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alphanumeric (an)

Describes a character set that contains letters, numbers and other characters.


A piece of information reflecting a characteristic related to a GS1 identification key, for example, a batch number or expiry date associated with a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).



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Barcode Check

Barcode Check is a service offered by GS1 Australia.

barcode verification

The testing of the likely scanning performance of barcodes and how closely they conform to specifications based on ISO/IEC standards.

Base Unit

The product cannot be broken down into other products that are sold separately.

batch / lot

The batch or lot number that links a trade item with information the manufacturer considers relevant to the traceability of that item. The data may refer to the trade item itself or to items contained within in it.

bearer bars

Thick lines at the top and bottom of the bars in a barcode symbol, or a frame surrounding the entire symbol. They equalise the pressure exerted by the printing plate over the entire surface of the symbol and/or prevent a short scan by the barcode reader.

brand owner

The party responsible for allocating GSI identification keys. The administrator of a GS1 Company Prefix.



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check digit

The last number encoded in a barcode, which is calculated using the preceding digits. This digit is used to check that the data has been correctly composed. Also see GS1 check digit calculation and Check digit calculator.


The representation of several element strings in one barcode (e.g., the GTIN, batch number and expiry date). A GS1-128 barcode is an example of a barcode that can include concatenated data.


Consult is a service offered by GS1 Australia.


A voucher that can be redeemed at point-of-sale for a cash value or free item.



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Data Carrier

See Physical Data Carrier.

data titles

Abbreviated descriptions of data fields (element strings) used to support manual interpretation of barcodes.


See GS1 DataBar.


A compact two-dimensional matrix symbology that is made up of square modules arranged within a perimeter finder pattern. Data Matrix ISO version ECC 200 is the only version that supports GS1 system identification numbers, including the Function 1 Symbol Character. Data Matrix symbols are read by two-dimensional imaging scanners or vision systems.

direct print

A process in which the printing apparatus prints the symbol by making physical contact with a substrate (e.g., flexography, ink jet, dot peening).



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EAN/UPC symbology

A family of barcodes including EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC-A and UPC-E barcodes. Although UPC-E barcodes do not have a separate symbology identifier, they act like a separate symbology through the scanning application software.

EAN-13 barcode

A barcode of the EAN/UPC symbology that encodes GTIN-13. It is used to identify the vast majority of retail trade items.

EAN-8 barcode

A barcode symbol of the EAN/UPC symbology that encodes GTIN-8 or RCN-8. It is used to identify small retail items such as cosmetics.




Abbreviation for Electronic Data Interchange.

EDI Certify

EDI Certify is a service offered by GS1 Australia.

electronic commerce (eCom)

Conducting business via electronic methods, such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and automated data collection systems.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

An electronic business communication method that allows automatic electronic transmission of agreed business data between trading partners.GS1 EDI standards include GS1 eCom XML, GS1 EANCOM and GS1 UN/CEFACT XML profiles.

Electronic Product Code (EPC)

An identification scheme for universally identifying physical objects (e.g., trade items, assets and locations) via RFID tags and other means. The standardised EPC data consists of an EPC (or EPC Identifier) that uniquely identifies an individual object, as well as an optional filter value when judged to be necessary to enable effective and efficient reading of the EPC tags.

Electronic Product Code Information Service (EPCIS)

A GS1 standard that enables trading partners to share information about the physical movement and status of products as they travel throughout the supply chain - from business to business and ultimately to consumers.

element string

The combination of a GS1 Application Identifier and the data that follows.

EPC tag

An RFID tag that complies with the Tag Data Standard and contains an Electronic Product Code (EPC).


Abbreviation for Electronic Product Code Information Service. EPCIS Sandpit is a service offered by GS1 Australia.

extension digit

The first digit within an SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code). It is allocated by the user and is designed to increase the capacity of the SSCC.



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fixed length

Term used to describe a data field in an element string with an established number of characters (e.g., an expiry date, which can only have 6 digits).

Fixed Measure Trade Item

An item always produced in the same pre-defined version (e.g., type, size, weight, contents, design) that may be sold at any point in the supply chain. For example, a 250g can of beans will always be sold as a 250g can of beans.

Full Members

If your company's annual turnover is more than $1M or if you need more than 10 barcodes you will need Full Membership. Full Members are provided with a GS1 Company Prefix and can assign up to 100,000 barcodes.



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Acronym for Global Coupon Number.


