According to GS1 Australia , retailers around the globe are working to adapt their scanning systems to scan GS1 DataBar, a next-generation bar code, by 2010.
The decision to introduce GS1 DataBar followed a business case review by a global industry task force which included retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and trade associations. After feedback from retailers, GS1 Australia have extended the deadline by which retailers must be able to scan GS1 DataBar to 2014.
Retailers who have started GS1 DataBar programmes, especially fresh food pilots, can continue with these programs without interruption. Retailers who have established agreements in place or wish to set up new bilateral agreements with their trading partners using GS1 DataBar standards by 2010 can proceed as planned.
GS1 Australia observe that while they have been working with major retail chains for the past few years to ensure that their scanning systems are ready for the new bar codes, at a global level, retailers in many countries are not yet ready. At a recent GS1 General Assembly, a decision was made to extend the deadline, allowing early adopter nations to move ahead but providing up to four more years for adoption in all other countries.
GS1 DataBar permits marking on small, hard-to-mark items such as loose produce and can provide new bar code information that includes weight or date codes. It is already in wide-scale implementation in North American groceries, is being piloted in Europe and in Asia, and can be found on loose produce shipped all over the world.
By the target date of 2014 GS1 DataBar standards, including attribute information such as batch number and expiry date, can be used by all trading partners in an open environment. At a minimum, retailers should be able to scan a GS1 DataBar and process a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) to the database by 2014.
While most scanners purchased in the past three years should be capable of reading GS1 DataBar, retailers are being urged to continue their program to update their scanning capabilities.