In simple terms, EDI is a method for businesses to transfer information electronically instead of using paper-based methods or manually entering information into databases.

EDI streamlines and accelerates the exchange of information, reducing errors and saving time.  

What are the benefits of using EDI?


Greater accuracy and efficiency 


Faster transactions


Cost savings  


Enhanced traceability 


Improved visibility 



What are GS1 EDI standards?

GS1 EDI standards are designed to provide a common language for business, making it easier for you to share information accurately and efficiently. GS1 EDI is based on GS1 global standards, protocols and GS1 identifiers which all promote and enable data alignment.  

Listed below are the different GS1 EDI standards: 

GS1 EANCOM is a GS1 subset of the UN/EDIFACT standard (United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport). 

GS1 EANCOM uses GS1 Identification Keys, including GTINs, GLNs and SSCCs. The use of GS1 keys ensures data quality, eliminates errors and avoids sending redundant information such as specifications and party addresses. 

This standard is widely used as it successfully meets the needs of many companies. 

Read more about EANCOM here:

XML is a language designed for exchanging information over the internet. GS1 uses XML to create a set of standard messages.

GS1 XML messages can be exchanged using any technical solution or internet transport protocol. 

How it works

A message is created using data from the ERP system. The structure and content of the message is defined in the GS1 XML standards (published as XML schemas). The schemas are used to validate the message before sending it over the internet and then checked again by the same XML schema on the receiving side. 

Read more about GS1 XML here:

GS1 has developed a set of profiles or ‘subsets’ for the UN/CEFACT XML (United Nations/ Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business) standards which completement the current GS1 XML standards for ‘specific use’ cases. An example of a specific use case is public procurement. 

 Do you want to find out more about GS1 UN/CEFACT XML profiles?

These documents support the other GS1 standards. They specify how the business language first (semantic) development approach is implemented. It covers transactional messages including order, invoice and despatch advice.

You can access the documents here:

You can access the full suite of GS1 EDI standards, implementation guides, code lists and more on the GS1 Global Office website.


Though GS1 provides the standards for EDI, we do not provide the technology for you to implement it with your trading partners. We recommend that early on in your implementation journey you speak to a GS1 UK partner for guidance.