Acronym for GS1 Global Data Synchronisation Network.

general distribution scanning

Scanning environments that include barcoded trade items packaged for transport, logistic units, assets and location tags (e.g., scanning in warehouses, logistics platforms, etc).


Abbreviation for Global Electronic Party Information Register.


Abbreviation for Global Individual Asset Identifier.


Abbreviation for Global Identification Number for Consignment.


Abbreviation for Global Location Number.

Global Coupon Number (GCN)

The GS1 identification key used to identify coupons, with an optional serial number.

Global Data Dictionary

A repository of all the data elements defined across the GS1 system.

Global Document Type Identifier (GDTI)

The GS1 identification key used to identify a document type. The key comprises a GS1 Company Prefix, document type, check digit, and optional serial number.

Global Electronic Party Information Register (GEPIR®)

A global database used by GS1 Member Organisations (MO) to find contact information about GS1 member companies. GEPIR also provides a very limited set of information on GLNs and GTINs (trade items).

Global Identification Number for Consignment (GINC)

The GS1 identification key used to identify a logical grouping of logistic or transport units that been consigned to a freight forwarder or carrier and are assembled to be transported under one transport document. The key comprises a GS1 Company Prefix and the freight forwarder's or carrier's transport reference.

Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI)

The GS1 identification key used to identify an individual asset, such as a computer. The key comprises a GS1 Company Prefix and individual asset reference.

Global Location Number (GLN)

The GS1 Identification Key used to identify physical locations or parties. The key is comprised of a GS1 Company Prefix, Location Reference and Check Digit.

Global Product Classification code

The code used to group products based on similar characteristics according to the GS1 Global Product Classification (GPC).

Global Service Relation Number (GSRN)

The GS1 identification key used to identify the relationship between an organisation offering services and the recipient or provider of services. The key comprises a GS1 Company Prefix, service reference and check digit.

Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN)

The GS1 identification key used to identify a group of logistics units for the purpose of a transport shipment that travels under the one bills. The key comprises a GS1 Company Prefix, shipper reference and check digit.

Global Standards Management Process (GSMP)

GS1 created the Global Standards Management Process (GSMP) to support standards development activity for the GS1 system. The GSMP uses a global consensus process to develop supply chain standards that are based on business needs and user-input.

Global Trade Item® Number (GTIN®)

The GS1 identification key used to identify trade items. The key comprises a GS1 Company Prefix, an item reference and check digit.


Abbreviation for Global Returnable Asset Identifier.

GS1 AIDC data carrier

A means to represent data in a machine readable form; used to enable automatic reading of the element strings as specified for use by GS1. Examples include barcodes and RFID tags.

GS1 Application Identifier

Two to four digits at the beginning of an element string that uniquely define the meaning and format of data that follows this prefix. Use them to hold more data about a product in a barcode, such as batch numbers, expiry dates, serial numbers etc.

GS1 check digit calculation

An algorithm used by the GS1 system for the calculation of a check digit to verify accuracy of data. Also see Check digit calculator.

GS1 Company Prefix

Part of the GS1 system identification number consisting of a GS1 Prefix and a Company Number, which are allocated by the GS1 Member Organisation.

GS1 Company Prefix licensee

The entity to which a GS1 Company Prefix is licenced.

GS1 DataBar®

A family of different barcodes created to support the identification of small and hard-to-mark items. Some of them can be used to contain additional information, such as expiry dates.The GS1 DataBar family of barcodes include: GS1 DataBar Omnidirectional; GS1 DataBar Stacked Omnidirectional; GS1 DataBar Expanded; GS1 DataBar Expanded Stacked; GS1 DataBar Truncated; GS1 DataBar Limited and GS1 DataBar Stacked symbols.

GS1 DataMatrix

GS1 implementation specification for use of Data Matrix.


A component of GS1 eCom, which is the GS1 standard for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and is used to share data via eMesssaging (or EDI). Some industry sectors have their own subsets of this standard.

GS1 Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN®)

An online network that enables companies around the world to exchange standardised and synchronised supply chain data with trading partners. GS1 Australia’s GDSN® service, or certified data pool, is called GS1 National Product Catalogue.

GS1 Identification Key

A unique identifier for a class of objects ( eg., a trade item, carton) or an instance of an object (e.g., a logistic unit).

GS1 Member Organisation

A member of GS1 responsible for administering the GS1 system in its country (or assigned area), for example GS1 Australia. Tasks include ensuring companies use the GS1 system correctly; providing access to education, training, promotions and support; and participating in the GSMP.

