Bar codes of various lengths

The definition of the ICPN tag (ICPN stands for International Code Product Number and is a term used by DDEX to encompass the various bar codes used for product identification such as Universal Product Codes, UPC, European Article Numbers, EAN, Japanese Article Numbers, JAN, and Global Trade Item Numbers, GTIN) in older DDEX standards restricts the length of ICPNs to 12 or 13 digits. These standards do not, however, technically restrict the tag lengths.

Since the ICPN tag has been added to DDEX messages, a number of product/bar codes have emerged that have fewer than 12 or more the 13 characters. Users of these standards are advised that, despite the formal definition, the ICPN tag can be used for bar codes of any length.

Companies that are intending to sending ICPNs longer then 13 characters are advised to speak to their business partners whether they can handle longer bar codes.