Integrated Business Communications Alliance

IBCA Guidelines for Product ID, Labels and Shipments

Supply Chain Foundation Guide

  1. Introduction – Information flow in the supply chain, How to use the documents
  2. Supply Chain Overview and Benefits
  3. Organizing The Labeling Project
  4. Understanding The GS1 System

Label Implementation Guide

  1. Implementing a GS1 System Labeling Project
  2. Implementing Serial Shipping Container Code
  3. Bar Code Print Quality

Contemporary Knowledge:



IBCA Guidelines for Product ID, Labels and Shipments (GPID)

Vital Items: GS1 Bar Codes (formerly U.P.C.) (rev December 2011)

This section is based on the GS1 (formerly Uniform Code Council (UCC)) guidelines used by retailers throughout the world. Options within the GS1 standards have been selected to meet the unique needs of the IBCA supply chain. The specific requirements of one IBCA trading partner to another may present some minor differences. When in doubt check with your trading partners. As members of our industry we are all expected to take responsibility for common standards that relate to our products and should not hesitate to remind customers and suppliers that everyone should follow the IBCA standards.

What does it provide?

  • Provides Item Identification

  • Speed at retail checkout

  • Reduce data entry costs

  • Reduced errors

  • Overview

Vital Items

Unique bar codes are used at the point of sale. Retailers expect wholesalers to provide products the are labeled in conformance with the GS1 (formerly EAN.UCC) standards. Wholesalers must rely on suppliers to mark the items at the source. This information is provided so that all the people in the supply chain are looking at the same fundamentals.

GS1 (formerly U.P.C.) Bar Codes

Make sure every saleable item has been assigned a GS1 Bar Code (formerly U.P.C.) and that the barcode is of high enough quality to be scanned by everyone.

  1. The GS1 Bar Code (formerly U.P.C.) number should be THE identifier for the product. Use on products, back-tags, shelf labels.

  2. Every item has to have a one.

  3. You should not reuse them, ever (even after 4 years or more!).

  4. Understand the GS1 (formerly U.P.C.) bar code printing "do's" and "don'ts”.

  5. Comply with ANSI Standards for quality and verify that your labels meet grade "C" or better.

  6. Human readable number must be printed below barcode. See 4.3

  7. 80% reduction to 200% magnification.

  8. Minimum Label Size Requirements 1.02” by 1.5”. Quiet space must be .25” on each side of barcode.

  9. Truncation should no smaller than .5”

  10. Contrast of symbol – Highly recommended use black on white. If other colors are used the contrast should be analyzed to ensure that print contrast ratio is within the specified limits.

  11. Do not use glossy labels. Verification will fail in many cases.

  12. Location – Printed on or stick on label. Easily accessible by cashier, securely attached, back of product, bottom right corner, not covered by product.

  13. Support the GS1 Representation of the earlier UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN, ISBN. (ISBN used on Published material)

IMPORTANT:  New GS1 Bar Codes (formerly U.P.C.) required when new or substantially changed.

Standards Policy

Chapter 1 – Product Identification Labeling and Shipment

Chapter 2 -- benefits and business case.

Chapter 3 -- how to organize the labeling project.

Chapter 4 -- the GS1 (formerly EAN/UCC) method of product identification and bar code use.

Chapter 5 -- how to apply GS1 (formerly U.P.C.) bar code.

Chapter 6 -- deals with the label that is placed on a shipping container.

Chapter 7 -- about the print quality of bar codes.

The appendix is provided to answer questions about how bar codes work.


GS1 (formerly U.P.C.) Item Label





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