GS1 Prefix

A unique string of two or more digits by GS1 Global Office and allocated to GS1 Member Organisation to issue GS1 Company Prefixes or allocated to other specific areas.

GS1 Product Recall

A GS1 standard that defines a set of business processes and supporting data to enable clear traceability of products within the supply chain.

GS1 QR Code

GS1 implementation specification for use of QR Code.

GS1 Source

A framework for sharing product information in consumer-facing digital channels. It is standards-based, scalable and interoperable. Companies can use GS1 Source to share information about their products on the cloud. Application developers can then integrate this product data in their web and mobile applications.

GS1 system

The specifications, standards and guidelines administered by GS1.

GS1 Traceability

A GS1 standard that gives all parties in the supply chain a common business language for traceability systems.


The GS1 standard for Extensible Markup Language (XML), which provides users with a global business messaging language to undertake internet-based electronic commerce.

GS1-128 barcode

Used to represent the GTIN and other data, and is commonly found on cases, pallets and other logistics units.


See Global Shipment Identification Number.


See Global Standards Management Process.


Abbreviation for Global Service Relation Number.


See Global Trade Item Number.


The 12-digit GS1 identification key composed of a UPC Company Prefix, item reference and check digit used to identify trade items. These are commonly used when exporting to the US and Canada.


The 13-digit GS1 identification key composed of a GS1 Company Prefix, item reference and check digit used to identify trade items. 


The 14-digit GS1 identification key composed of an indicator digit (1-9), GS1 Company Prefix, item reference and check digit used to identify non-retail trade items. 


The 8-digit GS1 identification key composed of a GS1-8 Prefix, item reference and check digit. Mainly used to identify very small trade items. 



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Higher Level unit

The Product can be broken down into other products that are sold separately.


Abbreviation for human readable interpretation 

human readable interpretation (HRI)

Characters that can be read by people (e.g., letters and numbers), as opposed to symbol characters within barcode symbols, which are read by machines.



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identification number

A numeric or alphanumeric field intended to enable the recognition of one entity versus another.


A digit from 1 to 9 in the leftmost position of the GTIN-14. The digit ‘9’ can be used for variable measure products only.

Individual Barcode Number (IBN) members

You would select this membership type only if your company's annual turnover is less than $1M per year and you require up to a maximum of 10 barcode numbers. As an IBN member you will be assigned individual GTIN(s) based on your request.

interleaved 2 of 5 symbology

Barcode symbology used for the ITF-14 barcode. Also known as ITF symbology.

item reference

A component of the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) assigned by the owner of the GS1 Company Prefix, used to create a unique GTIN.

ITF symbology

See Interleaved 2-of-5 symbology.

ITF-14 barcode

ITF-14 (a subset of Interleaved 2 of 5) barcodes carry GTINs on trade items that are not expected to pass through point-of-sale.



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The authority granted by GS1 Australia via a non-exclusive non-transferable Subscription Membership licence to use the GS1 system including the issuing of GS1 Identification keys and barcode symbols.

License type

The type of Subscription Membership and Licence that you have agreed to.  You may have executed a GS1 Australia Individual Barcode Numbers Membership Subscription and Licence or GS1 Australia Full Membership Subscription and Licence or GS1 Australia GLN only Membership Subscription and Licence.

light margin

See Quiet Zone.


Locatenet is a service offered by GS1 Australia.

logistic measures

Measures indicating the outside dimensions, total weight, or volume inclusive of packing material of a logistic unit. Also known as gross measures.

logistic unit

An item of any composition established for transport and/or storage that needs to be managed through the supply chain. It is identified with an Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC).



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Different sizes of barcodes based on a nominal size and a fixed aspect ratio; stated as a per cent or decimal equivalent of a nominal size.



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National Product Catalogue

National Product Catalogue is GS1 Australia's Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) service. This certified data pool is used to share master data between trading partners.

Numbering and Barcodes

Numbering and Barcodes is a service offered by GS1 Australia.



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Physical Data Carrier

Generic term for a barcode or RFID tag; a means of physically affixing machine-readable data to a physical object.

point-of-sale (POS)

Refers to the retail checkout where barcodes are scanned.

print gain gauge

A printed test pattern used to determine the print gain mean and the range of print gain (press variance) as it relates to bar widths. It may also be used throughout the print run to indicate whether the anticipated range of print gain is experienced.

