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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is responsible for barcoding products?

The brand owner who owns the specifications of the product is responsible for allocating the barcodes / GTIN.  The brand owner may be the

  • Manufacturer or supplier
  • Importer or wholesaler
  • retailer
I need to barcode my product and I was told to contact you. What do I have to do?

You need to join GS1 Mauritius as a licensee member and acquire a Global Company Prefix number. This prefix allows you to identify your products with internationally unique numbers represented in barcode form.

Why should I join GS1 Mauritius?

Most products today have to be barcoded to enable their efficient circulation across the supply and demand chain. Through the barcoding system, products reach the consumer more rapidly and retailers can manage their stock more efficiently.

GS1 Barcodes is the most widely used standards in the world.  It is supported by all open trade retailers in Mauritius and globally.  Tagged on products, the GS1 Barcode enables a rapid and efficient flow of products to the consumer through rapid identification of the product at the point of sale

How much does it cost?

There is a one-off Registration Fee, an Annual Licence fee based on your organisation's annual turnover, and a Training Fee. Please refer to Membership Fees.

How long does it take to get a number?

We process applications daily and you will normally receive your prefix within 24 hours, provided you submit all required documents.

How many numbers do I get?

They come in number banks of 1000, 10,000 or 100,000.

Do you provide me with the actual barcodes or how do I go about it?

No, we just deal with the Global Company Prefix. We don't allocate your individual product numbers. You allocate your own product numbers and add them to your membership number. You should contact label suppliers or printing companies for the printing of the barcodes.

Do you keep a register of the numbers I have assigned to my products?

No, but we recommend you keep an up-to-date record of the numbers you have assigned to your products.

What is a check digit and do I have to work it out manually?

A check digit is the result of a mathematical calculation performed on the preceding digits. It is used during scanning to verify the barcode was correctly read. You can work them out yourself online or download the Check Digit Calculator Spreadsheet - it's not hard.

Does the membership number indicate country of origin of the product?

No, the three country digit prefix at the start of the member number only indicates the country of membership (e.g. 609 for Mauritius). For a full list of International Prefixes, click here.

How can I find out what company a barcode belongs to?

Just visit GEPIR

Do barcodes always have to be printed black on white?

Black and white gives the best contrast level, but it is possible to use other colours, which may compliment the package design. 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. Refer to our guide ‘Key Steps to Barcode Implementation’.

What is the smallest barcode size I can use for retail point of sale items?

Larger is always better for good print quality. We suggest 100% magnification, and increasing up to 200% or decreasing to 90% 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.

When do I need to change the barcode numbers?

The term "product changes" means: any change or improvement during the life of a product, decided by the manufacturer of the product.

For instance, should the manufacturer decide to create a variant (e.g. with different ingredient) in parallel with the standard product, then a separate unique number has to be allocated to the new product.

When the product changes affect the product quantity, the product dimensions, the packaging type, the product description, or there is a change in the product name or brand, a separate unique number (GTIN) must 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 in doubt, refer to the GTIN Allocation Rules

How do I get a short barcode (GTIN-8)?

As opposed to a GTIN-13 (a thirteen digit number commonly used for products), GTIN-8 is a smaller eight digit bar code number: Total Printable area (< 80 cm2), for cylindrical container (<30 mm in diameter).

There is a limited amount of GTIN-8 numbers worldwide, so to obtain one you will need to provide GS1 Mauritius with label design or artwork with the container for assessment. From there we will contact you and advise if your product is eligible or not.