Frequently Asked Questions

Here you’ll find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
If you don’t see what you’re looking for visit our support articles for more detailed information or email us at

What is a barcode?

A barcode is a technology that represents data in a visual, machine-readable form.  1D Retail barcodes use alternating black and white bars to represent an encoded string of unique numbers.  This can be read and decoded using an optical scanner to recall information about a product such as the price, product name and brand.

What does EAN-13 or UPC-A mean?

EAN-13 means International Article Number (previously European Article Number) and is 13 digits long.
UPC-A means Universal Product Code and is 12 digits long.

What barcodes are used for retail in The Philippines?

The primary barcode format used in The Philippines is EAN-13. This is the international standard outside of North America. The 12 digit subset UPC-A can also be used in The Philippines and internationally even though this format was originally intended for North America (United States and Canada).

What are EAN-13 and UPC-A Barcodes suitable for?

EAN-13 and UPC-A barcodes are suitable for all retail products with the exception of books & magazines (ISBN & ISSN) and Pharmaceuticals (Pharmacodes).

Is a barcode mandatory in The Philippines?

Barcode requirements are set by retailers, not a governing authority. While not mandatory almost every retailer today requires barcodes on stocked products. Barcodes help retailers organise their pricing, ordering, sales figures, point of sale and inventory. An EAN-13 barcode is a common requirement on all products in a retailer’s inventory within the Philippines and globally. To make sure your product can reach the widest market available it is strongly recommended that you acquire a barcode for your product.

How many Barcode Numbers will I need?

An EAN-13 or UPC-A barcode is required for every unique item that you intend to sell. Product variations also each require a unique barcode, e.g. if you sell socks in different sizes and colours then a separate barcode would be required for each variant of those socks.

How do I assign my product information to the Barcode Number?

You will first need to include your barcode image on your product packaging.  Then when you supply your product to a retailer, you will be required to complete a product information form which links your product and company details to that product’s unique barcode number. The store will transfer this information into their sales and inventory systems allowing your product to be scanned at point of sale and monitored by stock tracking software.

See our Getting Started guide for a step by step of code assignment.

Will all retailers accept Barcodes from Barcode Savers Philippines?

Barcodes Saver’s codes originate with the UCC (now known as GS1), and will be accepted by a vast majority of retail stores within The Philippines and around the globe. However, we always encourage you to contact retailers you intend to stock and make enquires about their barcode policies before making a purchase with us.

No barcode re-seller can guarantee universal acceptance. This is because retailers can set guidelines and policies at their own discretion. That said we have thousands of clients using our barcodes in stores globally without any issues.

Can Barcode Savers Philippines supply me a Company Prefix?

Our packages of 10, 100 and 1000 barcodes will include a globally unique company prefix with a product allocation range of 0 – 9, 00 – 99, and 000 – 999 respectively. All other packages and single barcode packages do not include this feature, however all barcodes we supply are globally unique. See our Company Prefixes support article for further information.

Why buy from Barcode Savers Philippines instead of GS1?

Buying a barcode and registering membership with GS1 Philippines is overwhelmingly expensive for most small business owners and traders. GS1 Philippines requires the payment of initial membership fees plus ongoing yearly subscription charges that total hundreds and thousands of dollars – even when you are simply purchasing a single barcode.

Our barcodes originate with the Uniform Code Council (now GS1) but incur no additional fees, subscription charges or hidden costs of any kind. We have obtained bulk quantities of pre-subscription GS1 barcodes thus passing the savings onto our customers.

Will my barcode be unique to my product?

Yes. Once assigned your barcode is globally unique and linked to your product only. All barcodes sold by Barcode Savers Philippines originate from GS1 (formerly UCC), are guaranteed to be globally unique and are supplied with a certificate of authenticity. All our numbers are unused and unassigned prior to purchase.

Is any information stored or encoded in my barcode?

Nothing other than numerical information is actually stored in the barcode itself. The barcode is simply a unique number identifier that is recorded in a retailers sales/inventory system and assigned to your item.

Can I adjust the size and dimensions of my barcode?

Yes. Our barcodes are supplied at 100% GS1 specification size (37.29mm x 25.93) however we are able to resize your codes upon request at no extra charge to your order. Generally GS1 advises a minimum of 80% of the standard size however our customers have had success with smaller sizes.

Most Omni-directional scanners read barcodes from several angles. This means that if the code is truncated only one out of three scans will detect the code. Imagine two diagonal lines and one straight line reading the code, the straight line will read the code in full and the diagonal ones will miss because they cannot see the entire code. This is why GS1 recommends only an 80% magnification of the original size (37.29mm x 25.93). Therefore truncated barcodes can scan, but not always the first try which can become a hassle for your retailers.

Can Barcode Savers Philippines supply me with a 480 number?

The barcodes supplied by Barcode Savers Philippines start with the 060 – 089 number range. These barcodes are GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) of UCC/GS1 origin and are suitable for use on products in The Philippines and worldwide.

The 480 series barcodes are only available legally through direct GS1 Philippines membership. 480 however does not mean “Made in The Philippines” and are not a mandatory requirement for products sold in The Philippines. Annual subscription fees are required to maintain 480 barcode numbers with GS1 Philippines which can be costly for small businesses and start ups. Our 060 – 089 barcodes do not carry any annual fees and can be used in The Philippines and globally.

Note: Claims that a barcode can show the origin of a product are not true according to GS1’s own documentation. See our 480 barcodes page for further clarification.

Will Barcode Savers Philippines add my product/company details to GS1’s GEPIR/Verified by GS1?

No. There are no barcode re-sellers who can add your company information to GS1’s GEPIR or Verified by GS1.  The Uniform Code Council origin barcodes we supply are no longer managed by GS1. Since they are no longer GS1 managed GS1 does not update GEPIR records beyond the first holder of a given prefix. Additionally GS1’s GEPIR database only shows company information of the first holder, not product data.  GEPIR does not show any product description of a given barcode number.  GEPIR is not used to link product data with store databases.  See How to Register and User Guide.

We suggest the below alternative databases to GEPIR to make your product data available online. Using these databases also helps prevent unauthorized use of your barcode numbers.

Will my barcodes ever expire?

No. Barcodes purchased from Barcode Savers Philippines will never expire. When you purchase your barcodes from us they are yours for life without the need for renewal fees. This is because the barcodes we supply pre-date GS1’s annual subscription model.

Do you charge any annual license fees?

When you purchase barcodes from The Global Standards Body GS1 Philippines you are required to pay upfront charges and additional yearly fees. If you’re only looking for barcodes for a small number of items the costs associated with GS1 membership can be staggering. Barcode Savers Philippines have secured large quantities of genuine UPC numbers in bulk and charge a once off fee when you buy. You remain the sole owner of your numbers and they do not carry annual fees or hidden costs at all.

Do you provide ITF-14 carton codes?

Yes, we offer ITF-14 barcodes as part of our Special Orders service. Please feel free to contact us if you require carton codes to accompany your product codes.

How do I get a barcode for my product?

Visit our purchase page to select your barcode package to get started. Please ensure you have read our conditions of sale before making a purchase with us.