Thousands of happy Indian customers | 1m+ Barcodes in circulation | 10,000+ scans each day

The Difference Between EAN and UPC Barcodes

EAN-13 and and UPC are two different formats of retail barcode. EAN-13 barcodes are 13 digits long, and UPC barcodes are 12 digits long.

EAN-13 barcodes are more common in India (and worldwide) therefore most manufacturers and retailers prefer to use them.




Which format of barcode should I get?

If you are selling your products in India or internationally = EAN-13 Format

If you are selling your products in the USA/Canada only = UPC Format

We can provide both EAN and UPC barcodes.

How do the barcodes scan?

Because the actual bars are the only part of the barcode that is scanned (i.e the scanner isn’t reading the digits below the barcode), an EAN-13 barcode with a ‘0’ on the front can sometimes be confused by scanners as a UPC barcode without the ‘0’ and vice-versa. This is largely to do with what the scanner or software system is expecting to see. Often times this occurs when a barcode that is not linked on the system is scanned – The software has no point of reference for what format the barcode should be, and, hence, assumes that it is UPC format. When the number is first added to the system in the 13 digit format and linked to the product in the system (this is generally how stores add the barcodes based on the information provided on their buyer form), it tends to scan appropriately as an EAN-13 format barcode.

Very few stores have had issues with this in the past. And when issues occur, they are generally resolved easily. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.