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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.
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.
Various barcodes are designed to fit the needs of different applications. In Australia, the types of barcode include EAN/UPC, GS1-128, GS1 DataBar, ITF-14, GS1 DataMatrix, GS1 QR Code and now GS1 Digital Link.
The EAN-13 barcode is the commonly used barcode for products sold at retail POS, while logistic applications typically use GS1-128 within an SSCC label.
All GS1 barcodes have a minimum and maximum size requirement based on the barcode type and scanning environment (POS, distribution centre, etc).
All GS1 barcodes have height and proportion requirements to avoid scanning problems. In the case of some barcodes, such as EAN-13, the width must be proportionate to a percentage of the magnification. Avoid reducing the barcode height (truncation) from the standards, as it may not scan.
The quiet zone is the clear area before the first bar and after the last bar on a barcode. It tells the scanner where the beginning and end of the barcode is. There should be no data or graphics in the quiet zone. The minimum size depends on the barcode size.
Include human readable interpretation (HRI), aka the letters and numbers that can be read by people. This is important in case the barcode does not scan. Location depends on the barcode type.
Use dark bars on a solid, light background for scannability. Best practice is to use black bars on a white background.
Locate barcodes in clear and consistent positions on your product packaging, avoiding obstacles that could obscure or damage the barcode. Standards vary depending on whether the product is being scanned at POS or general distribution.
The barcode must be crisp and well-defined when printed, without ink smudges and blurs. A formal quality scale (produced by GS1) exists to provide a quantified measure of quality. GS1 Australia has testing centres which provide Barcode Verification Reports as a service.
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.