Product Photography

Product Photography is a service offered by GS1 Australia.



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QR Code

A two-dimensional matrix symbology consisting of square modules arranged in a square pattern. The symbology is characterised by a unique finder pattern located at three corners of the symbol. QR Code Version 2005 is the only version that supports GS1 system identification numbers, including Function 1 symbol character. QR Code symbols are read by two-dimensional imaging scanners or vision systems.

Quiet Zone

A clear space around the barcode. Formerly referred to as ‘clear area’ or ‘light margin’.

Quiet Zone Indicator

A greater than (>) or less than (<) character, printed in the human readable field of the barcode symbol, with the tip aligned with the outer edge of the quiet zone.



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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

A data carrier technology that transmits information via signals in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. An RFID system generally consists of a tag, reader, antenna and software.


Recall is a service offered by GS1 Australia.

Recall Health

Recall Health is a service offered by GS1 Australia.

Regulated Healthcare product

Regulated Healthcare products are those products whose manufacture, distribution and sale are controlled specifically under Medicines, Medical Devices or InVitro Diagnostics (or similar) regulations in one or more country where they are sold. In Australia this would mean that the product would be allocated an ARTG.

Restricted Circulation Number (RCN)

Signifies a GS1 identification number used for special applications in restricted environments, defined by the local GS1 Member Organisation (e.g., restricted within a country, company, industry). They are allocated by GS1 for either internal use by companies or to GS1 member organisations for assignment based on business needs in their country (e.g., variable measure product identification, couponing).

retail consumer trade item

The trade item intended to be sold to the end consumer at retail point-of-sale. Identified with a GTIN-13, GTIN-12 or GTIN-8 using an EAN/UPC barcode.

RFID tag

A microchip attached to an antenna that sends data to an RFID reader. It contains a unique serial number, and can also contain additional data. RFID tags can be active, passive or semi-passive tags.



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Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC)

The GS1 Identification Key used to identify logistic units. The 18-digit key is comprised of GS1 Company Prefix, serial reference and check digit. It follows the Application Identifier (00) and is represented in a GS1-128 barcode.


An electronic device that reads barcodes and converts them into electrical signals that a computer can interpret.

serial number

A code, numeric or alphanumeric, assigned to an individual instance of an entity for its lifetime. A unique individual item may be identified with the combined GTIN and serial number.

serial reference

A component of the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) assigned by the brand owner to create a unique SSCC.

Smart Media

Smart Media is a service offered by GS1 Australia.


Abbreviation for Serial Shipping Container Code.

standard trade item grouping

A standard composition for a trade item(s) that is not intended for point-of-sale scanning; identified with a unique GTIN-14, GTIN-13 or GTIN-12.


The party that produces, provides, or furnishes an item or service.


The combination of symbol characters and features required by a particular symbology. These include quiet zone, start and stop characters, data characters and other auxiliary patterns, which together form a complete scannable entity; an instance of a symbology and a data structure.

symbol contrast

The difference between the reflection of light by the bars and the reflection of light by spaces within a barcode.


A defined method of representing numeric or alphabetic characters in a barcode.



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Tag Data Standard

Part of the EPC network, this describes how GS1 ID Keys are encoded in RFID tags.

trade item

Any item (product or service) that may be priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in any supply chain; therefore must carry pre-defined information.

trade measures

Net measures of variable measure trade items as used for invoicing (billing) the trade item.


Printing a symbol shorter than the minimum height recommendations. Truncation can make the symbol difficult for an operator to scan.

Trusted Data

Trusted Data is a service offered by GS1 Australia.



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unrestricted distribution

Where system data may be applied on goods to be processed anywhere in the world without restraint as to such things as country, company and industry.

UPC-A barcode

A barcode of the EAN/UPC Symbology that encodes GTIN-12, Coupon-12, RCN-12 and VMN-12.

UPC-E barcode

A barcode of the EAN/UPC Symbology representing a GTIN-12 in six explicitly encoded digits using zero-suppression techniques.



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Variable Measure Number (VMN)

restricted Circulation Number to identify variable measure products for scanning at point-of-sale. It is defined by the GS1 Member Organisation rules in that particular country.

Variable Measure Trade Item

An item always produced in the same pre-defined version (e.g., type, design, packaging) that may be sold at any point in the supply chain. It may vary in weight or size by its nature, or may be traded without a pre-defined weight, size or length. 

visilblity event data standard




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The specified width of the narrowest element in a barcode.