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MIL-STD-129P is the new standard for the Military Shipping Label Requirements. Enacted on December 15, 2002, Revision P establishes significant new requirements for DoD contractors that ship packaged materials to the Government to provide both linear and two-dimensional (2-D) barcodes on Military Shipping Labels. Linear Code 3 of 9 or Code 39 barcodes will continue to be required on interior packages (unit and intermediate packages) for the National Stock Number (NSN) and, when applicable, the serial number; and on shipping containers for the NSN, Contractor and Government Entity (CAGE) Code, contract number and, when applicable, the serial number.
The new standard was not to take effect until February 17th, 2004, to give contractors ample time to meet the new requirements. Now, March 8th, government contractors are looking or software solutions that meet the new MIL-STD-129P. Barcoding Inc. has a MIL-STD-129N solution, called Std-Barc.
Mil-Std-129 labeling can be a rigorous exercise, but for most situations the requirements can be boiled down to a few basic sets of labels and rules on when to use them. One set of labels is required for unit and intermediate containers, and another for exterior containers. The illustration below shows a basic example of unit and intermediate container labeling. Items requiring shelf-life markings and serial numbers are just a little more complicated.
The Mil-Std-129 requirements for standard items can be summarized as follows:
Unit Containers - should be marked as follows, unless the exterior container serves the unit container. In this case, exterior container rules apply.
Intermediate Containers - are marked the same as unit containers, except:
Exterior Containers - use the same basic label format as unit containers, but without the item description. Besides the NSN, Contract Number and CAGE Code must also be barcoded. This can be done on one large label, or two smaller labels placed side-by-side, as shown below:
Exterior Containers may require additional labels:
When is the MSL required? "Unless specifically exempted in the contract or solicitation, DoD and contractor- or vendor shipping activities will apply address markings using a bar coded MSL. This includes shipments moving within CONUS, between CONUS and OCONUS, or conversely between OCONUS and CONUS." (MS-129-P-1). Foreign Military Sales (FMS) require marking with the MSL.
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