EDI GTIN Barcode

Do it Best Corp. Barcoding Standards: GTIN UCC-12 /UCC-13 /UCC-8

Do it Best Corp. supports four different barcode symbologies. The point-of-sale symbologies are the UCC-12 (UPC Version A or E) and the EAN (International Article Numbering), EAN/UCC-8 and EAN/UCC-13.

GTIN UCC-12 (UPC-E) UPC-E is a variation of UPC-A which allows for a more compact barcode by eliminating “extra” zeros. Since the resulting UPC-E barcode is about half the size as an UPC-A barcode, UPC-E is generally used on products with very small packaging where a full UPC-A barcode couldn’t reasonably fit.

UPC-E uses a rather convoluted, but quite effective, method of compressing out unnecessary zeros. Keep in mind that since this is a compressed version of the UPC-A that when storing the code it should be uncompressed to its original form the UPC-A.


The International Article Numbering System (EAN) is based on the UPC-A standard. This standard was implemented mostly because the UPC-A standard was not well designed for international use. The EAN/UCC-13 may be configured with the first 12 digits containing the EAN.UCC Company Prefix and Item Reference Number. The 13th digit represents a check digit. The International Article Numbering Association, located in Brussels, Belgium assigns these codes. The first two digits represent a country code ranging from 00 through 99. The codes 00, 01, 03, 04 and 06 through 09 are assigned to the United States. Companies who are based or do a large percentage of business outside the United States primarily use EAN. The only difference between a UPC-A symbol and an EAN-13 symbol is that the number system code is 2-digits long in EAN-13 as opposed to 1 digit in UPC-A. Visually the human-readable check digit is placed below the barcode instead of to the right of it, but this does not make any difference, technically speaking, regarding the encoding itself.


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.

NOTE: 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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