GS1 has announced a global sunrise date of January 2010 for all scanning systems to read Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) bar codes on any trade item.
Designed by GS1 , the RSS packs more information into half the space of the standard EAN/UPC bar code currently used for retail Point-of-Sale (POS) scanning.
Maria Palazzolo, CEO of GS1 says this represents a natural evolution for bar codes to support the increasing demand for supply chain visibility.
She says the RSS is the first bar code to be endorsed by GS1 for global, open (unrestricted) trade item identification since the EAN/UPC bar code was adopted globally in the mid-1970s."
The use of RSS bar codes is expected to open the door to identification solutions supporting product authentication, traceability, and quality, as they can carry GS1 Application Identifiers including serial numbers, lot numbers, and expiration dates.
RSS is already used internationally in the health, fresh produce and meat sectors; this announcement now means that all industries will be able to apply RSS bar code symbols to their products.
Retailers that have upgraded their Point-of-Sale (POS) equipment in the last three to four years should already be RSS compatible or able to easily upgrade existing equipment.
Maria Palazzolo says that GSI Australia will be representing the needs of Australian businesses as part of the GS1 RSS Global Task Force to develop specific implementation guides for retailers and FMCG manufacturers. Initial feedback from brand owners and packaging designers on RSS bar code symbology has been encouraging, and GSI anticipates this new symbol will have a major impact on future packaging trends.
GS1 Australia is working with the fresh produce industry to implement the GS1 System and provide the industry with a greater competitive edge in local and export markets.
RSS bar codes have already been identified as the data carrier best suited to transmit information between fresh produce growers, vendors, importers, distributors, wholesales, resellers and retailers.