Barcodes - Barcodes

Please find below the most frequently asked questions about barcodes.

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Barcodes - Barcodes

Frequently asked questions

EAN is an abbreviation of 'European Article Number'. Before GS1 Netherlands became part of the global GS1 organisation we were called EAN Netherlands. The name EAN still persists in the Netherlands but it is therefore the predecessor of GS1.

The GS1 article code is officially called 'Global Trade Item Number' in the worldwide standard, abbreviated to GTIN.

If you already have a code package, you do not need to order a separate GLN. A GTIN can be used as both an article code and a GLN at the same time. If you do not yet have codes, you can create an account and order a GS1 location code (GLN) or a code package.

No. The barcode providers who offer (often cheap) EAN codes use the numbers improperly and these cannot be registered in the global register.

No. Online, products and corresponding product information can always be found, even if they have long expired and are no longer produced. Internationally, companies have insisted that GS1 calls on companies to stop reusing barcodes (GTIN).

This means that an assigned code is always linked to one product and cannot be assigned to another product. Not even if the old product is no longer on the market.
Check when the product needs a new code.

Send an email to with your details and reason for cancellation. Your contract will be terminated at the end of your term. Please note your month's notice period. You will receive a confirmation e-mail from

There is a limited number of GTIN-8s available for allocation.

Because of this, there is an assessment from our side as to whether it is necessary.

An EAN8 code will only be assigned for the following dimensions:


The total printable area of the packaging is smaller than 80cm²
The space for the largest label on a package is smaller than 40cm²
The product is cylindrical in shape with a diameter of less than 30mm
To receive the EAN8 article codes, please e-mail us the various samples of product packaging (this includes multiple products or variants of the same product) clearly showing:

the packaging dimensions,
the space reserved for the bar code, and
the diameter of the product (for tubes / cylinders)
can be seen.

You can also always choose to reduce the size of the EAN13 code. The specified magnification range for an EAN13 barcode symbol scanned at retail is between 80% <100% or 100%> 200%.

In MyGS1, you can manage your GLNs via the GLN register.

For the European Medical Device Regulation (MDR) and In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation (IVDR), you need a Basic UDI-DI to identify a family/model of a medical device.
To create the Basic UDI-DI, you need a GS1 company number. Loose article codes do not have a GS1 company number, so you cannot create a Basic UDI-DI with a loose article code.