in bulk by the Uniform Code Council, now known as GS1. These codes we supply were issued prior to GS1’s subscription model and therfore do not incur annual GS1 fees. Currently, all of our stock has originated from the UCC, are globally unique, prefixed 060 – 089 range and have never been assigned to any products. Fundamentally our numbers work like any other barcode supplied by GS1 and are suitable for use globally.

The purchase authentic, valid and globally unique barcode numbers while avoiding GS1 fees visit our buy barcodes page.