GS1 Australia is a non-profit organisation and the local affiliate and Member Organisation of GS1, a global organisation dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards in supply chains.
Barcodes are very important in retail, and when purchasing these numbers, retailers should ensure that they are unique. The impact of having to change to registered barcodes can be significant to a supplier if they have already printed packaging or labels with incorrect barcode numbers. The cost to reprint can run into thousands of dollars. The product owner then has to decide whether to re-print their product packaging or whether to apply a bar code sticker over the original bar code. Both options can involve considerable extra expense.
Further, where the bar code numbers have already been entered into systems by retailers, unaware of the potential duplication, they would need to delete the product and re-enter the new product information, including the new bar code number, in their computer system, with the risk of confusion in stores.
GS1 Australia tests more 90,000 barcodes each year to make sure that products delivered to major retailers scan correctly. The organisation provides a printed report for each item tested to confirm that the bar code on the product meets the GS1 standards.