GS1 Barcode Standards


GS1 Australia Created in partnership with GS1 Australia


How can you be confident your barcodes will scan first time, every time? To comply with the GS1 Barcode Standards, read through our GS1 barcode factsheet.

What are GS1 Barcode Standards?

GS1 Barcode Standards regulate the barcode application and quality for retail, transportation, healthcare and other industries.

Created by industry for industry, GS1 Barcode Standards cover the application of barcode formatting, print quality and location on the outer and inner packaging.

  • Globally recognised standards
  • Created and maintained by GS1 with industry partners
  • Ensures the right barcode is used for the right application
  • Provides minimum requirements for print quality, size and location
  • Continually evolving to meet changing business needs


  • Ensure your barcodes will scan first time, every time
  • Get guidance for adjusting your marking and coding processes
  • GS1 testing facilities assure retailers that your codes meet requirements
  • Streamlines the supply chain process and provides end-to-end visibility
  • Save costs – no need to withdraw and repackage products
  • Can be used by businesses of all sizes 

GS1 Barcode Standards Checklist

  • Barcode meets the minimum and maximum size requirements
  • Barcode meets the minimum height requirements
  • Quiet zone is included and the right size – allow more than the minimum required size wherever possible.
  • HRI included in the right location
  • Barcode is printed in high-contrast colours e.g. black on white
  • Barcode is located in clear position, away from obstacles
  • Barcode is in the correct orientation for the packaging shape
  • Complete the barcode verification and validation checks as required by retailers

Frequently Asked Questions

Who manages the Barcode Standards in Australia?

GS1 Australia is the local branch of GS1, the not-for-profit standards organisation that develops and maintains global standards for business. GS1 Australia is the only organisation authorised to register and issue barcode numbers in Australia.

Are retailer standards and GS1 standards the same?

Not necessarily. Retailers like Coles and Woolworths require suppliers to meet GS1 Standards as a minimum, but often expect suppliers to provide solutions beyond these standards in order to meet the specific needs of their DCs and retail stores.

Why should I use GS1 standards?

Simple – by using the barcode standards, you can keep costs down, reduce complexity in your supply chain, improve relationships with trading partners, and enhance the consumer experience with your brand. Importantly utilising barcode standards can minimise reject rates when supplying to Australia’s major retailers.

How do I know my products comply with barcode standards?

The best way is to work with one of GS1 Australia’s Strategic Alliance partners, such as Matthews Australasia. We have the knowledge and experience to ensure you tap into the full advantages of barcodes and GS1 standards. Next, you need a GS1 Barcode Verification Report. In fact, if you’re planning to sell your products through Coles, Metcash and Woolworths, in many cases you’ll be required to have a GS1 Verification Report to provide assurance that your products will scan acceptably in the distribution centre and at the checkout.


Whilst we attempt to update this page as changes occur we do not guarantee its accuracy and recommend that you contact GS1 Australia for the most up to date advice.