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Ningbo establishes standards for 2D barcodes on imported food

Updated: Apr 17, 2024 Print
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Ningbo in Zhejiang province launched standards for the application of two-dimensional barcodes for imported food on April 15, which set the stage for robust technical support and standardized procedures in traceability efforts for imported food products.

The "Global Migration to 2D Codes (GM2D)" initiative was spearheaded by GS1, an international nonprofit organization that assigns unique numbers for barcodes on products. It aims to transition global product coding from traditional one-dimensional barcodes to 2D barcodes by 2027.

This transition promises to revolutionize data connectivity across industries, providing consumers and businesses with enhanced services. For imported goods, this shift essentially equates to endowing them with a "second-generation ID card," profoundly impacting global trade dynamics.

Zhejiang was designated as the global pilot area for GM2D by GS1 in 2022. Ningbo became one of the first cities in Zhejiang to implement GM2D for imported goods. By revamping the coding system and enhancing traceability platforms, Ningbo has streamlined functions such as information aggregation, anti-counterfeiting measures, and transaction settlements.

The city has encoded over 91 million imported products across 441 varieties, including milk powder, wine, cosmetics, and maternal and child products.

Building on the experience, Ningbo issued standards for the application of 2D barcodes in the traceability system for imported food. It delineates typical application scenarios for 2D barcodes in both general trade and cross-border trade, defining information such as subjects, objects, time, and location that each party involved in the traceability chain needs to collect. Thirty-six imported goods enterprises in Ningbo have already adopted the standard.

As one of the enterprises that drafted the standard, Ningbo Baimagaolu International Trade Co Ltd has taken the lead in implementing it. The company has applied 2D barcodes to its first batch of imported wines, tracing the entire process from labeling at the French winery to encoding for domestic importers and scanning by consumers.

An official from the Ningbo Market Supervision Administration stated that the implementation of the standards well help enhance the safety of imported food and promote the comprehensive supervision of imported food throughout the entire chain.

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