Instructions for samples

When you make a booking for quality assurance of product information, dimensions or barcode, you will be told what type of sample to send us. The type of sample you submit depends on the type of quality assurance you are doing.

Quality assurance of product information – digital sample

In quality assurance of product information, we check that the values filled in the item information match what is on the packaging.

In order to make this comparison, we need a document showing how the packaging is labelled. It can be a print original or artwork showing the entire design and text of the packaging, or a photo of a label. We only accept digital documents that you upload with your booking.

Note: The documentation must show all the labelings of the product. Please note that you may need several files to view all pages of the product.

It is not allowed to upload a product specification in the form of, for example, a word file with information about the product, as we need to see the real layout of the label or packaging. In fact, many of our quality assurance rules are based on the largest font size or what is on the front of the product.

Photos need to be sharp and clear so that we can enlarge and read even small texts and markings. If in doubt, upload an extra file.

Important that GTIN is shown

In order for us to ensure that you have uploaded the right document for the right product, one of the images needs to show the product barcode so that we can see the GTIN. If the product does not have a barcode, you will need to mark the product with a GTIN in some way, for example by handwriting a GTIN on the substrate before taking a photo or by making it clear in the file name of the uploaded documents.

Unmarked base level

An unlabelled base level with its own GTIN, such as bake-off, where the information is indicated on the intermediate level/outer packaging, artwork/photo of the orderable item should be submitted as a basis for the base level. Note that the GTIN from the intermediate level should not appear in the base. However, the GTIN of the base must be indicated either by handwriting it or by making it clear in the file name.

Outer packaging and multipack

If the product is an outer package or a multipack, it also needs to state how many products are in the package, e.g. 6 x 250ml. If this information is missing from the packaging or label, you will need to mark the substrate with this information, for example by handwriting it.

If the outer packaging or multipack has any marking such as “Limited Quantity Symbol” or “UN number”, this must be indicated on the document submitted to us.

Quality assurance of dimensions

There are two ways to do a quality assurance of dimensions – with or without a physical sample.

Quality assurance of dimensions without samples

If you have previously quality assured a similar package, no sample is needed for us to quality assure. The system will give you suggestions for packages that look similar according to the item information. Once you have confirmed that the package is identical, an automatic check is made to ensure that the values entered match and you receive an approved result for the quality assurance of dimensions.

If the system does not offer a suggestion for similar packaging, you will need to submit a physical sample for verification.

Tip: For example, if you have several identical packagings but with different flavours, you can start by sending a physical sample of one of the flavours. Once you have achieved the approved status of the submitted sample, you can then quality assure the remaining packages via the sampling anchor.

Quality assurance of dimensions with a physical sample

If a proposal does not come up in the corpus call, you need to send us a package as a basis for quality assurance. It can be a consumer pack, a multipack (for example, a 6-pack of soft drinks cans) or an outer packaging (for example, a carton).

The packaging must have correct and representative measurements as we compare it to your filled in values in the item information. For example, if you have a bag of sweets, the bag must contain the right amount of sweets when it arrives at our premises, otherwise the measurements will be wrong when we measure a flat bag. However, if the product is a hard box of chocolate pralines, the pralines do not need to be included as it does not affect the dimensions of the box. We do not weigh the samples, so the weight does not have to be correct.

If the sample does not have a label on it, you must indicate how the text will appear on the finished product. This is so that we can determine the height of the product. Since the height is judged by the front of the product where the text such as brand, product name, etc. should be readable from left to right, this information must be clearly visible.

If the outer packaging is a return from Svenska Retursystem (SRS-back), you do not need to send it in for measurement. The check of dimensions is done automatically.

Variable measure

If you send in a variable-size item, such as a piece of cheese, where the price varies with the weight, the measurements are not checked, they are excluded. The submitted sample does not have to have dimensions that match the article information. You will still need to send us a sample of the trade item so that we can check that the type of packaging (e.g. shrink wrap) is correctly specified.

Quality assurance of barcodes

Barcodes on consumer packaging

When checking barcodes, we need a physical barcode to scan. If you have the finished product available, the easiest way is to send it to us for review.

The package may be empty. You can also cut out the barcode and send it to us by post.

Barcodes on outer packaging

For outer packaging, we also need a physical barcode to scan. Often the barcode is on a label which is in turn stuck to a cardboard box, backing or shrink-wrap.

The barcode needs to be on the correct substrate to give an accurate reading. For example, if the barcode is printed on a label which is in turn on a corrugated cardboard box, the label needs to be put on the corrugated cardboard and sent to us. The same if the label is stuck on a shrink film. For SRS trays, send in a loose label. Think about how you pack it, so that it doesn’t crease or become lumpy during transport.

If the barcode is printed or printed directly on a corrugated cardboard box, send in that part of the box or the whole box. You don’t need to send us a whole package of content, it’s just the barcode that needs to be quality assured.

If you have the finished package but not the final contents available and the legibility of the barcode is affected by the contents of the package, you can fill it with something else that is representative of the finished product.

Send in the real barcode

Since the quality of the real barcode is what will make it work throughout the logistics flow, it is important that the barcode you submit for quality assurance is printed in the same way and on the same substrate as it will be when the product is shipped to the recipient. If you send in a barcode for quality assurance that gets an approved result and it turns out when the recipient tries to scan the barcode that it is not readable at all, because the barcode was not a real barcode but only a temporary solution, this can have major financial and logistical consequences both for the recipient and for you as a supplier.

Barcodes on pallet

The pallet label is sent printed and does not need to be attached to any specific substrate. Quality assurance is carried out in the same way and according to the same rules as barcodes on outer packaging.

Things to consider when sending the sample

It is important that the products come to us in good condition. If the product has been crushed during transportation, the dimensions may not match what is stated in the trade item information. So pack your samples properly. If the package does not have a barcode, you also need to label it with the GTIN stated in the trade item information.

In order for us to match the sample with its trade item information, it is important that the packing slip you receive in the order process is printed and sent with the sample. If the delivery note is missing or does not match the sample, it may take longer before quality assurance can begin.

Also keep in mind that:

  • Send the sample with delivery to the GS1 Sweden Quality Assurance gateway, for example by business parcel or courier. We are not able to pick up parcels at a drop-off point.
  • Refrigerated goods should be transported by temperature-controlled transport if there is a risk that dimensions will change during transport, or that the packaging will otherwise be destroyed.
  • For quality assurance of pharmaceutical products, it is important that you send us empty packages. We only accept pharmaceutical packaging and medical devices that are empty.

Returning samples

If you want your sample to be returned, you need to send us a return waybill or write on the sample that you want to pick it up when the quality assurance is done. Unfortunately, we cannot return refrigerated goods because the quality control is carried out at room temperature and we cannot guarantee an unbroken cold chain.

Note! Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products must always be returned and the supplier is responsible for ensuring that a prepaid return slip is attached. You do not need a return slip if you have sent us an empty bottle.

If, despite the above, you do not enclose a prepaid return shipping label or if you do not collect the sample after quality assurance or photography has been completed, we are entitled to destroy the sample at your responsibility and expense.

However, we will only do this if you have not sent us a prepaid return shipping label or collected the sample within 7 days after a reminder from us. We destroy the sample following applicable environmental legislation.

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