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How to Get a GS1 HK 489 Barcode for Your Product? When you Need to Apply New Barcodes on Products?


Are you looking to get a GS1 barcode starting with “489” for your product? GS1 Hong Kong is the ONLY organization authorized by GS1 to issue GS1 barcodes (GTIN) in Hong Kong. Each GS1 barcode is unique, which not only facilitates product listing on retail channels & online platforms, but also enables real-time inventory management. In addition to launching new products, when will you need to get new GS1 barcodes on your products? Read more about barcode application & adoption of 489 barcodes on products, and get your products to market faster!


Basic Knowledge about GS1 489 Product Barcodes

After purchasing products for checkout at supermarkets, the staff will scan GS1 barcode on products with a barcode scanner. The retail POS system can thereby obtain accurate product information and product price, offering consumers with accurate and convenient shopping experiences. Let’s take a look on products with GS1 barcodes around you, you will find the following features of barcodes:

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Basic Knowledge about GS1 489 Product Barcodes and GS1 Key

GS1 Key: Unique GS1 identification number

● Quiet zones(clear spaces before the first bar and after the last bar)  

signal barcode readers when to start and stop decoding.

● GS1 Prefix (i.e. the first 3 digits of barcodes) 

assigned by the GS1 member organisation that allocated the barcode number. GS1 barcodes can only be issued by GS1 Hong Kong in Hong Kong, and start with “489”.

● GS1 Company Number and Item Reference  

- Companies with less than 1,000 trade items: assigned a 6-digit GS1 Company Number

- Companies with 1,001 - 10,000 trade items: assigned a 5-digit GS1 Company Number

- Companies with more than 10,000 trade items: assigned a 4-digit GS1 Company Number

● Check digit  

Ensure the data integrity of barcode number, so the barcodes can be scanned and data can be captured accurately.



When Do You Need to Assign a New GS1 489 Barcode to a Product?

A unique product barcode must be assigned when launching new products. Additionally, you need to assign a new GS1 “489” product barcode to existing products in the following situations:

1. Change in Ingredients/ Components

If there is a change in the ingredients or formulation, a new “489” product barcode is required. For example, if a product’s sugar content is reduced by about 50%, and became a “low-sugar” food, another product barcode is needed.

2. Change in Dimensional or Net Content

Any changes (increase or decrease) on the dimensions of a trade item or the weight, volume, or quantity, a new “489” product barcode needs to be assigned. For example, if the product packaging material is changed from a transparent plastic bottle to glass bottle, resulting in a 20% increase in weight, or if the net weight of a packet of biscuits increases from 600 grams to 690 grams, or if a toothbrush pack quantity reduces from 6 to 5.

Any changes on the dimensions of a trade item or the weight, volume, or quantity, a new 489 product barcode needs to be assigned.


3. Same Style but in Different Colors/Sizes

If a clothing item of the same style is produced in different sizes and colors, each variation in style, color, or size is considered a different product. Therefore, a different GS1 489 product barcode is required.

For clothing of the same style, if the color or size is different, it requires a new GS1 489 product barcode to be assigned.


4. Change in Packaging for a Promotional Product

If there’s change in product packaging in seasonal events such as special holiday promotions, or limited-time offers,  such as featuring a Christmas tree design, adding promotional messages, or with complimentary items, a new product barcode must be assigned.

If there is a change in product packaging during seasonal events or promotion, a new GS1 489 product barcode needs to be assigned for the item.


5. Change in the Printed Product Price on Packaging

If a brand prints the product’s price on the packaging and the printed price changes, a new product barcode is needed for the product. Therefore, it is not recommended to print the retail price directly on the packaging.

If a brand prints the product’s price on the packaging and the printed price changes, the brand needs to assign a new product barcode for the new item.


For inquiries about the application and allocation of GS1 Hong Kong 489 barcodes, please contact us. In addition, we also offer FREE barcode & digital workshops, barcode symbol testing & membership enquiry services.

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Are Barcodes only Required on Products? Which industries also need to apply for GS1 Barcode? 

