A barcode with an 890 prefix indicates that the number was originally issued by the Indian branch of GS1. An 890 prefix however does not indicate that the product comes from India or is made by an Indian company. This is confirmed by GS1 here and snopes article here.
It is not a mandatory requirement for Indian product owners to have an 890 prefix. The first three starting numbers only indicate the GS1 branch that issued the code, not the product or manufacturer origin. This is an important distinction to make.
The only way to obtain an 890 prefix legally is by directly joining GS1 India and paying annual fees. Licensing barcodes from GS1 is prohibitively expensive to a lot of businesses: (25,000INR for up to 10 codes) and requires ongoing yearly membership charges (7,260INR per year for up to 10 codes).
Any barcode seller claiming to be able to provide codes beginning with the 890 prefix are misleading you. These sellers offload “made up” 890 numbers with a high risk of duplication against GS1 India’s authentic numbers and cause confusion in the supply chain. They have no relationship to GS1 and are not authorized to sell the 890 prefix (despite any claims made). If you purchase an 890 barcode from someone other than GS1 a duplication issue is very likely. Further you will be liable when a duplication occurs. Retailers and distributors will always side with an official GS1 license holder over someone who is using illegitimate numbers.
Barcode sites that risk duplication with GS1 India
1. indiabarcodeshop.com (Global Barcodes based in Spain) – (see ruling of misleading advertising on the EASA (European Advertising Standards Authority website), warning issued by GS1 India from the Economic Times Newspaper. UPDATE 13/07/2020 – this website appears to have been taken down.
2. quickbarcode.com – Site states they are not GS1 or UCC numbers and an “algorithm” is used to generate codes. These are very likely to conflict with GS1 Issued numbers. They state their codes are only good for 1 – 2 years and have the following warning: “In future, these codes may be issued by other organizations to their clients.” UPDATE 13/07/2020 – website now states they no longer sell 890 prefixed codes however any numbers issued will likely conflict with GS1 member organisations as they still state they’re not of UCC/GS1 origin.
3. genpros.in – Selling direct 890 prefixed barcodes. Such numbers are subject to GS1 India subscription fees and cannot be legally sold outright. The numbers offered by genpros.in are either “made up” or being sold in breach of GS1 India license agreements.
For peace of mind get your barcodes from GS1 or a reputable reseller
To ensure your barcode is globally unique make sure the numbers you obtain come from the GS1/UCC system. The barcode numbers we sell were first issued by the Uniform Code Council, the organisation now known as GS1, are prefixed 07, are globally unique, and have never been assigned to a product prior to your purchase. They predate GS1’s subscription model and therefore do not incur any annual charges. Once purchased you remain the sole owner for life.
Our barcode numbers are suitable for use in the Indian retail market and globally. Our numbers have been sold to over 6000 customers globally and are suitable for listing items on Amazon.in and Flipkart. To avoid GS1 fees and purchase authentic, valid and globally unique barcode numbers proceed to our buy barcodes page.