GTINs (EAN codes) uniquely identify products
The most widely used GS1 identification key is the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which is used to identify products. The GTIN can be used to uniquely identify types of products at any packaging level [e.g., primary (consumer unit), secondary (inner pack), tertiary (carton/pallet) etc.].
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 billing counter 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, each with specific purposes. The type of GTIN you use can depend on a number of things, including the size of the item, whether it is retail or non-retail, and where it is being sold.
|GTIN-8||Allows a smaller barcode to be used on smaller retail trade items.|
(encoded in UPC-12 barcode)
|The GTIN-12 is encoded in UPC barcodes, which are predominantly used only in America and Canada. However, North American and Canadian companies have steadily been updating retail Point-of-Sale systems to be able to scan GTIN-13 and GTIN-8. If your trading partner still cannot scan these numbers, only then you will need to use a GTIN-12.|
(encoded in an EAN-13 barcode)
|The most popular GTIN format. Its used in EAN barcodes, which are found on consumer items meant for sale at the Retail Point of Sale (PoS).|
|GTIN-14||Used on general distribution trade items, not intended to be sold at the Point-of-Sale.|