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By: Nghiinomenwa Erastus

By January next year, Namibian products can be traced back to Namibia than to South Africa, as the country received its own GS1 license to have its own barcode.

The ministry of trade and industry together with its stakeholders announced yesterday.

Currently, the Namibian made/manufactured goods carry the country flag but in terms of traceability, it goes to South Africa and other destinations where the barcodes originate from.

This is because Namibian products have had to obtain barcodes from South Africa and other jurisdictions

A barcode is a unique code of numbers that identify and track a product- from production, to ordering and delivering, to selling the product.

It simplifies the supply chain process.

They are used in retail stores as part of the purchase process, in warehouses to track inventory and in invoices to assist in accounting among others.

According to trade minister Lucia Iipumbu, In May 2021, the GS1 Global Office General Assembly in Geneva gave the Namibian Barcode Centre final approval.

This made Namibia an independent GSI member, getting out of South Africa.

The approval led towards the establishment of GS1 Namibia Centre as the country acquired its license.

The country’s unique code is 631.

“This means that producers can now obtain a Namibian barcode with its own unique number configuration,” announced Iipumbu.

This is after 242 businesses that signed the call for support for the establishment of a GS1 Barcode centre in Namibia.

Iipumbu highlighted the signature and support of business was a crucial requirement that the country had to comply with.

The Namibia Barcode Centre was set up to facilitate the process of having Namibia as a recognised GS1 member organisation with a unique Namibian barcode for our goods.

According to Iipumbu, the centre will provide support in developing recognized, professional, finished products and encourage local manufacturers to sell their products inside and outside the local market.

GS1 Namibia will carry on the administration, facilitation and allocation of barcodes as the official GS1 centre in Namibia.

A barcode is also a minimum requirement to have your product on retailers’ shelves.

The trade head explained that the GS1 License allows for better access for local produced goods to be shelved in local retails.

She also added that it will ease the implementation of a national campaign on “Buy Local and Grow Namibia” with a potential impact of improved domestic trade.

Inevitably it also improves access of such products to the market as well as ensuring easier traceability and standards for our products, Iipumbu added.

The cost of one barcode is N$259 if the manufacture has one type of product in three different sizes/flavours/types they are required to have three different bar codes which cost N$777.

One has to complete an application accompanied by the company registration and proof of payment then wait a maximum of two days for their code.

For those having different jurisdiction barcodes, such as the South African one, a transition period will be discussed GS1 Global and GS1 South African and their Namibia counterpart and communicate jointly to the public. Email:




Julia Heita

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