Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to Identify Made In China Products from the Barcode

There's an email circulating in the Internet on how to identify products made in China using information "hidden" in the barcode. The email claims all barcodes with the first three digits 690, 691, and 692 are all made in China.

Is the email a hoax? No
Is is true? Partly, yes!

According to GS1, the authority behind the "UPC" stands for Universal Product Code, the barcodes only indicate the country who issued the code and NOT THE ORIGIN OF THE PRODUCT.

Second, Made in China Products use barcodes with the first three digits of 690 to 695.

the authoritative list can be found here

a made in Taiwan code (picture source: unknown)

Other barcodes can be identified e.g.

000-019, 030-039, 060-069 Made in USA
300 - 379 Made in France
480 Made in Philippines
690 - 695 Made in China
471 Made in Taiwan
450 - 459 & 490 - 499 Made in Japan
880 Made in South Korea
884 Made in Cambodia
885 Made in Thailand
888 Made in Singapore
890 Made in India
893 Made in Vietnam
899 Made in Indonesia
955 Made in Malaysia
958 Made in Macau

I would like to reiterate that the barcodes indicate the issuer of the code to the product but not the actual origin. A certain product can have A "Made in the Philippines" barcode and label but some parts, or all of it, were made in China.

Another problem, similar to the current melamine scare in milk products, is the use of raw materials, that came from China or elsewhere. For example, a certain chocolate drink may use dairy products imported from China but the information is not mentioned in the product information.

Lastly, there are also unscrupulous persons who import banned items from China at a low price, repacks it and issues a barcode issued in the Philippines. Dangerous indeed!

I expect this page to be filtered by Big Brother China one of these days!

1 comment:

  1. Some Koreans are also doing the same. They source cheap products from China and then label it as "Made in Korea" and then smuggle it to India at unbelievable large scale.