Must I use a UPC on products exported to the US?

Companies with established customers in North America may be using the American number/barcode combination called Universal Product Code (UPC) on retail items.  They should continue doing so.  Companies establishing new relationships in North America should ask their agents and customers if the standard GTIN-13 number in EAN-13 barcode is acceptable.  Most American retailers can scan EAN-13 now but some remain unable.

If you need UPC contact GS1 New Zealand.  Note that this difference applies only to retail items.  All GS1 numbers and barcodes on higher levels of packaging are usable worldwide.  UPC is usable on retail products anywhere so if you use it for North America, you can use the same labels in all markets (local regulations permitting).


Please check with your importer or agent in America if they sell to stores who can only take a UPC and definitely cannot scan an EAN-13.  If so, fill out this form There will be an extra cost to get these.


Version 1.4  1 June 2021

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