United states: 000-139
South Africa: 600-601
United Kingdom: 500-509
Based on these examples it is clear that our test-barcode would have originated from the US. It is important to remember that this number only tells you where the barcode was first registered, not where the retail product was manufactured. For this reason, many Chinese manufacturers will purchase US barcodes for their products so that US consumers will not think that they are buying Chinese products, sneaky sneaky
The last digit in every barcode number is the famous ‘check digit’. This is used to make sure that all the rest of digits were read correctly by the scanner. The way that the check digit works is by way of a mathematical formula which is applied to the preceding digits. If the numbers are scanned correctly, the formula will spit out the check digit and the scanner will know that it read the barcode exactly right.
The formula is as follows (Mathematics Ep, 2012):
3 X (1st + 3rd + 5th + 7th digits) + (2nd + 4th + 6th + check digit) = Y
If the answer “Y” is divisible by 10, then the barcode scanner know that the number has been read correctly. It is as simple as that. Here is a diagram that clearly shows the number allocations on a standard GS1 EAN code.
The SA Barcodes Team