Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why should I join GS1 (TZ) National Limited?
A. Any company, organisation or individual who wants the benefits from the world's only open,global standard for product identification and barcoding must join the non-profit GS1 organisation. With the growth of electronic commerce, the GS1 system is growing rapidly beyond its retail base. Virtually everyone in the supply chain, including the likes of transport operators and packaging manufacturers should consider GS1 membership to improve efficiency and to maintain their
competitive edge.

Q: Do you provide me with the actual barcodes or how do I go about it?
A. We primarily deal with the numbers; there are design houses that have the capacity to provide the bar codes symbols. However, for convenience we do charge a small fee for the organisations that would prefer that we provide the actual codes for them.

Q: Do you keep a register of the numbers I have assigned to my products?
A. No. We recommend you keep an up-to-date record of the numbers you have been assigned to your products and provide us with a copy of the same.We have started an internal data register that will in future facilitate a regional product data catalogue

Q: What is GS1 Barcode Verification?
A. GS1 verification is an objective testing of barcodes done with a verifier which meets the ISO standard, followed by additional observations on the physical aspects and measurements of the barcode in relation to the GS1 specifications to ensure that bar codes can be scanned by relevant scanners in different scanning environments and conditions verification is relevant to all levels of packaging including retail units, packaging inners or display cartons,shippers,and pallets if GS1 labels are used on the pallet.

Q: Do barcodes always have to be printed black on white?
A. Scanners read the barcode by recognising the pattern of bars.To do this they must be able to distinguish between the bars and the background colour black and white gives the best contrast level, but it is possible to use other colours, which may
compliment the package design. Some colours must not be used in certain ways. Red must not be used as a bar colour, and blue, green, brown and gold should not be used as background colours.Black,blue,green and dark brown are recommended for
the bars.

Q: What are EAN-128 requirements all about, does it include my Product and is it the same everywhere.
A. Supermarkets need certain information in the bar codes on trade units and pallets. You can obtain a copy of the requirements from GS1. Some overseas supermarkets do require them on products.

Q: What is the smallest barcode I can use for retail point of sale items?
A. Larger is always better for good print quality. We suggest 100% magnification, and increasing up to 150% or decreasing to 50% as print quality allows. Many factors influence the size of barcode symbols, the most important of which is the print
quality achievable on the label, or packaging material. Some printing methods are not precise enough to produce quality symbols at smaller sizes. Because of this designers should discuss proposed symbol size with printers before making a decision on size.

Q: When do I need to change the barcode numbers?
A. When the product changes.The term "product changes" means: any change or improvement to a product. Should the manufacturer decide to create a variant (e.g. with different ingredient) in parallel with the standard product and then a separate unique number has to be allocated. Minor product changes or improvements do not require the allocation of a different GTIN.Examples: label artwork redesign, minor product description change with contents unchanged, minor ingredients change. When the product changes affect the product quantity, the product dimensions, the packaging type, the product name or brand, or the product description, a
separate unique number (GTIN) must be allocated. The companies with the 600 series of bar codes must try to phase out the numbers, as this prefix is identified with GS1 South Africa only.

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