Problem of unauthorised Use of Barcodes

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

Expired barcodes:

Former GS1 members continuing to use company prefixes issued by the GS1 organisation as GTIN;

Barcode transfer:

GS1 members either selling or transferring their company prefixes to other companies or organisations as GTIN;

Counterfeit GS1 barcodes:

 Any companies or organisations using GS1 prefixes not issued and registered by GS1, counterfeit GS1 prefixes or GS1 prefixes owned by other GS1 members;

Unauthorised GS1 barcodes:  

Non-GS1 organisations issuing GS1 company prefixes to any companies or organisations.

Potential Risk:

You may suffer losses by using unauthorized barcode if you need to re-label or repackage your products, or if your products are rejected by your retail customer and may result in:

  1. A lawsuit 
  2. Product cannot be sold in the market because of duplicated number 
  3. Brand image and reputation loss 
  4. Cannot be listed on e-commerce platforms 


GS1 Hong Kong has joined forces with over 110 GS1 offices around the globe together with major sellers and buyers from Hong Kong and overseas to combat “Unauthorised Uses of Barcodes”. To this end, we have been collecting barcodes on trade items for verification on a regular basis from mid-February 2010 onwards.

Any of the above-mentioned acts are prohibited. In addition, the Chinese Central Government has announced The Measures for the Administration of Commodity Barcode. Any parties who fail to observe the legitimacy of barcode usage will be prosecuted and fined.

For enquiries regarding the “Unauthorised Uses of Barcodes”, please contact us at +852 2863 9701 or


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