The abbreviation EAN-Code stands for “European Article Number Code” and replaced the Global Trade Item Nuber (GTIN) in 2009. The EAN represents an internationally unmistakable product identification for commercial articles. The number consists of 8 or 13 digits. The first 2 or 3 or 7, 8 or 9 digits are administered by the GS1 Group and assigned to manufacturers on request as “Global Location Number”.
The EAN/GTIN is usually printed on the product packaging in the form of a machine-readable barcode and can be decoded by barcode scanners. The GS1 prefix does not serve as a country code, the prefix is only assigned to the local GS1 organizations. Buyers of Ean codes always receive a company ID consisting of the GS1 prefix and the company number behind it.
Purchasing EAN for Amazon
A new product on Amazon can only be created with a valid EAN number. There are many providers who sell individual EAN codes and advertise that the codes can also be used for Amazon. This seems especially lucrative for smaller retailers and Amazon FBA beginners, because the costs for the EAN packages at GS1-Germany are significantly higher than those of individual EANs.
The only valid EAN codes are assigned exclusively by GS1. EAN’s on other websites have already been registered with GS1 by other companies. This can be checked via the GS1 GEPIR service. The use of already acquired EAN codes can lead to problems with the use and to the subsequent deletion of the Amazon Listings. The use of already registered EAN codes does not allow an overlap-free identification of the articles and there may be an overlap in the use of the codes.
When purchasing EAN codes it is not relevant at which GS1 place they are purchased. It is possible as a German Amazon trader to purchase valid EANs in the Netherlands at better conditions than at GS1 Germany. Here the GS1 prefix serves only as company identification and not, as often wrongly assumed, as country identification.