EAN-13

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File Format
Name EAN-13
Ontology

EAN code on a book

EAN code on a book

EAN-13 is a slight variant on the UPC-A bar code format that has 13 digits (instead of the 12 digits found on UPCs). The EAN-13 code is standard for all products sold outside the United States, and is used for some things such as books and medicines in the U.S. The 12-digit UPC is used on other US products. Modern point-of-sale systems used in all countries can handle both types of codes. The initialism originally stood for European Article Number, but was kept even when the name changed to International Article Number.

An optional additional bar code to the right of the EAN or UPC bar code (of format EAN-2 or EAN-5) encodes a supplemental 2 or 5 digits, used primarily on books and magazines. On magazines this encodes the issue number (the main bar code only encodes the periodical series) allowing issue-by-issue inventory tracking, while books use a supplemental code to indicate the suggested retail price.

When used for books, an EAN-13 code can contain a 13-digit ISBN code, which is able to appear unmodified in the bar code. ISSN codes for periodicals can also be used in EAN-13 bar codes with some additional prefix and suffix digits and a change of checksum.

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