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How to create an outer case barcode

GTIN Blue BoxWhat is a GTIN?

A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is the globally unique identification number allocated to identify a trade item (a product or service) that may be priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in any supply chain. The GTIN is created using a GS1 Global Company Prefix.

A GTIN is assigned by the brand owner and may be 8, 12, 13 or 14 digits in length. GS1 recommends that every GTIN be represented in software applications as 14 digits by right justifying and zero filling left, when appropriate e.g. 05391234560121 for a GTIN-13 and 00000053912345 for a GTIN-8.


Case Identify BlueCreating a GTIN for an outer case

Outer cases should be identified with a 14 digit number. It is not possible to identify an outer case by simply placing a “0” in front of the GTIN (product number) already allocated to the retail or Point of Sale (POS) unit.

There are two ways to correctly create a GTIN for an outer case:

  1. Item reference method using GTIN-8, GTIN-12, or GTIN-13 numbers.
  2. Indicator digit method using GTIN-14 Numbers.

Barcode number allocation and maintenance of product data records should be done using the GS1 Barcode Manager online tool.

1.Item reference method

  1. Select a new 12-digit number by using your Global Company Prefix (GCP) and the next available unique item reference number (prefix + item reference = 12 digits)
  2. Add a leading zero (“0”)
  3. Calculate the check digit (this is done automatically in Barcode Manager)

e.g.  Retail unit  5391234560459 and outer case 05391234560473

(Note the different reference number to the retail unit. This example assumes a 3-digit item reference and a 9-digit company prefix)


2.Indicator digit method using GTIN-14 numbers

  1. Select the same 12-digit number as issued to the retail unit.
  2. Add an indicator digit (choose from digits 1 to 8)
  3. Recalculate the check digit (this is done automatically in Barcode Manager)

e.g. Retail unit 5391234560459 and outer case 15391234560456

(This example also assumes a 3-digit item reference and a 9-digit company prefix.)

Key points

  • Use Barcode Manager to record your barcode numbers and the name of the product to which they refer in your files.
  • When a GTIN is incorrectly assigned to products, it can result in invoice errors and delays in products reaching the market.
  • Log in to the Members Area to view the specifications for a GS1 128 barcode symbol.TLog in to the Members Area to view the specifications for an ITF 14 barcode symbol.the most common mistake is assigning the same GTIN to a retail unit and case. The retail unit and the case each require a unique GTIN. For example, if you allocate the GTIN 5391234560121 to your retail unit you cannot use 05391234560121 for the case or any other product for that matter.
  • If the items within an outer case have different GTINs (i.e. a mixed pack), the Item Reference method should be used. In this case, the indicator digit should be a "0"" and a new unique item reference number must be used to represent this unique assortment.
  • Once your GTIN-14 has been calculated, it can then be encoded in the relevant symbol. The most common symbol types for outer cases are the ITF-14 and GS1-128 symbols. Both of these can be printed directly onto corrugated carton. An ITF-14 symbol only encodes the GTIN while the GS1-128 symbol can be used to encode additional data through the use of Application Identifiers.

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