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What Is EAN?

EAN stands for European Article Number. This is a labelling system that uses numbers to identify a specific manufacturer’s retail products in the European market. It is a distinctive number that cannot be replicated on other products.

What Is EAN Code?

This is a barcode generated by GS1 and used to tag merchandise in preparation for selling on eCommerce sites and other online platforms. It is usually 8 or 13 digits long and globally accepted.

What Are EAN Codes Used For?

Since these codes are standard across the world, they help manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers to easily identify merchandise. This ensures seamless warehouse management across the entire supply chain. Additionally, retailers also enjoy faster customer checkouts as scanning of merchandise becomes easier and error-free.


EAN is the 8-digit article number that GS1’s predecessor initially used in the identification of products in the European market. It was a valid product identifier up until 2009 when EAN 13 came into play. EAN 13, as its name suggests, is a 13 digit article number that was introduced by GS1. It is still in use and is also known as Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN).

How To Get An EAN Code

There are various providers internationally that can offer these barcodes. However, it is recommended that you do not purchase from international sellers but from those in Europe, preferably Germany. The reason is, holding foreign EAN code providers accountable for any discrepancies in the issuing process is difficult. Plus they cannot offer customer support. Another thing to note, however, is you must have a Global Trade Item Number to get this code. Manufacturers can apply for the GTIN on Germany’s GS1 website.

Does The EAN Have Any Meaning Imbedded In The Numbers?

Yes. the code consists of the country code, GS1 prefix, product number, and lastly the check number.

Frequently Asked Questions About EAN

How can I find EAN?

These codes are imprinted on a product’s label or at the back of the merchandise, whichever is applicable. Additionally, you can also search for it on the various EAN-search websites available

Can I do bulk EAN lookups?

Yes. You can leverage a variety of online lookup tools to conduct a bulk search. All you need to do is prepare a list of all your numbers, upload it on the lookup software, and the application will sift through the database, presenting you with the results in no time.

Can I submit EAN if it's missing in the database?

Yes. To do this, you first need to register with your preferred EAN-search website. Write down the missing European Article Number(s) and send them to the company in an excel sheet or a CVS file.

Where to buy EAN codes?

The purchase of these codes can be done through the GS1 website. However, you can find the codes from various resellers online.

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