Global Trade Item Number

Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is an identifier for trade items, developed by GS1.[1] Such identifiers are used to look up product information in a database (often by entering the number through a barcode scanner pointed at an actual product) which may belong to a retailer, manufacturer, collector, researcher, or other entity. The uniqueness and universality of the identifier is useful in establishing which product in one database corresponds to which product in another database, especially across organizational boundaries.

The GTIN standard has incorporated the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), International Standard Music Number (ISMN), International Article Number (which includes the European Article Number and Japanese Article Number) and some Universal Product Codes (UPCs), into a universal number space.

GTINs may be 8, 12, 13 or 14 digits long, and each of these four numbering structures are constructed in a similar fashion, combining Company Prefix, Item Reference and a calculated Check Digit (GTIN-14 adds another component- the Indicator Digit, which can be 1-8). GTIN-8s will be encoded in an EAN-8 barcode. GTIN-12s may be shown in UPC-A, ITF-14, or GS1-128 barcodes. GTIN-13s may be encoded in EAN-13, ITF-14 or GS1-128 barcodes, and GTIN-14s may be encoded in ITF-14 or GS1-128 barcodes. The choice of barcode will depend on the application; for example, items to be sold at a retail establishment could be marked with EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC-A or UPC-E barcodes.

The EAN-8 code is an eight-digit barcode used usually for very small articles, such as chewing gum, where fitting a larger code onto the item would be difficult. Note: the equivalent UPC small format barcode, UPC-E, encodes a GTIN-12 with a special Company Prefix that allows for "zero suppression" of four zeros in the GTIN-12. The GS1 encoding and decoding rules state that the entire GTIN-12 is used for encoding and that the entire GTIN-12 is to be delivered when scanned.

Format and encodings

Name[1] Former names Barcode symbologies[2]
GTIN-14 (used for wholesale shipments, not retail point of sale) EAN/UCC-14, SCC-14, DUN-14,[3] UPC Case Code, UPC Shipping Container Code GS1-128, GS1 Databar, ITF-14
GTIN-13 EAN, EAN·UCC-13, JAN (subset) EAN-13
GTIN-12 EAN·UCC-12, UCC-12 UPC-A, UPC-E (condensed to 6 digits)

Note that GTIN-12 and GTIN-13 numbers can be encoded as GTIN-13 or GTIN-14 by adding initial padding zeroes. For GTIN-14, this indicates a "packaging level" of a single item.

Number system GTIN format
Position of digits T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 T12 T13 T14
GTIN-14 N1 N2 N3 N4 N5 N6 N7 N8 N9 N10 N11 N12 N13 N14
GTIN-13 0 N1 N2 N3 N4 N5 N6 N7 N8 N9 N10 N11 N12 N13
GTIN-12 0 0 N1 N2 N3 N4 N5 N6 N7 N8 N9 N10 N11 N12
GTIN-8 0 0 0 0 0 0 N1 N2 N3 N4 N5 N6 N7 N8

The numbering structure is as follows:

  • T1 - Indicator digit, used for GTIN-14, "1" to "8" indicates a packaging level and "9" a variable measure item. Zero in this position is not considered an Indicator Digit, but rather a pad or fill zero. There is, however, no worldwide consensus on which number indicates which packaging level and no significance should be built into this number.
  • T2 through T13 GS1 Company Prefix & Item (product or service) reference number. The GS1 Company Prefix is allocated to the member company and the Item Reference is allocated by the user company. The length of each of these elements varies in length depending on the length of the allocated GS1 Company Prefix. Each different type of trade item is allocated a different number and, for ease of administration, it is recommended that companies do this sequentially (001, 002, 003, etc.).
  • T14 is a check digit, which follows the standard modulo 10 calculation.[4]

All books and serial publications sold internationally (including those in U.S. stores) have GTIN (GTIN-13) codes. The book codes are either constructed by prefixing the old 10-digit ISBN with 978, and recalculating the trailing check digit, or from 1 January 2007 issued as thirteen digits starting with 978 (eventually 979 as the 978 ranges are used up).

