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GS! warnes against unauthorised barcode seller

GS1 South Africa, the local custodian of bar codes to the retail industry, has warned South African retail businesses, suppliers and wholesalers about an unauthorised barcode seller that has recently begun soliciting business, offering prospective clients any bar codes they want, including several which are owned by GS1 Global.
According to GS1 South Africa executive Jacolien Richards, the company is attempting to sell bar code numbers with a prefix of 600 or 604, or any other prefix, some of which belong to GS1 Global. South Africa has been assigned the prefix 600 and 601 and the 604 prefix belongs to GS1 Senegal.
The numbering structure provided by the company consists of 11 digits. No bar code scanners in the FMCG supply chain globally can read this structure.
A supplier who buys this number will then apply it to all packaging and labels, but unfortunately the barcode symbol will never be scanned through the Point of Sale at a retail or wholesale location. “This means that the cost of re-barcoding all the products reverts back to the entire supply chain and ultimately could be carried by the consumer.”
The company also advises prospective clients that a barcode symbol can be stretched to “whatever size required”. A barcode symbol has extensive technical standards and any manipulation of the symbol which is out of proportion will result in a no scan. “If the supplier is an exporter, the impact will be far worse with the distribution costs being doubled, because of the reverse logistics for returned stock that does not scan. This is compounded if the product is fresh produce, which will result in the loss of the entire order.”

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