Using bar codes or QR codes in ecommerce sales

GS1 is an international organisation which regulates the awarding of bar codes and QR codes.

The South African branch of GS1 is hosted by the Consumer Goods Council. Any product manufacturer wanting to put a bar code or QR code on their products needs to approach GS1. There is a small fee, but the manufacturer/seller can be assured that the bar or QR code is genuine. Beware – there are fraudsters who may try to sell you false bar/QR codes which will not be accepted by retailers. These fraudsters are often involved with counterfeit goods.

Counterfeit goods have been pinpointed by both US and EU governments as the source of significant harm to American and European consumers and businesses. Since many counterfeiters exploit ecommerce to enter the US and EU markets, the public and private sectors have identified, developed and implemented best practices to reduce this type of online fraud.

A new report by the National Intellectual Property Rights Centre highlights the marketplace responses to these best practices, which involve improving data collection, sharing and analytics to screen sellers better, identifying fraudulent products, and investigating criminal activity. If you are selling to Europe or North America and want to put a bar or QR code on your products contact GS1.

Useful resources:
Ecommerce Forum South Africa
It is the goal of the EFSA to increase awareness, confidence and capability of the ecommerce industry in Africa.
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