Each type of trade item is given its own GTIN, with the understanding that there is a potential need to retrieve predefined information from such items; this product or service may be priced, ordered, or invoiced at any point in the supply chain. This includes individual items as well as all of their different packaging configurations.

See also


  1. ^ a b "GTIN DEFINITION : INFORMATION". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "How to Calculate a Check Digit Manually". GS1. Retrieved 2018-04-08.

External links


A barcode (also bar code) is an optical, machine-readable representation of data; the data usually describes something about the object that carries the barcode. Traditional barcodes systematically represent data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, and may be referred to as linear or one-dimensional (1D). Later, two-dimensional (2D) variants were developed, using rectangles, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns, called matrix codes or 2D barcodes, although they do not use bars as such. Initially, barcodes were only scanned by special optical scanners called barcode readers. Later application software became available for devices that could read images, such as smartphones with cameras.

The barcode was invented by Norman Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver and patented in the US in 1952 (US Patent 2,612,994). The invention was based on Morse code that was extended to thin and thick bars. However, it took over twenty years before this invention became commercially successful. An early use of one type of barcode in an industrial context was sponsored by the Association of American Railroads in the late 1960s. Developed by General Telephone and Electronics (GTE) and called KarTrak ACI (Automatic Car Identification), this scheme involved placing colored stripes in various combinations on steel plates which were affixed to the sides of railroad rolling stock. Two plates were used per car, one on each side, with the arrangement of the colored stripes encoding information such as ownership, type of equipment, and identification number. The plates were read by a trackside scanner, located for instance, at the entrance to a classification yard, while the car was moving past. The project was abandoned after about ten years because the system proved unreliable after long-term use.Barcodes became commercially successful when they were used to automate supermarket checkout systems, a task for which they have become almost universal. Their use has spread to many other tasks that are generically referred to as automatic identification and data capture (AIDC). The very first scanning of the now-ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode was on a pack of Wrigley Company chewing gum in June 1974. QR codes, a specific type of 2D barcode, have recently become very popular.Other systems have made inroads in the AIDC market, but the simplicity, universality and low cost of barcodes has limited the role of these other systems, particularly before technologies such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) became available after 2000.

Barcode Scanner (application)

The application Barcode Scanner is an Android app, from the open-source project ZXing (short for Zebra Crossing), that allows an Android device with imaging hardware (a built-in camera) to scan barcodes or 2-D 2D graphical barcodes and retrieve the data encoded. Information encoded often includes web addresses, geographical coordinates, and small pieces of text, in addition to commercial product codes. This Android-based system has similar functionality to a hardware barcode reader.

This application supports many different types of barcodes, including those used to identify products in commerce. The Barcode Scanner can automatically search the Web to identify a product with a barcode and use, for example, price-comparison information between vendors.

The application can decode several 2 codes including the widely-used QR and Data Matrix codes. QR codes are often embedded in websites; Barcode Scanner can open a browser at the encoded site, for example, facilitating the download of an application.

As of May 2016, this is one of the most popular Android applications as listed by Google Play, with over 600,000 ratings and over 126 million user installs.

Data pool

A data pool is a Gateway to access the GDSN Networks, where all necessary information to perform business transactions between trading partners is exchanged in a standardized way.

A data pool is the common point in the communication between the trading partners, provide synchronization capability of their data. This information is accessible synchronized trading partners in a common, simple, fast and accurate manner.

The information exchanged in a typical data pools master data Global Trade Item Number and GLN, as well as other core attributes, necessary for the smooth transaction of goods. For example, product description, dimensions, packaging levels, product category, company address, minimum order volume, etc.Suppliers upload data to a data pool, which is pushed to synchronized retailers. This communication takes place under common rules and standards, with the consideration the business agreements between trading partners. Data pools are usually deployed in the cloud, within a specific region allowing them to collaborate through the data sharing mechanism with other data pools inside the same organization. A data pool enables the administrator to better distribute resources to each data pool project.


