489 Barcode Numbers
Barcode numbers beginning with 489 are the barcode numbers that come directly from GS1 Hong Kong. The ONLY legal way to get numbers starting with 489 is to join GS1-Hong Kong – this means completing their membership forms, and paying a joining fee and annual membership fees to GS1 – which is VERY expensive (GS1 only license the numbers to you – so 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 the country of origin of the number. So in reality, products that come from Hong Kong can have any barcode number on them.
If you want to demonstrate that your product is made in Hong Kong, then the best way to do this is to print “Made in Hong Kong” or similar on the product. This is an advertising claim and must be provable if challenged. (Some manufacturers also print “Made in Hong Kong” directly above the barcode to help customers).
The myth of the barcode number showing the country of origin of the product is an old myth that has been thoroughly debunked. Please see this Snopes article on the origins of this myth as well as a debunking of it.
All barcodes and barcode systems are designed for international use, so there are virtually no restrictions based on the country of origin world wide. 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 without any problems.