EAN.UCC & RSS Composite Symbology

Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) was renamed to GS1 DataBar in March 2007, and is expected to be the global bar code standard in the near 2010. For more information about GS1 DataBar and GS1 Composite Codes click here!

Linear Barcode Component

The EAN UCC Composite Symbology is a combination of a linear barcode component (or RSS bar codes) and a special 2D symbol Composite Component (CC) printed on top. The linear component or RSS (e.g. RSS-14) encodes the item’s primary identification. The adjacent 2D Composite Component (CC) encodes supplementary data, such as a batch number and expiration date.

For the linear barcode component choose between a:

  • EAN/UPC symbology (EAN-13, EAN-8, UPC-A, or UPC-E),
  • a member of RSS-Reduced Space Symbology family (e.g. RSS-14),
  • or an UCC/EAN-128

The linear component determines the name of the composite symbol, such as an EAN-13 composite symbol, or an UCC/EAN-128 composite symbol.

Composite symbols are designed to be scanned with a hand-held laser, a linear CCD, or a 2D imaging scanner.

3 Versions of 2D CC-Composite Components

CC-A (Composite Component - Version A)

CC-A is a variant of MicroPDF417 Symbol with a unique combination of row address patterns (RAP). It is the smallest variant of the 2-dimensional composite component. Up to 56 digits of alphanumeric data can be coded with 3 to 12 rows and 2 to 4 columns.

CC-B (Composite Component - Version B)

CC-B is a subset of MicroPDF417 Symbol, which is identified by the Code 920. Encoding systems choose CC-B automatically when CC-A has not enough capacity than needed. CC-B encodes up to 338 digits of alphanumeric data in 4 to 44 rows and 2 to 4 columns.

CC-C (Composite Component - Version C)

The CC-C structure is a PDF417 Symbol, which is clearly identified by the internal code word 920 (920 is the first code word after the symbol length indicator). The CC-C structure can be used as a 2 dimensional composite component of a UCC/EAN-128 Composite Symbols. It has the largest data capacity of EAN.UCC Composite Symbols because of its possibility to code of up to 2361 numbers. It can code numbers with up to 2361 digits of alphanumeric data, which have a minimum of 3 to 30 rows and up to 30 Data-Error-checking-Code-Columns.

Linear SymbolCC-A / CC-BCC-C
RSS-14Yes (4 Columns)

RSS-14 - RSS Composite Symbology

RSS-14 StackedYes (2 Columns)

RSS-14 Stacked - RSS Composite Symbology

RSS-14 Stacked OmnidirectionalYes (2 Columns)

RSS-14 Stacked Omnidirectional

RSS Limited Yes (3 Columns)

RSS Limited

RSS Expanded Yes (4 Columns)

RSS Expanded

RSS Expanded Stacked Yes (4 Columns)

RSS Expanded Stacked

UPC-AYes (4 Columns)


EAN 13Yes (4 Columns)

EAN 13

EAN 8Yes (4 Columns)


UPC-EYes (2 Columns)


UCC/EAN128Yes (4 Columns)


Yes (variable width)


RSS Bar-Codes and Composite Components (CC)

  • The composite symbol is the only one with an easily scannable item identification.
  • The composite symbols are comparable in size to the matrix symbols but can be scanned by a wider range of scanner technologies.
  • The composite symbol combined with RSS is smaller than other laser scannable 2D symbols.