Definition of UPC-E Barcode

Published: 05th March 2010
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UPC-E is a compacted form of UPC-A where the extra zeros are elimanated. The resulting barcode can be used on small packages as the barcode size is roughly half that of UPC-A.


UPC-E barcode is used on small retail products.


UPC-E is a subset of UPC-A, which is a well-established standard widely accepted all across the US. UPC-E being smaller than UPC-A, can be conveniently used for smaller retail products, such as lipsticks.


UPC-E is not adopted universally and can only be used to encode UPC data, not just any numeric data.

Technical Specifications

UPC-E is a fixed-length, continuous, numeric symbology. A UPC-E barcode is 6 digits in length. These 6 digits are derived from the 10 UPC-A digits (manufacturer code and product code) by eliminating extra zeros. To convert a UPC-A code to a UPC-E code, use the following method.

Write down the UPC-A manufacture code (MC) and the product code (PC). Next, examine the manufacture code (MC) to see what it ends with.

1.MC ends with "000", "100", or "200":

UPC-E code = first two digit of MC + last three digit of PC + third digit of MC

2.MC ends with "00" but not "000", "100", or "200":

UPC-E code = first three digit of MC + last two digit of PC + the digit "3"

3.MC ends with "0" but not "00":

UPC-E code = first four digit of MC + last digit of PC + the digit "4"

4.MC does not end with "0":

UPC-E code = first five digit of MC + last digit of PC (this last digit must be between "5" and "9")

Additional Information

Both UPC-A and UPC-E allow for a supplemental two or five digit number to be appended to the main bar code symbol. This supplemental message was designed for use on publications and periodicals. Uniform Code Council located in Dayton, Ohio controls the code and the assignment of manufacturer ID numbers in the U.S.A.

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