In computer science, Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) is a global GS1 Standard for creating and sharing visibility event data, both within and across enterprises, to enable users to gain a shared view of physical or digital objects within a relevant business context. "Objects" in the context of EPCIS typically refers to physical objects that are handled in physical steps of an overall business process involving one or more organizations. Examples of such physical objects include trade items (products), logistic units, returnable assets, fixed assets, physical documents, etc. “Objects” may also refer to digital objects which participate in comparable business process steps. Examples of such digital objects include digital trade items (music downloads, electronic books, etc.), digital documents (electronic coupons, etc.), and so forth.

The EPCIS standard was originally conceived as part of a broader effort to enhance collaboration between trading partners by sharing of detailed information about physical or digital objects. The name EPCIS reflects the origins of this effort in the development of the Electronic Product Code (EPC). However, EPCIS does not require the use of Electronic Product Codes, nor of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) data carriers, and as of EPCIS 1.1 does not even require instance-level identification (for which the Electronic Product Code was originally designed). The EPCIS standard applies to all situations in which visibility event data is to be captured and shared, and the presence of “EPC” within the name is of historical significance only.EPCIS 1.0 was first ratified by EPCglobal in April, 2007. At the time of ratification, over 30 companies had used the draft EPCIS standard to exchange data and collaborate with trading partners As of 2014, 24 commercial products had received certificates of compliance to the EPCIS standard from GS1. EPCIS 1.1 was ratified by GS1 in May, 2014. EPCIS 1.2 was ratified by GS1 (in conjunction with CBV 1.2) in September, 2016.

Electronic Product Code

The Electronic Product Code (EPC) is designed as a universal identifier that provides a unique identity for every physical object anywhere in the world, for all time. The EPC structure is defined in the EPCglobal Tag Data Standard [1], which is an open standard freely available for download from the website of EPCglobal, Inc.. The canonical representation of an EPC is a URI, namely the 'pure-identity URI' representation that is intended for use when referring to a specific physical object in communications about EPCs among information systems and business application software. The EPCglobal Tag Data Standard also defines additional representations of an EPC identifier, such as the tag-encoding URI format and a compact binary format suitable for storing an EPC identifier efficiently within RFID tags (for which the low-cost passive RFID tags typically have limited memory capacity available for the EPC/UII memory bank). The EPCglobal Tag Data Standard defines the structure of the URI syntax and binary format, as well as the encoding and decoding rules to allow conversion between these representations. The EPC is designed as a flexible framework that can support many existing coding schemes, including many coding schemes currently in use with barcode technology. EPC identifiers currently support 7 identification keys from the GS1 system of identifiers, as well as a General Identifier and EPC identifiers that can be used for encoding supplies to the US Department of Defense.

EPCs are not designed exclusively for use with RFID data carriers. They can indeed be constructed based on reading of optical data carriers, such as linear bar codes and two-dimensional bar codes, such as Data Matrix symbols. The 'pure identity URI' canonical representation of an EPC is agnostic to the data carrier technology that was used to attach the unique identifier to the individual physical object.

The EPC is designed to meet the needs of various industries, while guaranteeing uniqueness for all EPC-compliant tags. Some of the existing GS1 identification keys [2] (such as the Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI)) already provide for unique identification of individual objects. However, the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) only identifies the product type or stock-keeping unit (SKU) rather than an individual instance of a particular product type. To ensure that an EPC always uniquely identifies an individual physical object, in the case of a GTIN, the EPC is constructed as a serialised Serialised Global Trade Item Number (SGTIN) by combining a GTIN product identifier with a unique serial number.

Both the Universal Product Code and EAN-13 identifiers that are still found on many trade items can be mapped into a 14-digit GTIN identifier, by padding to the left with zero digits to reach a total of 14 digits. An SGTIN EPC identifier can therefore be constructed by combining the resulting GTIN with a unique serial number and following the encoding rules in the EPCglobal Tag Data Standard.

