My own purchases seem to cover the world. However, it is my preference to know where the product is manufactured. A friend passed on some information I felt useful to know.

The first three numbers on a bar code on a product label, let you know which country manufactured the product. For more details on ISBN bar codes take a look at Publishing Architect’s Blueprint: Self-Publishing Fundamentals.

These seem to be the codes people most frequently are interested in knowing:

690-692 … then it is MADE IN CHINA
00 – 09 … USA & CANADA
30 – 37 FRANCE
40 – 44 GERMANY
471 … TAIWAN
49 … JAPAN
50 … UK

I’m also including a list from Wikipedia.

List of GS1 country codes.

Prefix 950 (GS1 Global Office) is used for special applications and bi-lateral agreements. Prefix 951 is used by EPCglobal. From the 960 range, prefixes 9600 to 9604 have been assigned to GS1 UK for GTIN-8 number allocations. Prefixes not listed above are used by GS1 Global Office for number allocations in countries where there is not yet a GS1 organisation and are reserved for future use. Prefixes used in non-GS1 member countries and reserved by GS1 for future use are:

  • 140 – 199
  • 381, 382, 384, 386 & 388
  • 390 – 399
  • 441 – 449
  • 472, 473 & 483
  • 510 – 519
  • 521 – 527
  • 532 – 534 & 536 – 538
  • 550 – 559
  • 561 – 568
  • 580 – 589
  • 591 – 593 & 595 – 598
  • 602 & 605 – 607
  • 610, 612, 614, 617, 620 & 623
  • 630 – 639
  • 650 – 689
  • 696 – 699
  • 710 – 728
  • 747 – 749
  • 751 – 753 & 756 – 758
  • 772, 774, 776 & 778
  • 781 – 783, 785, 787 & 788
  • 791 – 799
  • 851 – 857
  • 861 – 864 & 866
  • 881 – 883, 886, 887 & 889
  • 891, 892, 894, 895, 897 & 898
  • 920 – 929
  • 952 – 954, 956 & 957
  • 959, 961 – 976
  • 984 – 989