EghtesadOnline: A database on 3.5 million Iranian goods is accessible on Irancode.ir. Using this database, goods can be traced along the entire supply chain, according to the head of GS1 Iran (also known as Irancode or the Iranian National Products and Services Classification and Codification Center).
The center is affiliated with the Institute for Trade Studies and Research—a subsidiary of the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade.
“We started collecting the data and creating Irancodes for goods produced in the country in the fiscal 2006-7 and today we have arrived at the 3.5 million mark. All these items have GS1 codes as well. Yet, this is an ongoing process and there’s no stopping to what we do,” Hossein Paryab also told Financial Tribune.
Coding systems for products, the official explained, help with efficient management of the supply chain by first and foremost informing what is available, Financial Tribune reported.
"Then we can manage and regulate the trade of goods and ease commercial processes by creating a unified system of standards," he added.
GS1 Iran is entrusted with the task of collecting reference and master data on domestic products as well as imported ones in the form of Irancodes and GS1 codes.
The former is a national database while the latter is an international one. These two codes are different in structure and format.
“Reference data are the ones provided by producers of goods. For example, the make of a refrigerator and its model are reference data while what it is made of and its size are considered master data.”
Paryab said Irancode became a member organization of GS1 in the fiscal 1995-6 and is working in close collaboration with this international not-for-profit organization ever since.
Adopting the codes defined by GS1, the best known of which is the barcode, is among prerequisites for Iran to be able to join the World Trade Organization.
GS1 was founded in 1974 with the aim of creating a common language to develop and maintain standards for business communication, ones which would be recognized across the globe.
In defining its standards, Paryab added, GS1 cooperates with the United Nations, the International Organization for Standardization, World Customs Organization and WTO.
Supply chain standards save time and money by reducing administration and slashing paperwork. Largely unseen, yet tremendously important, GS1 standards ensure key processes run smoothly in some of the world’s biggest businesses such as retail, healthcare, transportation and logistics and foodservice, GS1 wrote on its website.
Paryab said GS1 currently has around 150 member organizations that have uploaded data on some 90 million goods on GS1 Cloud.
“Some countries have several member organizations. Iran has only one. Producers and traders pay a small amount for an annual membership, which they renew on an even lesser fee every year. They also need to pay an insignificant amount for acquiring an Irancode or GS1 code for each new product,” he said.
GS1 Iran has 45 representatives across the country, through which businesspeople can request codes for their products.
“These codes help identify Iranian products in the national and international markets. Also, the authenticity of imported products can be determined in this way.”
According to the official, having an Irancode is essential for domestic products to get the standard seal.