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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What’s the difference between a barcode from GS1 and others I see online?

If you’ve researched barcode numbers online you may have come across websites offering you barcodes at a cheap one-off rate. These operators are not part of the GS1 network and are not authorised to sell GS1 numbers. Their uniqueness cannot be guaranteed.

What is a GLN and how can I get one?

A GLN, or Global Location Number, is used to identify your business as a legal entity, often via the use of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). It can also be used to identify different offices, warehouses or even specific shelves within a warehouse. If you’re selling to major retailers they’ll often ask for your GLN. You can create your own GLNs once you’re a member of GS1 UK – from the unique company prefix we licence to you.

What is a GTIN?

A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is a number that uniquely identifies a product. You see them beneath the barcodes on almost every product in the world. Which is why they’re often called ‘barcode numbers’. In the UK and Europe they’re usually 13 digits long, in the US 12. You might see shorter 8 digit numbers, used on smaller products. There are even 14 digit versions, to identify cases of products. The same numbers are used to identify products sold online too. The important thing to know is that they are all licensed from GS1 organisations around the world – to guarantee their uniqueness. When you join GS1 UK you can create all the GTINs you need.

What is an EAN?

A European Article Number (EAN) is the name given to the standard barcode image you see on most products sold around the world. It represents the number – or GTIN – you see beneath it. Retailers and marketplaces often ask for ‘EANs’ when you list your products with them. What they are really asking for is the GTIN, or barcode number, which you can create when you join GS1 UK.

What is a UPC?

A Universal Product Code (UPC) is the name given to the standard barcode used on products sold in North America. It represents the number – or GTIN – you see beneath the barcode. These days it’s completely compatible with the EAN barcodes used everywhere else in the world. So if you get asked for a UPC by a retailer or marketplace, they’re really asking for the GTIN, or barcode number, for your product, which you can create when you join GS1 UK.


I need GS1 barcode numbers (GTINs) for...

Learn more about the GS1 Company Prefix

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If you are already a member of GS1 UK then please login to our members area where you can create GTINs and barcodes for your products

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Ultimate guide to GTINs, EANs and UPCs for Amazon, eBay & Google

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