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Why use authorised GS1 Barcodes?

GS1 system is used by both manufacturers and retailers all over the world with the GS1 barcodes recording over 10 billion scans per day on a global scale. You can trust that GS1 barcode numbers issued by an authorised GS1 member organisation are unique, accurate, and based on current global standards.

In Singapore, GS1 Singapore has the sole mandate to administer the GS1 system and is the only authorised source for GS1 barcode numbers and standards.

Our Singapore numbering system

GS1 barcode numbers allocated to companies by GS1 Singapore begin with the prefix "888". Only GS1 Singapore is authorised to provide GS1 barcode numbers with this prefix.

Beware of UNAUTHORISED barcodes

Unauthorised barcode number sellers undermine the integrity of the GS1 system, create confusion in the market and disrupt the functioning of supply chains in Singapore and overseas. You will also run into the risk that the unauthorised barcode numbers provided to you are not unique against other numbers directly allocated by a GS1 organisation, which can have significant consequences within the supply chain, particularly in labelling and track and trace.

  • Reprinting or re-labelling packaging

    Be aware that when you obtain your GS1 barcode numbers from an unauthorised source, you will incur massive unnecessary expenses on relabelling and repackaging of your products, when your products are rejected by your retailers and e-marketplaces due to unauthorised barcode numbers. In the case of healthcare sector, re-labelling can have further unintended consequences such as the obligation to submit the packaging for new regulatory approvals.

  • Lost sales
    If a product needs to be re-labelled and this causes delays in shipment and also result in lost sales. This is true in environments where there are active competitors as well as in situations where a new item is being introduced for a new, niche market. If a product is being introduced to meet a growing need that has yet to be met, delays could give potential competition the opportunity to enter the marketplace; not only resulting in lost sales, but also allowing a competitor to be the “first to market.”

  • Unnecessary Efforts
    Any discrepancy or issue to be resolved requires additional time and effort that cannot be used to more value adding activities. When deadlines for production and delivery are tight, delays in printing/packaging can be extremely difficult and time consuming to resolve.

  • Trading Partner Perception
    Establishing a new relationship between trading partners can be very difficult and fragile. If the product does make it into the supply chain and a collision of numbers occurs, the trading partner may need to make updates to their systems and possibly accept a return of a mislabelled product. These issues could jeopardise the trading partnership.

  • Marketplace Costs
    The most common issues in marketplaces are linked to GTINs copied from a company which has legitimate rights to that GTIN. A legitimate Brand Owner may not list its product because another company has already used the Brand Owner’s legitimate GTIN to list a different product. Certain Marketplaces are beginning to mandate the use of GS1 product identifiers and are looking to validate their product catalogues against the GS1 databases and catalogues.

  • A hidden cost and an untapped potential

    Users of Unauthorised barcode number may not realise that there is an intangible cost of by passing GS1 and using Unauthorised Barcodes. In order for them to take advantage of all GS1 services, they would need to use GS1 keys. These services include: training, support, product catalogue, business matching platform and more. The inability to utilise these services may drive the user of an unauthorised barcode number to seek an actual GS1 key issued in accordance with the GS1 Standards.

Get Only Authorised GS1 barcode numbers

You can ONLY get unique, authorised GS1 barcode numbers from any GS1 member organisation around the world. If you're in Singapore, you can get GS1 barcode numbers from GS1 Singapore.

GS1 Singapore provides GS1 standards and associated services - including GS1 Company Prefixes and GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs or barcode numbers) - to ensure that every GS1 barcode number in use around the world is unique.

To safeguard the proper use of GS1 barcodes, we continuously fight against the unauthorised use of barcodes such as the following:

  • Expired Barcodes:
    Former GS1 members continuing to use company prefixes issued by the GS1 organisation as GTINS;

  • Barcode Transfer:
    GS1 members either selling or transferring company prefixes to other companies or organisations as GTINS;

  • Counterfeit GS1 Barcodes:
    Any company or organisation using GS1 prefixes that is not issued by GS1, counterfeit GS1 prefixes or GS1 prefixes issued to other GS1 members;

  • Unauthorised GS1 Barcodes:
    Non-GS1 organisations issuing GS1 company prefixes to any company or organisations

  • Reuse GS1 Barcode:
    A GTIN allocated to a trade item is unique and SHALL NOT be reallocated to another trade item. This applies to ALL trade items, regardless of sectors


GS1 Singapore has joined forces with 116 GS1 offices around the globe together with major sellers and buyers from Singapore and overseas to combat the unauthorised use of GS1 barcodes. We conduct regular market surveillance on trade items for verification and authenticity. Any organisation caught using unauthorised barcode numbers is subject to face legal actions from GS1.

Alternatively, you can speak to our Membership Services Team at +65 96828285 or email to