Skip to main content

GTIN Management Standard

Designed to help the retail industry make consistent decisions about the unique identification of trade items in open supply chains

For over 40 years, businesses around the world have used GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) to identify almost all every product sold in retailers around the world. Over time GS1 worked with industry to develop a set of allocation rules which helped brand owners decide when new GTINs should be applied to product variants. But these 46 rules became increasingly ambiguous and frustrating to use.

The GS1 GTIN Management Standard, developed with industry and introduced on 30 June 2016, simplifies and replaces the old GS1 GTIN allocation rules. Organised around a set of clear principles and presented in an easy-to-understand format, the standard is simple for businesses to comply with – and easy to share and explain.

Three guiding principles should be considered by any brand owner when introducing changes to an existing product and also when developing a GTIN assignment strategy for a new product. At least one of the guiding principles must apply for a GTIN change to be required.

key principles

Though streamlined, there is no major change to the core logic behind GTIN management, which means the new standard will have no operational impact on businesses.

Discover more about GTIN Management

Useful links

Read more about the GTIN Management Standard

Use the new GTIN management decision support tool – an interactive online tool that guides you through the new rules

Sector-specific rules for managing GTINs

Fresh foods