Getting started with GS1 Standards

Your guide to start trading

Now you are a member, we would like to make sure you have all the information you need to successfully barcode your products and start trading. 

Our short guide Key Steps to Barcode Implementation will take you through the steps involved in identifying your products, creating barcodes and ultimately getting you ready to trade quickly and efficiently.

Calculate your Check Digit

The Check Digit ensures that your numbers are correct.

All Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Global Location Numbers (GLNs) and GS1 Identification Keys (GS1 ID Keys) end with a computer-generated check digit.

To calculate your check digit:

Option 1: Access the Check Digit Calculator Online

Option 2: Download the Check Digit Calculator Spreadsheet

Other Product Codes

Variable Product Codes

Variable Product Codes are for products that vary in weight or size, for example – meat or cheese or length of carpet.  These products do not have a fixed price, so they need a different barcode.

To obtain your Variable Product Code


Universal Product Codes (UPC)

UPCs (or GTIN-12s) are still in use across North America and your trading partner may sometimes request that you use these when you export to North America, instead of the standard GTIN-13s that is used globally today.

We can supply you with a prefix for a range of GTIN-12s and you can choose a prefix that allows you to create a range of 1,000; 10,000 or 100,000 numbers.

To apply for a UPC prefix, please complete the Application Form for UPC Code and return it to GS1 Mauritius Secretariat together with an Administration fee of Rs 150. Once your application is approved, you will receive your UPC Code after effecting a payment of $150.

Application for UPC Code

Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC)

The SSCC is used by companies to identify a logistics unit, for example a case, pallet or parcel.  The SSCC is a crucial key for traceability since it uniquely identifies each distributed logistics unit and content. 

Discover how SSCC works.

GS1 Identification Keys

Need to barcode your products, identify your documents, physical locations, logistics units, pallets, assets, services and more?

It is possible with GS1 Standards and its 11 GS1 ID Keys.  Read more

To build a GS1 ID Key, you must become a member of GS1 Mauritius. Join Now!

GTIN Allocation Rules

Global Trade Item Numbers, commonly known as barcodes are used to identify products – anything that you can price, order and sell. 

A new product will always require a new GTIN.  Also, a new GTIN needs to be allocated when there are changes in the product, for example if the ingredients have changed significantly, or if there is a change in product size or colour.

There is a specific set of allocation rules and practices that applies to retail – and it is important to follow them.  If you do not, this can cost you money and even harm your customers.

The rules are important and easy to follow.  Take a look by visiting GTIN Allocation Rules or by using the Decision-Support Tool, a ''decision-tree'' process makes it easier for anyone to make clear decisions on allocating barcodes when product changes.

GLN Allocation Rules

Global Locations Numbers are unique numbers assigned to any legal, physical and functional locations to enable them to be identified uniquely worldwide. GS1 Barcodes and GLNs are the first steps towards providing product traceability solutions, which are at the forefront of industry.  

For more information, please visit GLN Allocation Rules

GS1 Symbols

Have you ever wondered which barcode symbol you require for your product? How is it different from the one used on your pallets?  Is there any difference between GS1 QR Code and GS1 DataMatrix?

GS1 manages several types of barcodes.  Each is designed for use in a different situation.

Learn more about GS1 Barcodes and symbols

GS1 General Specifications

The GS1 General Specifications is the core standards document of the GS1 System describing how GS1 barcodes and identification keys should be used.