539 Barcode Numbers

Bacodes beginning with 539 are the barcode numbers that come directly from GS1 Ireland. This is the only way to get these numbers legally, which means paying both a joining fee and annual membership fees to GS1. It is commonly thought that the country of origin of the barcode numbers corresponds with the country of origin of the product, however in reality products that come from Ireland can have any type of barcode on them, and equally products manufactured in other countries, or even by foreign companies can obtain 539 barcodes through GS1 Ireland without issue.

This is a old myth that has been thoroughly debunked. Please see this Snopes article on the origins of this myth as well as a 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.