GS1 Barcodes in Ukraine


GS1 System is officially recognised in the Ukrainian legislation and several regulatory acts contain direct references to the GS1 Standards. Existing regulations in Ukraine never replace or substitute the original GS1 standards.

GS1 Barcodes are obligatory by the Ukrainian legislation for several product categories such as:

•    Alcohol and Tobacco
•    Copies of Audio and Video phonograms
•    Medicines

Market practice

Generally, most of Ukrainian retailers require GS1 Barcodes on all the products supplied, on a consumer package level as well as on a standard groping level (cases). The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) in the barcode should be legal and valid and the Barcode print quality should in-line with the requirements of GS1 General Specifications.

Barcode print quality

Few years ago Ukrainian retailers were rather tolerant towards the quality bar codes on products. Their main requirements were the correct product identification and ability of a bar code to be scanned.

Now, however, several leading retailers pay very close attention to improvement of their POS performance and put under strict requirements for quality of barcode on the goods supplied.

Thus, if the bar code on product can be read, but for example is smaller or truncated by height – it is very likely that retailer will not accept such a product.

Global Location Numbers

A prerequisite for efficient electronic business communication is the unique identification of partners and locations by unique Global Location Numbers. GLNs are commonly used in Ukraine in Electronic Data Interchange between  the retailers and their suppliers, and also in existing Data Synchronisation initiatives.

That’s means in most cases supplier is expected to have the valid GLN if signinng the contract with the retail chain.

Even before the broad introduction of EDI to the market GS1 Ukraine ensured the readiness of Ukrainian companies by assigning the GLN to each new member joining the Association. Today, for thousands of Ukrainian companies the GLNs in electronic commercial documents are as usual as the bar code on their products.


Сurrent Ukraine’s legislation provides for the mandatory identification of secondary packaging of medicines by EAN-13 bar codes with the valid Global Trade Item Numbers assigned in due course according to the applicable GS1 rules.

In 2012, Ukrainian State Inspectorate for Quality Control of Medicines launched the national system of medicines tracking from the manufacturer to the end user. Mandatory labelling of medicines by GS1 DataMatrix 2D-codes, that will encode item’s Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) as well as batch or lot number, expiration dates and unique serial numbers, is expected in Ukraine in two or three years.