Should I Use Short EAN Barcodes?

EAN-8 ‘short’ barcodes are intended for small products where an EAN-13 barcode would be too large to fit conveniently on the product or packaging.

Example of an EAN-8 ‘short’ barcode. Example of a standard EAN-13 barcode.
EAN-8 barcode example Sample Barcode EAN-13


Are EAN-8 barcodes suitable for exporting with ExportX?

The short answer is no, at least for the moment.

Items exported with ExportX to the USA, UK and most other markets are scanned upon arrival, and their barcode is used to track their progress as they move through the distribution systems and are dispatched to customers. Thirteen-digit EAN barcodes and twelve-digit UPC barcodes are fine.

Some products do require relabelling with warehouse-specific barcodes to give additional item tracking capabilities. This applies for example to products with expiry dates. We arrange that relabelling to happen on arrival at the warehouse, and we take care of the associated costs.

The problem comes with EAN-8 short barcodes, because the warehousing systems overseas aren’t set up to handle them yet. This means that EAN-8 barcodes can’t be used. We can still export products labelled with EAN-8 barcodes, but they must be relabelled prior to export, either with EAN-13 or UPC barcodes or warehouse-specific tracking barcodes.



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