Barcode Check FAQs

Can I submit barcodes for verification by email?

GS1 Australia accepts digital files for Interim Barcode reports (ISO grades/print quality standards are not assessed/reported). Files must be in PDF format with the barcode at actual size. To have your digital files tested please email us.

You should also include a covering letter with your details or a completed Barcode Testing and Photography order form.

See our barcode testing checklist for more information on submitting items for testing.

I have just requested a barcode test. When will I get my report?

It generally takes 3-4 working days from receipt of product(s) to generate a report. This can vary depending on our workload.

In a small test run, my barcode passed verification, but in a production run the barcode failed. What went wrong?

Every print run produces a new barcode. Even if the same equipment and materials are used there will be minute differences in the machine settings, batch or mix of inks, variations of plate or roller pressure, wear and tear of the equipment and plates, reflective properties of the paper or other substrate, or the ambient humidity or temperature of the printing premises. Even subtle changes in these variables can affect the results.

Given there is always the possibility of small changes between test samples and production runs, we recommend you aim for a clear pass with your test sample. If you only achieve a marginal pass, going ahead with a full print run could be a risk.

What is the advantage of testing my artwork?

Any errors in the physical dimensions, barcode type and number structure can be corrected prior to printing/packing the product. This reduces the need for costly re-works, re-print or recall of faulty barcodes. Remember if the barcode does not scan or the wrong number is scanned, the consumer and your trading partners can be negatively impacted.

What is the difference between an interim and final report?

An interim report is based on product artwork not the final printed material. While an interim report provides a good 'guide' to the physical dimensions, barcode type and number structure of the barcode, the ISO (print quality standards) are not assessed. Also the parameters checked in the interim report are not related to the print quality of the final printed material. 

We always recommend a final sample (formed and printed) be tested.

When do I need to change a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)?

The following guiding principles should be considered by any brand owner when introducing changes to an existing product and also when developing a GTIN assignment strategy for a new product.

At least one of the guiding principles must apply for a GTIN change to be required.

  • Is a consumer and/or trading partner expected to distinguish the changed or new product from previous/current products?
  • Is there a regulatory/liability disclosure requirement to the consumer and/or trading partner?
  • Is there a substantial impact to the supply chain (e.g., how the product is shipped, stored, received)?

For more information and access to a decision making tool, please refer to GTIN Management Standard

Why did my barcode fail the test?

There are many reasons why barcodes fail the test. The most common errors are: the height of the barcode, the Quiet Zones (solid, light areas to the left and right of the barcode), poor print quality or incorrect colour combinations.

See page 2 of your report for a detailed overview of why your barcode failed, plus recommendations on how to rectify the problem.