Currently we have a solution that uses both EAN and GS1 barcodes, but there is a need for a small business to have barcodes for local products or other products that don't have barcodes. These barcodes would only have meaning within the store.

Does EAN provide any provision for these sort of products or should we be using a different barcode type for this? Any advice would be helpful. Whatever we use should be supported by barcode scanners and not clash with external EAN or GS1 barcodes.

1 Answer 1


In GS1 Parlance, this is called Restricted Circulation Numbers in section of the specification.

Restricted Circulation Numbers are used for special applications in restricted environments. They are allocated by GS1 for internal use:

■ RCN-12 is a 12-digit Restricted Circulation Number.
■ RCN-13 is a 13-digit Restricted Circulation Number.
■ RCN-8 is an 8-digit Restricted Circulation Number.

The RCN-8 are 8 digit barcodes with prefix 0 or 2. Many barcode scanner systems and applications have trouble reading these properly. Especially if you attempt to use UPC-E barcodes in the same location.

The RCN-12 have 12 digit barcodes with prefix 04 is for use inside a company and 02 is for use inside a company within a geographic region.

Finally with the RCN-13 you have 13 digit barcodes with prefix 04 and 02 identical to the RCN-12 designations.

Keep in mind you have the prefix, some number of digits, and the checksum. How you arrange the digits in the middle are left up the the site using the restricted circulation number.

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