Do It Best Corp. GTIN EAN/UCC-8 (EAN-8)

EAN-8 is the EAN equivalent of UPC-E in the sense that it provides a “short” barcode for small packages. As can be seen in the following graphic, an EAN-8 barcode is shorter than an EAN-13 barcode, although somewhat longer than an UPC-E barcode.

The three barcodes above are shown only for relative size comparison. The three barcodes do not necessarily represent the same product, nor do they represent equivalent values. The similarities end there, however.

Unlike UPC-E in which only 6 digits are explicitly encoded, EAN-13 explicitly encodes all eight digits; the parity of the digits carries no particular significance. This means that although EAN-13 is compatible with UPC-A, EAN-8 has absolutely no compatibility with UPC-E. Another difference between UPC-E and EAN-13 is that UPC-E has a direct UPC-A equivalence–a UPCE barcode may be “expanded” back to UPC-A.

This is not the case with EAN-8. An EAN-8 barcode is a 2- or 3-digit number organization prefix followed by a 4- or 5-digit item reference number. The EAN-8 item reference code are assigned directly by the numbering authority. This has the advantage that any company can request an EAN-8 code regardless of its EAN-13 numbering organization prefix or item reference number. It has the disadvantage that the EAN-8 codes must be stored in each database as a separate product since there is no way to translate an EAN-8 code to an EAN-13 equivalent.

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