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Universal Product Code (UPC)

U.P.C. is a system of coding products whereby each item/multipack/case is uniquely identified. Codes are formatted as an optional digit which identifies the packing variations, one or two high order digit(s) identifying the system (grocery, drug, general merchandise, coupons), 5 digits which identify the manufacturer, 5 digits which identity the item and an optional 1 character check digit.

First of all, the term 'UPC' has been deprecated; the new term is UCC-12. But the world has moved beyond that. As of January 2005, retailers in the U.S. are supposed to be able to support the EAN/UCC-13 code (the rest of the world has done this for years), which uses similar symbology, and one additional digit. 

Available From

    Uniform Code Council, Inc.
    8163 Old Yankee Road, Suite J
    Dayton, OH 45458