The EPC accommodates existing coding schemes and defines new schemes where necessary. Each coding scheme within the EPC identifier framework is distinguished through the use of a separate namespace. In the URI notations, this is indicated using a URI prefix such as urn:epc:id:sgtin or urn:epc:id:sscc

In the compact binary encoding of an EPC identifier, the namespace is instead indicated using a compact binary header (typically the first 8 bits of the binary encoding of an EPC identifier). The EPCglobal Tag Data Standard provides details of the URI prefixes and corresponding binary header values.

Low-cost passive RFID tags were designed to uniquely identify each item manufactured. In contrast, bar codes for trade items and consumer products have limited capacity and typically only identify the manufacturer and class of products. Although RFID tags are currently still more expensive than a simple optically readable label, they offer additional capabilities such as the ability to be read by radio waves, without requiring 'line of sight' between the reader or interrogator and the tag; this enables individual items within a large cardboard box (case) to be read without first unpacking each individual item from the box. Some RFID tags offer additional read/write user memory that could be used for storage of additional information, such as an expiry date or date of manufacture.

The EPC tag will never entirely replace both plain text and barcoding, as liability obligations for the producer require durable and sufficiently fail-safe labels. Currently (2010) there are no applications in which RFID tags have completely replaced conventional labeling.

The EPC was the creation of the MIT Auto-ID Center, a consortium of over 120 global corporations and university labs. EPC identifiers were designed to identify each item manufactured, as opposed to just the manufacturer and class of products, as bar codes do today. The EPC system is currently managed by EPCglobal, Inc., a subsidiary of GS1. The specifications for the EPC identifiers can be found in the EPCglobal, Inc. Tag Data Standard, which is an open standard, freely available for anyone to download.

The Electronic Product Code is one of the industrial standards for global RFID usage, and a core element of the EPCglobal Network[3], an architecture of open standards developed by the GS1 EPCglobal community. Most currently deployed EPC RFID tags comply with ISO/IEC 18000-6C for the RFID air interface standard.


GS1-128 is an application standard of the GS1 implementation using the Code 128 barcode specification. The former correct name was UCC/EAN-128. Other no longer used names have included UCC-128 and EAN-128. The GS1-128 standard was introduced in 1989 and uses a series of Application Identifiers to include additional data such as best before dates, batch numbers, quantities, weights and many other attributes needed by the user.


GS1 EDI is a set of global electronic messaging standards for business documents used in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). The standards are developed and maintained by GS1. GS1 EDI is part of the overall GS1 system, fully integrated with other GS1 standards, increasing the speed and accuracy of the supply chain.

Examples of GS1 EDI standards include messages such as: Order, Despatch Advice (Shipping Notice), Invoice, Transport Instruction, etc.

The development and maintenance of all GS1 standards is based on a rigorous process called the Global Standard Management Process (GSMP). GS1 develops its global supply chain standards in partnership with the industries using them. Any organization can submit a request to modify the standard. Maintenance releases of GS1 EDI standards are typically published every two years, while code lists can be updated up to 4 times a year.


GS1 US, a member of GS1, is an information standards organization that brings industry communities together to solve supply chain problems through the adoption and implementation of GS1 Standards. GS1 Standards are the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. The barcode (an example of a GS1 Standard) is scanned more than 6 billion times a day globally. The GS1 System of Standards provides for accurate identification and communication of information regarding products, assets, services and locations.

Formerly known as the Uniform Code Council or UCC prior to 2005, GS1 US is responsible for managing the GS1 System of Standards in the USA. More than 300,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading partner collaboration and for maximizing the cost effectiveness, speed, visibility, security and sustainability of their business processes. They achieve these benefits through solutions based on GS1 global unique numbering and identification systems, barcodes, Electronic Product Code (EPC)-based radio-frequency identification (RFID), data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. GS1 US also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC).

Supply chain standards play a very important role in day-to-day business operations:

They reduce complexity between and within organizations.

They facilitate collaboration between trading partners in the supply chain, making it quicker and easier to identify items, share information (like order quantities, availability, or specific characteristics), order and receive parts or ingredients from suppliers, and/or ship goods to customers.

