Today, barcodes that use EAN/UPC symbology (including the UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-13 and EAN-8 barcodes) are the only barcodes allowed for products scanned at retail point of sale. EAN/UPC barcodes ensure that all products are properly identified at any retail point of sale, speed up data collection, and result in more accurate data that can be used by trading partners.

ITF-14 barcodes are used to uniquely identify units such as cartons, cases and pallets and help manage fast and accurate tracking of inventory. Items marked with ITF-14 symbols are not intended to pass through retail point-of-sale. This barcode encodes Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs).

GS1-128 barcodes are used to encode product data for units such as cartons, cases, pallets, and reusable packaging or transport equipment (returnable assets) and help manage fast and accurate tracking of inventory. Specific information can also be encoded in GS1-128 barcodes to add security and sustainability to your supply chain, such as Best Before Date, Batch/Lot Number, Serial Number, and the GS1 System’s Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC). Items marked with GS1-128 symbols are not intended to pass through retail point of sale.

GS1 DataBar™
GS1 DataBar barcodes carry more information in less space than U.P.C. barcodes. The GS1 DataBar was created to identify small and hard-to-mark products such as loose produce, jewelry, and cosmetics. The GS1 DataBar can also carry serial numbers, lot numbers, and expiration dates to support product authentication and traceability, product quality and effectiveness, and couponing.

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GS1 DataMatrix
GS1 DataMatrix is a two-dimensional (2D) barcode that holds large amounts of data in a relatively small space. These barcodes are used primarily in aerospace, pharmaceuticals, medical device manufacturing, and by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Key advantages include the ability to encode a variety of information, such as date or lot number. Furthermore, the barcode is readable in a 360-degree orientation. The GS1 DataMatrix barcodes also have a sophisticated error correction algorithm, which compensates for lost or missing data, extraneous marks, or code damage. This means that print quality and contrast are much less critical than with traditional linear or stacked barcodes. With error correction, GS1 DataMatrix barcodes can reconstruct up to 20% of damaged characters. Items marked with GS1 DataMatrix symbols are not intended to pass through retail point-of-sale.