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Symbologies: GS1-128

GS1-128 Symbols

GS1-128 Symbols can be used for GTIN-12, GTIN-13, GTIN-14, and SSCC Bar Code Symbols. This bar code symbol can also encode other data using Application Identifiers.

GS1-128 is a standard that consists of both a Code 128 bar code symbol with a special start pattern and a data structure. The data is structured according to the Application Identifier (AI) format. An AI is a two, three, or four-digit number that defines the meaning of the data that follows.

SSCC in a GS1-128 Symbol

The AI (00) identifies the data in an GS1-128 Bar Code Symbol as an SSCC. The AI (00) always prefixes the 18-digit SSCC when it is encoded in a GS1-128 Bar Code Symbol.

The AI (01) always prefixes a GTIN when encoded in GS1-128 Bar Code Symbol. All Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) must be carried in their 14-digit GTIN format in an GS1-128 Bar Code Symbol.

Although an Application Identifier (AI) is always numeric, the actual data that follows in the GS1-128 Bar Code Symbol may contain the alphanumeric or special character set found in Appendix D. Additional AIs describe other product attributes. (See Section 5 for more details.)

GTIN-14 in GS1-128 Symbol

The unambiguous meaning provided by an AI prevents misinterpretation of a bar code's content. Appendix C provides a table of current Application Identifiers, their contents, and their data structures.

GS1-128 has the capability to string together (concatenate) multiple data fields into a single bar code. Each data field begins with an AI. Companies that have no need for specific data fields can program their equipment to ignore those fields by selecting only relevant AIs for processing.

GTIN-14 and Sell-By Date Concatenated in GS1-128 Symbol
Application Identifiers are simply prefixes that define the data, and are not part of the data used as a key to stored information. They can be discarded in application records (databases) where the meaning of the data is already defined. Also, Application Identifiers are not included in Check Digit calculations, although Check Digit calculations that include the Application Identifier (00) return the correct result.
GS1 Symbology
Data Structure Bar Code Type Bar Code Symbol
Note that UPC-E and EAN-8 – designed for use on small items – are not normally used on shipping containers.
ITF-14 Symbology
Data Structure Bar Code Type Bar Code Symbol
UCC/EAN-128 Symbology
Data Structure Bar Code Type Bar Code Symbol

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