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Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) can be used by a company to uniquely identify all of its trade items. GS1 defines trade items as products or services that are priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in the supply chain.

What can you do with a GTIN?

The GTIN can be used to identify types of products at any packaging level (e.g., consumer unit, inner pack, case, pallet). Groups of trade items with similar production and usage characteristics such as production batches can be further identified with the help of the batch / lot number, expiry date, and similar data elements. Individual trade items can be uniquely identified using a GTIN plus serial number.

Once a company has assigned a GTIN to a trade item, it provides a common language for all of its entities and trading partners worldwide to uniquely identify the item and easily communicate information about the item.

The GTIN can be encoded in a barcode or an EPC/RFID tag. By scanning the barcode or EPC/RFID tag, companies can efficiently and accurately process products and related information; for example, at check out in a store, when receiving goods in a warehouse, and when administering medication in a hospital.

GTINs can be used to unambiguously identify trade items online, for example in catalogues, in electronic messages such as purchase orders and invoices, and embedded in web pages to optimise use by search engines and other information consumers.

THE GTIN IS FULLY COMPATIBLE WITH ISO/IEC 15459 – PART 4: INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTS AND PRODUCT PACKAGES

There are four GTIN formats. For applications that require a uniform 14-digit format, leading zeroes need to be added:

000000nnnnnnnn (GTIN-8)
00nnnnnnnnnnnn (GTIN-12)
0nnnnnnnnnnnnn (GTIN-13)

Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) can be used by a company to uniquely identify all of its trade items. GS1 defines trade items as products or services that are priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in the supply chain.

GTIN

Standards

You will find relevant application standards and guidelines listed below:

All sectors

Fresh Foods

Healthcare


GTIN rules

GTIN Management Standard

New GTIN allocation rules: a simpler set of rules about when to change a GTIN

Standards library

Standards library

Need to know about the technical details behind the standards? The GS1 standards library gives you access to all our documentation