What is GS1 Barcode

Barcodes, including EAN and UPC, are symbols that can be scanned electronically using laser or camera-based systems.


They are used to encode information such as product numbers, serial numbers and batch numbers. Barcodes play a key role in supply chains, enabling users including retailers, manufacturers, transport providers and hospitals to automatically identify and track products as they move through the supply chain. GS1 manages several types of barcodes, many of which comply with ISO standards. Each is designed for use in a different situation.


GS1 HK barcode 489

GS1 HK is the only authorised body in Hong Kong to assign barcode with “489” prefix (GTIN).  We have never authorised any organization to issue barcode on our behalf.

A barcode (technically called “GTIN” or “Global Trade Item Number”) is a number represented in vertical lines of varying widths printed on labels to uniquely identify items enabling the rapid and un-ambiguous identification of products, assets, documents to people using a scanner.

1. GS1 EAN/UPC barcodes

Instantly-recognisable 1D barcodes used in retail all over the world and are printed on virtually every consumer product. They can be scanned at POS and are the longest-established and most widely-used of all GS1 barcodes.



8 GTIN-8

489 GS1 HK Barcode UPC A

12 GTIN-12

489 GS1 HK Barcode UPC-E

12 GTIN-12

489 GS1 HK Barcode EAN-13

13 GTIN-13

Download full version of GS1 barcode chart


2. GS1-128 and ITF-14 exclusively used in general distribution and logistics

GS1-128 and ITF-14 are highly versatile ID barcodes that enable items to be tracked through global supply chains. Both are exclusively used in distribution and logistics. The GS1-128 barcode can carry any of the GS1 identification keys, plus information like serial numbers, expiration dates and more. The ITF-14 barcode can only hold the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and is suitable for printing on corrugated materials.


489 GS1 HK Barcode GS1 ITF 14


14 GTIN-12

489 GS1 HK Barcode GS1 128


UP to 48 characters Concatenated strings using GS1 Application Identifiers

Download full version of GS1 barcode chart

3. GS1 DataBar barcodes

DataBar barcodes are often used to label fresh foods. These barcodes can hold information such as an item's batch number or expiry date, in addition to other attributes used at the point-of-sale such as the item weight.

DataBar barcodes are often used in retail, and can be read by some point-of-sale laser scanners. See how it works >>

The GS1 DataBar family consists of seven symbols in total: four for use at point-of-sale and three not for use at point-of-sale.

The symbols for use at point-of-sale are shown below:

GS1 Databar Expanded

GS1 HK Databar Expanded

UP to 48 characters Concatenated strings using GS1 Application Identifiers
GS1 Databar Expanded Stacked

GS1 HK Databar Expanded Stacked


Up to 74 numeric or 41 alphabetic characters Concatenated strings using GS1 Application Identifiers
GS1 Databar Stackeded imnidirectional

GS1 HK databar stacked omnidirectional





489 GS1 HK Barcode EAN 13


13 GTIN-13

Download full version of GS1 barcode chart

4. Two-dimensional (2D) barcodes

Two-dimensional (2D) barcodes look like squares or rectangles that contain many small, individual dots. A single 2D barcode can hold a significant amount of information and may remain legible even when printed in a small size or etched on to a product. 2D barcodes are used in a wide range of industries, from manufacturing and warehousing to marketing logistics and healthcare.

GS1 Datamatrix

GS1 datamatrix


Up to 2,335 characters Concatenated strings using GS1 Application Identifiers
GS1 QR Code

GS1 QR code


Up to 4,296 characters GS1 Application Identifiers AI (01) and AI (8200)

Download full version of GS1 barcode chart

If you need a GS1 barcode, please subscribe as Full Membership (GS1 Barcode)


Eight Exclusive Rights for Being GS1 HK Member

  • Free usage of BarcodePlus platform, a cloud-based product and location management portal with registered brand owner / authorised distributor-defined production information, representing a trusted, authentic source of product information.
  • Generate QR code via BarcodePlus for sharing extended information of your products with consumers.
  • Free admission of GS1 HK Barcode Workshop, and plenty of networking / business matching opportunities at GS1 HK hosted seminars, workshops, conferences, summits, etc.
  • Access to GS1 HK Barcode Testing Service to ensure scanning quality
  • Tap into the over-1-billion WeChat active users market via barcode scanning.
  • Eligble to apply for Consumer Caring Scheme, a well-established programme to raise your company recognition.
  • Facilitate accurate & consistent partners’ communications: Using GS1 barcodes as a reference key to enable automatic, accurate and fast data capture in different business systems such as product catalogue, information management and procurement systems, can facilitate data exchange with partners and streamline processes like sales, issuing shipment notice, invoicing, etc. 
  • Access to dedicated customer service hotline for any enquiries about the usage of the barcode and membership benefits.

How you apply and set up barcodes through GS1 HK

  1. Obtain a unique company identification number called a GS1 Company Prefix. It will identify your company to businesses all over the world
  2. Using that prefix, you add a number that specifically identifies your product. Combined with a check digit, this creates a GTIN® (Global Trade Item Number®) that identifies both your company and that product
  3. You take this GTIN and create a barcode from it that can be scanned
  4. Experience the power of barcode, join us now and buy barcode!