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Fact Check: Does An 890 Prefix In A Bar Code Indicate That The Product Is Made In India?

Fact Check: There has been a post circulating on social media portals that claims that the barcode for products made in India has the numbers 890 as a prefix.

fact check

CLAIM:

The bar code of products made in India starts with the digits '890'

CLAIMED BY:

Twitter

RATING:

False

TRUTH - O - METER


The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi asked the citizens of India in his recent speech to use as many Indian products and locally manufactured products as possible. Since then, there have been many messages and posts on Twitter and other social media portals that send out an appeal to not use any products that come from other countries. Along with these messages, there were certain posts that claimed that looking at the barcode given behind the product, one can determine whether it is made in India or someplace else.

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Origin:

The picture showing the differentiation between Chinese and Indian products was shared on Twitter and it slowly started spreading across all social media. The picture shared in this message claims that Chinese products have barcodes in which the first 3 digits are from 690 to 699. This indicates that they are from China. It then says that barcodes that have the numbers 890 as the first three digits belong to India.

Image source: Whatsapp forward

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Barcode for products made in India

The first three digits of any country depend on various bar code standards that the country follows. While countries in Europe go for the European Article Number, the US follows the UPC-A bar code. As per Barcode 1, the 890 barcode comes from GS1 India. It debunks the myth that this barcode number shows the country of origin. Rather, the first few digits show the country of origin of the barcode number, not of the product. Thus, the products having barcodes that start from 890 are not necessarily produced in the country. As given in the FAQs of GS1:

​​No, The GS1 Prefix does not show the country of origin.
An EAN-13 barcode number always starts with the GS1 Prefix of the GS1 Member Organisation that allocated the barcode number. The GS1 Prefix does not indicate that the product was manufactured in a specific country or by a specific manufacturer; it may have been produced anywhere in the world.

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As given on the site BarCode 1:

Bar code starting with 890 does not mean that the product is made in India

This also clears out the fact that 690 to 699 does not mean that the product is from China. While one does come to know where the given barcode of the product is from which country, one cannot figure out whether the product belongs from which country.

Giving an example, if a French company imports some product from India and ships it to Ireland, the country code of the product’s barcode might indicate the French origin. So if people in Ireland are not eating Indian products, they will have no idea that the product is originally from India.

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