Barcodes

Standards that Capture

Barcodes

Once Barcode Numbers (GTINs) are allocated to products, a scanner needs a way to ‘read’ and capture what the numbers identify. That’s where Barcodes come in.

Types of Barcodes

The barcode symbol, or graphic, is the barcode number (GTIN) and other information turned into those familiar black and white lines or 2D graphics. GS1 has a wide range of barcode types that are designed for all supply chain uses and applications.

Barcodes for Retail
EAN-13

Used for marking products that are sold at retail point of sale and can also be used in general distribution. It encodes the Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN-13). Useable worldwide (including the US).Used on retail items that cross the point of sale.

Barcodes for Logistics
ITF-14

Generally used on higher packaging levels of a product, such as a case or carton. It lends itself well to be directly printed on corrugate material. It encodes the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). Used on a standard product groupings such as a case of dishwashing detergent - 24 bottle count.

Barcodes on Pallets
GS1-128

Uses a series of GS1 Application Identifiers (AIs) to include additional data such as Best Before Date, Batch/Lot Number, Quantity, Weight and many other attributes. It also encodes the SSCC (Serial Shipping Container). Used for large bulk items such as pallets or logistic units.

Barcodes for Produce
Data Bar

Used for marking products that cross point of sale applications. It encodes any of the GS1 Identification Numbers plus supplementary A1 Element Strings, such as Weight and Best Before Date, in a linear symbol that can be scanned omnidirectionally by suitably programmed slot scanners. Encodes information such as expiration date on fresh foods. Also used on coupons.

Advanced Barcodes 
Data Matrix

A two-dimensional matrixed symbol with specific healthcare applications in the GS1 System. It requires image-based scanners and it is specified for healthcare items. Direct part marking of surgical instruments.

Are you planning to sell your products in the North American market?

Please note our EAN-13 barcodes should work in North America but only if the retailer's system is set up to take 13-digit numbers. Please check with your importer or agent in North America to determine if the stores they sell to (or intend to sell to in the future) can scan EAN-13.

If in doubt you will need a US barcode (Universal Product Code - UPC) which contains a twelve-digit number - these are widely accepted in North America.  Please fill out the form below or give us a call (there will be an extra cost for these).  If you do need UPC it is usable everywhere in the world so you may not need to label separately for any other market.

Why use Barcodes?

Fast
Barcodes are the backbone of supply chain automation, allowing your items to be processed as quickly as possible.

Versatile
If you need the smallest possible barcode or the most robust, GS1 Barcodes can flex to meet your business’ needs

Truly Global
GS1’s Barcodes are the Global Standard for capturing items and GS1 is the only authorised source for Barcodes worldwide.

Get your entire range shelf-ready with Barcodes

Become a GS1 member today

Sign up

Find out more