Regardless of where the products were manufactured or sold,  brand owners selling product shall get barcodes from GS1. Therefore, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and even  wholesalers who redesign and repackage imported products can all contact us to get a GS1 product barcode with product prefix “489”.

GS1 offers various GS1 barcodes powered by GS1 Standards. In addition to GS1 barcodes widely used on products, different industries can also apply GS1 barcodes for unique identification of products & logistics, which can be used in retail stores and supply chains to enhance logistics efficiency & supply chain traceability, or even to meet regulatory requirements.

GS1 barcodes used by various industries:

1. Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)

GS1 Product barcodes facilitate the accurate identification of products, so product price & information can be accurately captured by barcode scanner & retial POS system for inventory & sales management. Major global e-commerce platforms also require merchants to provide GS1 barcodes (GTIN, Global Trade Item Number) when listing products to effectively manage products and enhance consumers’ shopping experience. 

2. Food & Food Services 

GS1 2D barcodes can be used for food management. For example, GS1 DataMatrix can store product batch numbers, expiration dates, weights, and other relevant information. In the event of a food safety incident, manufacturers can leverage the barcode for food recalls.

3. Healthcare

The GS1 barcode (GS1 2D barcode) can store information about an item's batch number and expiry date. Utilizing the GS1 2D barcode can ensure patient safety by identifying and capturing data on medicine, medical devices, vaccines etc.

4. Transport & Logistics

GS1 barcodes (GS1-128 and ITF-14) powered by SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code) can be used for identifying logistics unit to track product & information flow.  This empowers businesses to obtain visibility of product information at every location, including the point of production, sales points, return points, and any other relevant locations.



3 Steps to Get a GS1 Barcode for Your product 

GS1 Hong Kong is the only official organization authorized to issue GS1 489 barcodes. You can complete barcode application in simply 3 steps and get a unique, globally recognised barcode for your products. 

Step1. Apply for GS1 HK Membership to Get 489 Product Barcodes 

After applying for GS1 HK Full membership, you will be assigned a GS1 Barcode starting with prefix “489” and a GS1 company number by GS1 Hong Kong for barcode allocation.

    Sign Up    

Step2. Assign GS1 489 Product Barcode with BarcodePlus 

We offer BarcodePlus platform  for product information management & barcode allocation. You can also generate a QR code powered by GS1 Standards for FREE (1QR) on the platform for FREE, offering diversified product information to consumers with a simple scan.

Step3. Apply GS1 Barcodes to Your Products

Before printing GS1 489 barcode on products, it is recommended to provide the printed barcodes to us for barcode symbol testing and verification to ensure GS1 barcodes can be scanned accurately at retail stores.  


GS1 Barcode Frequently Asked Questions

Why do brand owners need to apply for barcode starting with the prefix 489 for the Hong Kong region?

Hong Kong brands and products have always been known for their quality and safety. Product barcodes starting with the prefix "489" are issued by GS1 Hong Kong, indicating products are handled & managed by companies registered in Hong Kong. This in turn helps build consumer confidence both locally and overseas and enhances the brand image of the companies.

Can different products have the same GS1 489 product barcode?

No, they cannot. Each GS1 barcode is unique and cannot be duplicated. Even for the same style of sneakers, if the shoe size or color differs, they are considered as different products and each will be assigned with different GS1 product barcodes.

This is also why it is necessary for companies to apply for GS1 489 barcodes only from GS1 Hong Kong, as unauthorized barcodes issued by non-GS1 organisations can be expired, transferred, counterfeited or even duplicated with other products in the market. This may result in a lawsuit or even financial losses. 

Is it only products manufactured in Hong Kong can apply for GS1 product barcodes starting with "489"?

No. GS1 prefix only indicates which GS1 member organization issued that barcode. GS1 Hong Kong is the only authorized to issue GS1 barcodes starting with the 489 prefix in Hong Kong. Therefore, regardless of where the products are manufactured, as long as you have a registered company in Hong Kong, you can become a GS1 HK member and get a GS1 489 barcode for your products.

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