ITF14 is one of the most popular linear 14 digits barcode symbology that is used to mark the external containers of products with an EAN identifier. ITF14 barcodes usually contain a top and bottom bar (sometimes rectangle) called the Bearers bar. The purpose of the Bearers bar is to make sure that the barcode is read completely.
ITF-14 is the GS1 implementation of an Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode to encode Global Trade Item Number. ITF-14 symbols are generally used on packaging levels of a product. The ITF-14 will always encode 14 digits.
ITF14 barcodes are used to identify outer cartons or packs of saleable items that are specified by major retailers and wholesalers.The ITF-14 barcode is used to create the Shipping Container Symbol. This code is used to mark cartons and palettes that are including goods with an EAN-13 code. One digit is added in front of the EAN-13 code to mark the packing variant.
The lines at the top and the bottom of the ITF14 barcode are called bearer bars that are used to prevent "short scan". The bearer bars disrupt the scan and insure that only complete scans will return a valid read. The bearer bars have another advantage when using the flexographic process to print barcodes directly on cartons, they provides extra physical support for the ends of the bars on the flexographic plate.
The 14 digit number encoded within ITF14 barcode is typically made up of an EAN / GTIN13 Item-level barcode with the addition of a leading zero. The zero is used to differentiate between items and pack level.