They help improve patient safety and reduce medication errors.

They enable traceability and authentication.

They improve supply chain and business process efficiency.GS1 US facilitates open collaboration with industry leaders to establish best practices for driving supply chain and ecommerce efficiencies. Through GS1 US industry initiatives, the organization helps key industries identify a problem or opportunity that can be addressed through the application of GS1 Standards. Working together, the industry defines its goals and creates adoption plans. GS1 US then supports implementation by individual companies with resources, including guidelines, tools, readiness programs, and education.

Global Data Synchronization Network

The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is an internet-based, interconnected network of interoperable data pools and a global registry known as the GS1 Global Registry, that enables companies around the globe to exchange standardised and synchronised supply chain data with their trading partners using a standardised Global Product Classification.

GDSN assures that data exchanged between trading partners is accurate and compliant with universally supported standards. GDSN consists of supplier/retailer trading partner, data pools that hold and process trading partner data and the GS1 Global Registry, a directory that helps locate data sources and keep relationships between trading partners in sync.

Global Location Number

The Global Location Number (GLN) is part of the GS1 systems of standards. It is a simple tool used to identify a location and can identify locations uniquely where required. This identifier is compliant with norm ISO/IEC 6523.

The GS1 Identification Key is used to identify physical locations or legal entities. The key comprises a GS1 Company Prefix, Location Reference, and Check Digit.

Location identified with GLN could be a physical location such as a warehouse or a legal entity such as a company or customer or a function that takes place within a legal entity. It can also be used to identify something as specific as a particular shelf in a store. Being able to identify locations with a unique number is a key to many business processes. The GLN is used in electronic messaging between customers and suppliers, where location advice is important. GLN is also used within companies to identify specific locations both electronically in a database and physically where the GLN can be produced in a bar code or GS1 EPC tag.


ITF-14 is the GS1 implementation of an Interleaved 2 of 5 (ITF) bar code to encode a Global Trade Item Number. ITF-14 symbols are generally used on packaging levels of a product, such as a case box of 24 cans of soup. The ITF-14 will always encode 14 digits.

The GS1 GEPIR tool can be used to find out the company identification for a given GTIN-14 that is encoded in an ITF-14 Symbol.

The thick black border around the symbol is called the Bearer Bar. The purpose of a Bearer Bar is to equalise the pressure exerted by the printing plate over the entire surface of the symbol, and to enhance reading reliability by helping to reduce the probability of misreads

or short scans that may occur when the scanner is held to a bar code at too large an angle. Such instances of skewed scanning cause the scanning beam to enter or exit the bar code symbol through the Bearer Bar at its top or bottom edge, forcing the scanner to detect an invalid scan since Bearer Bars are much wider than a legitimate black bar.


An identifier is a name that identifies (that is, labels the identity of) either a unique object or a unique class of objects, where the "object" or class may be an idea, physical [countable] object (or class thereof), or physical [noncountable] substance (or class thereof). The abbreviation ID often refers to identity, identification (the process of identifying), or an identifier (that is, an instance of identification). An identifier may be a word, number, letter, symbol, or any combination of those.

The words, numbers, letters, or symbols may follow an encoding system (wherein letters, digits, words, or symbols stand for (represent) ideas or longer names) or they may simply be arbitrary. When an identifier follows an encoding system, it is often referred to as a code or ID code. For instance the ISO/IEC 11179 metadata registry standard defines a code as system of valid symbols that substitute for longer values in contrast to identifiers without symbolic meaning. Identifiers that do not follow any encoding scheme are often said to be arbitrary IDs; they are arbitrarily assigned and have no greater meaning. (Sometimes identifiers are called "codes" even when they are actually arbitrary, whether because the speaker believes that they have deeper meaning or simply because they are speaking casually and imprecisely.)

The unique identifier (UID) is an identifier that refers to only one instance—only one particular object in the universe. A part number is an identifier, but it is not a unique identifier—for that, a serial number is needed, to identify each instance of the part design. Thus the identifier "Model T" identifies the class (model) of automobiles that Ford's Model T comprises; whereas the unique identifier "Model T Serial Number 159,862" identifies one specific member of that class—that is, one particular Model T car, owned by one specific person.

