The European Article Number (EAN), also known as the International Article Number is a barcode system used for classifying products. It is used worldwide for retail, wholesale, inventory, and accounting purposes. EAN codes use digits from 0 to 9. A standard EAN barcode includes 13 digits and is called EAN-13. A smaller and less frequently used 8-digit EAN-8 barcode is usually used on small packages, where EAN-13 would be too large to fit. EAN-13 includes the older 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC-A) standard with an additional digit. The first three digits of an EAN-13 barcode indicate the country of origin. If the EAN-13 barcode starts with “0”, it is basically the old UPC code superseded with 0 to make the code 13-digit.
EAN merged with the global GS1 in 2005 and is now called GTIN (Global Trade Item Number). However the old name EAN or EAN-13 is still widely referred to and used worldwide.
More information on EAN barcodes can be found here: EAN and other barcodes.