India brings in tertiary packaging barcodes for exported drugs

Barcode and stopwatchIndia has implemented its mandatory barcoding scheme for tertiary packaging of exported pharmaceutical shipments, in accordance with plans first unveiled in June 2011.

A circular issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade on October 25 confirms that exporters of medicines will have to add a 1D barcode to shipper or cartons of pharmaceuticals manufactured on or after October 1, 2011, encoding a unique product identification code (GTIN), batch number, expiry date and a unique serial number for the tertiary pack.

The 1D barcode is in addition to any existing statutory marking and labelling requirements, and data encoded in the barcodes must also be printed in human-readable form.

The revised timetable for implementation of India's traceability scheme for exported medicines includes two other key dates in the coming months, namely a deadline of 1 January 2012 for adding serialised codes to secondary packaging (2D or 1D code) and 1 July 2012 for primary packaging (2D datamatrix).

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