The ean-13 bar code type is used to identify retail products.

Note: The ean-13 and gs1-13 bar codes are synonymous. The gs1-13 synonym can be used for the ean-13 bar code.

The code represents a 13-digit decimal number. First two digits are the flag code, the next ten digits are the data characters and the last digit is the check character. The check character is calculated as follows:

  1. Designate the rightmost character odd.
  2. Sum all of the characters in the odd positions and multiply the result by three.
  3. Sum all of the characters in the even positions.
  4. Add the odd and even totals from steps two and three.
  5. Determine the smallest number that, when added to the result from step four, will result in a multiple of 10. This is the check character.

In Europe the first two characters (flag code) are the country identifier and the data characters are split into two groups of five digits each where the first five are a company identifier and the latter five identify an article within that company. The last digit is the check character.

The rightmost digit (checksum digit) can be omitted. When the system is supplied with such a 12 digit value then the 13th digit is automatically calculated by the system.

The nominal size is 37.29mm x 26.26mm (w x h). The bar code area has the measurements 31.35mm x 24.50mm. The left padding measures 3.63mm.