Myanmar Exports Seek Their Own, Unique, Identifying Barcode in the Vast World of Retail Products

Companies wish­ing to export their products will be­gin applying to Belgium-based global barcode as­sociation, GS1, for their country specific bar code by the end of the year.

With the assistance of the Myanmar Barcode Association, companies with international ambi­tions are applying for this unique, but universally recognized barcode, to identify their product as “Made in Myanmar” in the international market­place.

“Registration at Bel­gium’s GS1 will begin next year. Thai companies are providing technical support and industry insight while the Myanmar Bar­code Association is assiting local companies in­stall the barcode on their products.” U Zaw Min Win, chairman of Myanmar Industries Associa­tion, said.

For years, Myanmar products have faced prob­lems overseas when be­ing digitally scanned in markets, malls, and retail shops.

A list of 40 small-scale export products was sub­mitted to GS1 unsuccess­fully last year. Large scale companies however, have the financial resources to apply for and install international bar codes, U Htain Lin Oo, Manag­ing Partner of Myanmar Trademark & Patent Law Firm, told Myanmar Busi­ness Today.

“Shwe Pyi Nann, a tra­ditional cosmetic com­pany which produces Thanakha, was one of the first companies to ap­ply for an internationally recognized barcode. The company faced problems in Thai shopping malls because Myanmar bar­codes were not recognized throughout the retail sup­ply chain,” U Htein Lin Oo, said.

Each product in the in­ternational retail market features a 13 digit-bar­code on the back of the products issued by global barcode organization, GS1. The first 3 digits re­fer to which country the product hails from.

The international bar­codes system is adminis­tered by the GS1 to ensure that each number corresponds to only one prod­uct.

When products weren’t being recognized and couldn’t be indentified, an association to handle the barcode misidentification arose. They went by the name, Myanmar Barcode Association, and took up the task of fighting for the faceless. It has grown to represent Myanmar com­panies in their battle to be recognized abroad. For Myanmar products and companies both large and small-scale.

A UMFCCI meeting with the Myanmar Barcode As­sociation to discuss the challenges and options for application will take place on August 9.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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