What is a GTIN?
GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number.
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. GS1 Global Registry holds information on who subscribed to trade items or party data using Global Location Numbers (GLN), Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN), Global Product Classifications (GPC) and Target Market (TM) as identifiers.
The GTIN can be used to identify types of products at any packaging level (e.g., consumer unit, inner pack, case, pallet etc.) as it moves through the global value chain to the end user. If a product comes back into the value chain as a re-sold item or needs to be recalled, it can be re-identified by its original GTIN.
Although GTINs are frequently encoded within a barcode, they can also be used on their own (some major online sellers use GTINs to authenticate a product before allowing it to be sold on their platform. GTINs can be used to 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.
Benefits of using a GTIN
- Improved data quality
- Reduces confusion by accurately identifying specific products and avoiding duplicates
- Fights product counterfeiting
- Eliminates manual processing which saves time and resources
- Increases the efficiency of payment and reporting processes
- Provides a permanent record of products that can be leveraged when a product is resold or recalled
Types of GTINs
For Retail Point-of-Sale Products, only GTIN-12 and GTIN-13 are approved for retail point-of-sale applications.
GTIN-12s can be encoded with UPC-A and UPC-E barcode symbologies.
GTIN-13s can be encoded with the EAN-13 barcode symbology.
For Logistic units (Inner packs, Cases and Pallets) consisting of a homogeneous grouping, you can use GTIN-14s or assign GTIN-12s or GTIN-13s.
GTIN-14s can only be encoded in barcode symbologies that have a 14-digit capacity. These include ITF-14, GS1-128, GS1 DataBar™, and Data Matrix.
The Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is the world’s largest product data network.
GDSN makes it possible for any company, in any market, to share high-quality product information seamlessly. Because companies of all sizes need the same thing—timely and reliable product information—to ultimately benefit consumers and patients.
With GDSN, high quality product content is uploaded, maintained and shared automatically, ensuring trading partners have immediate access to the most current and complete information needed to exchange products on both local and global markets.