ITF-14 Barcode Carton Marking

Master cartons and logistics shelves should be identified using a GTIN-14. Since these cartons lack a UPC barcode symbol, point-of-sale scanners do not normally read them. ITF-14 barcodes are used to encode GTIN-14 data. The four items below make up the GTIN-14 data structure:

  • Indicator – The level of packaging for a specific carton is indicated by this digit and can be a number between 0 and 8.
  • GS1 Company Prefix - Vendors must have UPC (GTINs) with a GS1 Company Prefix that uniquely identifies their company.  Depending on the number of items a company needs to identify, a GS1 Company Prefix may be 7 to 10 digits in length. To obtain GS1 UPC barcodes, please visit
  • Item Reference – References the same product number used for the item level GTIN (GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13) when a carton is made up of the same item.  For cartons that contain an assortment of items, a new product number is assigned.
  • Check Digit - The last digit of GTIN-14 is a calculated check digit. Using a MOD10 check digit algorithm, the calculated check digit prevents substitution errors. An online check-digit calculator is available at

Making a GTIN-14 barcode for a carton with identical products

If the items within a carton have different product numbers (i.e. mixed pack), the Packaging Indicator should be a "0" and a brand new unique Product Number must be used to represent this unique assortment.

ITF-14 Barcode Symbol

The ITF-14 barcode is the most common data carrier used for the GTIN-14 data structure in retail organizations. ITF-14 is a 14-digit bar code that uses the "Interleaved 2 of 5" symbology (I2of5 or ITF).  The GTIN-14 data can also be conveyed in other GS1 barcode data carriers, such as a GS1-128 barcode.

Bearer bars, which are surrounding bars that shield the barcode picture, are included in ITF-14 barcode symbols. The ITF-14 must be enclosed by carrier bars if it is printed directly on a corrugated carton. The only carrier bars required for ITF-14 barcode symbols printed on labels are those that are horizontal and run along the top and bottom. The following illustration displays example images and the minimum sizing for each scenario.

The x-dimension and the wide-to-narrow ratio are the two factors that determine the width of an ITF-14 barcode symbol. The minimum x-dimension changes depending on how the ITF-14 is printed, as shown in the image above. The wide-to-narrow ratio, which measures the proportion of broad to narrow parts, is the other size aspect of an ITF-14.The wide-to-narrow ratio is held constant and should always be between 2.25:1 to 3:1.

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