The concepts of name and identifier are denotatively equal, and the terms are thus denotatively synonymous; but they are not always connotatively synonymous, because code names and ID numbers are often connotatively distinguished from names in the sense of traditional natural language naming. For example, both "Jamie Zawinski" and "Netscape employee number 20" are identifiers for the same specific human being; but normal English-language connotation may consider "Jamie Zawinski" a "name" and not an "identifier", whereas it considers "Netscape employee number 20" an "identifier" but not a "name". This is an emic indistinction rather than an etic one.

International Article Number

The International Article Number (also known as European Article Number or EAN) is a standard describing a barcode symbology and numbering system used in global trade to identify a specific retail product type, in a specific packaging configuration, from a specific manufacturer. The standard has been subsumed in the Global Trade Item Number standard from the GS1 organization; the same numbers can be referred to as GTINs and can be encoded in other barcode symbologies defined by GS1. EAN barcodes are used worldwide for lookup at retail point of sale, but can also be used as numbers for other purposes such as wholesale ordering or accounting.

The most commonly used EAN standard is the thirteen-digit EAN-13, a superset of the original 12-digit Universal Product Code (UPC-A) standard developed in 1970 by George J. Laurer. An EAN-13 number includes a 3-digit GS1 prefix (indicating country of registration or special type of product). A prefix with a first digit of "0" indicates a 12-digit UPC-A code follows. A prefix with first two digits of "45" or "49" indicates a Japanese Article Number (JAN) follows.

The less commonly used 8-digit EAN-8 barcode was introduced for use on small packages, where EAN-13 would be too large. 2-digit EAN-2 and 5-digit EAN-5 are supplemental barcodes, placed on the right-hand side of EAN-13 or UPC. These are generally used for periodicals like magazines or books, to indicate the current year's issue number; and weighed products like food, to indicate the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

International Standard Book Number

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation (except reprintings) of a book. For example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, and 10 digits long if assigned before 2007. The method of assigning an ISBN is nation-based and varies from country to country, often depending on how large the publishing industry is within a country.

The initial ISBN identification format was devised in 1967, based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering (SBN) created in 1966. The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108 (the SBN code can be converted to a ten-digit ISBN by prefixing it with a zero digit "0").

Privately published books sometimes appear without an ISBN. The International ISBN agency sometimes assigns such books ISBNs on its own initiative.Another identifier, the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), identifies periodical publications such as magazines and newspapers. The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) covers musical scores.

Lug Healthcare Technology

Lug Healthcare Technology is a health technology company based in Madrid, Spain. Its focus is on the development of solutions of traceability, security, efficiency and quality, for critical processes within hospitals, and more specifically in the pharmacy, clinical trials and oncology departments.

Open Food Facts

Open Food Facts is a free, online and crowdsourced database of food products from around the world licensed under the Open Database License (ODBL) while its artwork —uploaded by contributors— is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution–Share Alike license.The project was launched on 19 May 2012 by French programmer Stéphane Gigandet during the Food Revolution Day organized by Jamie Oliver and has won the 2013 Dataconnexions Award from Etalab and the 2015 OKFN Award from Open Knowledge.In May 2016, its database contained more than 80,000 products from 141 countries. In June 2017, thanks to the growing ecosystem of apps and open data imports from various countries, this number rose to 330,000.

Part number

A part number (often abbreviated PN, P/N, part no., or part #) is an identifier of a particular part design used in a particular industry. Its purpose is to simplify reference to that part. A part number unambiguously identifies a part design within a single corporation, and sometimes across several corporations.

For example, when specifying a screw, it is easier to refer to "HSC0424PP" than saying "Hardware, screw, machine, 4-40, 3/4" long, pan head, Phillips". In this example, "HSC0424PP" is the part number, and it may be prefixed in database fields as "PN HSC0424PP" or "P/N HSC0424PP".

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