489 Barcode Numbers
489 barcode numbers come from a company called GS1 Hong Kong.
The ONLY legal way to get numbers starting with 489 is to join GS1 Hong Kong. They are a membership organisation so first you fill out forms, pay a joining fee and then pay annual licence fees to GS1. You have to pay their annual fees every year for the rest of your product life.
Many people mistakenly believe that the first few digits of the barcode numbers show the country of origin of the product. However the barcode number says NOTHING accurate about the country of origin of the product. The only thing that these first few digits show is which GS1 company the barcode is from. So in reality, products can have any barcode number on them. Please see the GS1 website regarding no link to origin of product. Some counties, for example Australia, are now requiring food to be labelled with what percentage is Australian grown or imported.
Do 489 barcode numbers mean ‘Made in Hong Kong’?
No, 489 barcode numbers do not mean the product is made in Hong Kong. If you want to show that your product is made in Hong Kong, then the best way to do this is to print “Made in Hong Kong” on the product. This is an advertising claim. It must be provable if challenged. The myth of the barcode number showing the country of origin of the product is old. Please see this Snopes article on the origins of this myth.
All barcodes can be used internationally. There are few restrictions based on the country of origin. Any specific examples of stores placing any type of restrictions on barcodes can be seen here.
We are a member of an international network of barcode sellers that have customers in more than 120 countries using our barcodes.
Watch out for companies claiming to sell 489 barcodes.
The ONLY legal way to get numbers starting with 489 is to join GS1 Hong Kong.
Please see warnings about this.
Fake or very cheap barcodes
Companies selling cheap barcodes don’t tend to be around for long. They can bey difficult to contact. It is difficult to say whether their numbers are legitimate. In many cases the barcodes they sell are not genuine. This can lead to legal problems later if you use a number that belongs to another company. Buying barcodes at cheap prices is false economy. You may save a bit of cash upfront, however, that doesn’t even compare to the amount it will cost to reprint your product packaging. It is best to check if they have any staff who know about barcodes. Also see if they offer any other barcode specialist services like carton codes.
Check barcodesellers.org website for more information on barcode suppliers.