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Home > Barcode Properties > GS1 AI (Application Identifier) and Element String Specifications

GS1 AI (Application Identifier) & Element String Specifications

The GS1 Application Identifier (AI) appears after the Function Code 1 (FNC1) in Code 128, Data Matrix or DataBar Expanded barcodes to encode certain types of information. Multiple AIs may be encoded in DataBar Expanded barcodes for use in POS systems, which replace UPC and EAN symbols in the same space or less. This allows serial numbers, sell-by dates and other information to be easily verified at the point of sale. Encoding examples are available for Code 128, DataBar Expanded and Data Matrix ECC200 barcodes.

When generating GS-1 Symbols, the following rules apply:

  • The AI is defined by the digits after the FNC1 character, which must be the first character in a GS-1 barcode. Within all IDAutomation products, placing parentheses around the AI automatically encodes the FNC1 character.
  • The element string is the combination of the AI and its data field.
  • Multiple fixed length element strings may be included in a single barcode symbol without additional FNC1 characters, if variable length element strings (such as those with AIs 10, 21 or 92 as defined below) are included last. This is because the reading device understands the length of each fixed length element string.
  • If additional element strings are encoded after a variable length element string, an additional FNC1 is required between them to define the end of the previous variable length element string.
  • When encoding Data Matrix and DataBar barcode symbols, MOD10 check digits are not usually included in fixed length element strings.
  • The FNC1 character is included in DataBar automatically and is encoded in DataBar Expanded with parentheses.
  • A MOD10 check digit is required for some element strings. This check digit is not always encoded within the barcode. Usually, Code 128 barcodes require the MOD10 to be encoded while DataBar and Data Matrix do not.

The following chart provides examples of common GS1 element strings as defined by the GS1 Application Identifier Specification (v13 2013) and should be verified by a GS1 Member Organization before implementation.



Data Field Format (Fixed or Variable)

SSCC-18 00 18 numbers: 17 digits + MOD10 check digit
GTIN-14 01 14 numbers: 13 digits + MOD10 check digit
GTIN-14 of contained items 02 14 numbers: 13 digits + MOD10 check digit
Batch or Lot Number 10 Variable, up to 20 digits
Production Date 11 6 numbers: YYMMDD
Packaging Date 13 6 numbers: YYMMDD
Sell By Date 15 6 numbers: YYMMDD
Expiration Date 17 6 numbers: YYMMDD
Serial Number 21 Variable, up to 20 digits
Count of items 30 Variable, up to 6 numbers
USPS 91 20 numbers: 19 digits + MOD10 check digit
USPS Delivery Confirmation Service
Intra Company Internal 92-98 Variable, alpha numeric internal use data up to 30 characters
USPS 99 USPS Intelligent Mail Container Barcode
Global Coupon 255 12 digits + MOD10 check digit
Ship to 410 13 numbers: 12 digits + MOD10 check digit
Ship to 420 Variable, up to 20 digits
Origin 422 3 digit ISO country code
Net Weight in Kilograms 3103 6 numbers: AI is 310(n), where (n) indicates the decimal position
Net Weight in Pounds 3202 6 numbers: AI is 320(n), where (n) indicates the decimal position
Price 3922 Variable, up to 15 numbers: AI is 392(n), where (n) indicates the decimal position
Price in ISO Currency 3932 Variable, up to 15 numbers: AI is 393(n), where (n) indicates the decimal position
GIAI 8004 Global Individual Asset Identifier, often used in DOD UID Labels.
Coupon Extended Code 8100 6 numbers
USA Coupons Codes 8110 The DataBar Coupon Symbol consists of the company prefix, offer code and other data as defined by the Joint Industry Coupon Committee and GS1.

Element String Examples:

Element String

01 10614141543219
Data To Encode: (01)10614141543219
GS1 Element String GTIN Image

Element String Variable Element String
AI GTIN Field AI Date Field
01 23456789012345 15 171231
Data To Encode: (01)345678901234515171231

GS1 Variable Element String Barcode Image
GS1 Data Matrix symbol encoding multiple element strings with a single FNC1 function

Variable Element String Variable Element String
AI Batch Field AI Serial Number Field
10 3456789 21 3456789012
Data To Encode: (10)3456789(21)3456789012
Multiple GS1 Variable Elements Barcode Image
 (10)3456789 (21)3456789012
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