Standard product identification is part of a global marking system that has been adopted by manufacturers, distributors, retailers and carriers in various industry sectors. Standard product identification gives a product or container a unique number that can be used to distinguish it from the millions of products or containers that are produced worldwide.
The system is based on two principles:
To ensure that identification numbers are unique, the Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC) manages the assignment of numbers in the United States, the Electronic Commerce Council of Canada in Canada and EAN manages the assignment of numbers outside the United States and Canada.
The Electronic Commerce Council of Canada (ECCC) is the equivalent of the UCC in Canada. It assigns manufacturer numbers, supports the standards created by the UCC and EAN, and promotes the use of barcodes to the manufacturing, distribution and retail industries in Canada.
The benefits of using a standardized product identification number are many: