GS1 Databar

GS1 DataBar (formerly known as RSS or Reduced Space Symbology) is a bar code symbology that was formally adopted by the global supply chain in January 2011. The GS1 DataBar can carry all 14 digits of a manufacture’s GTIN and is more than 50% smaller than the currently used UPC and EAN symbols. This makes it particularly useful for identifying small/hard-to-mark items such as produce and pharmaceutical items. Additionally, the GS1 DataBar symbol can carry GS1 Application Identifiers which allow additional information such as serial numbers, lot numbers, and expiration dates to be encoded.

The greater dimensional efficiency combined with the ability to encode additional data opens the doors for creating trade solutions that greater support product identification, traceability, quality control, and more flexible coding for coupon applications.


  • Databar bar code symbols can encode all 14 digits of a GTIN-14 where UPC & EAN can not.
  • The Databar symbol is over 50% smaller than EAN/UPC so it can be used for smaller or hard to mark items.
  • Databar bar codes are not going to replace EAN/UPC symbols. Product manufacturers can decide the language they wish to use based on package design.
  • Databar symbols and GS1 Application Identifiers enable POS scanners to autodiscriminate between the various GS1 barcode languages.
  • Adoption of the Databar symbology has been critical in addressing enhanced coupon coding requirements.


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