50 Barcode Numbers
Barcode numbers beginning with 50 are the barcode numbers that come directly from GS1 UK. The ONLY legal way to get numbers starting with 50 is to join GS1-UK – completing their membership forms and paying a joining fee and annual membership fees to GS1 – which is VERY expensive. (GS1 only licenses the numbers to you, so you have to pay their annual fees yearly for the rest of your product life).
Many people mistakenly believe that the first few digits of the barcode numbers show the product’s country of origin. However, the barcode number says NOTHING accurate about the product’s country of origin. The only thing that these first few digits show is the country of origin of the number. So, in reality, products from the UK can have any barcode number on them.
If you want to demonstrate that your product is made in the UK, then the best way to do this is to print “Made in the UK” or something similar on the product. This is an advertising claim and must be provable if challenged. (Some manufacturers also print “Made in the UK” directly above the barcode to help customers).
The myth of the barcode number showing the product’s country of origin is an old myth that has been thoroughly debunked. Please see this Snopes article on the origins of this myth and debunking it.
All barcodes and barcode systems are designed for international use, so there are virtually no restrictions based on the country of origin worldwide. Any specific examples of stores placing restrictions on barcodes can be seen here.
We are a member of an international network of barcode sellers with customers in more than 120 countries using our barcodes without any problems.