The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) provides a global supply chain solution by identifying any trade item that may be priced, or ordered, or invoiced at any point in the supply chain upon which there is a need to retrieve pre-defined information. The GTIN Management Standard is designed to help industry make consistent decisions about the unique identification of trade items in open supply chains.

The following 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:

Introducing the GS1 DataBar

What is GS1 DataBar?

GS1 DataBar (formerly Reduced Space Symbol or RSS) is a new point-of-sale barcode joining the GS1 Barcodes family, giving the possibility for more product marking.

GS1 DataBar enables GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) identification for small hard-to-mark consumer product goods, like fresh foods, jewelry, cosmetics and do-it-yourself hardware products, and can carry additional information such as weight, expiration date, lot numbers, etc.

GS1 DataBar not only increases the percentage of products that can be automatically identified at point-of-sale, it creates new options to solve today’s business problems such as product authentication and traceability, product quality, variable measure product identification and couponing.

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) can be used by a company to uniquely identify all of its trade items.

GTINs can also be used to identify trade items online, for example in catalogues and in electronic messages (purchase orders, invoices, etc) and can also be embedded in web pages to optimize use by search engines and provide more information to consumers.

Google, Amazon, eBay and Alibaba adopt the use of GTINs and invite merchants to use them.

January 2005 is known among GS1 Standards users across the world, as the Sunrise Date for full acceptance of EAN-13 and UPC-A barcodes worldwide.

With the exception of the United States and Canada, retail products from around the world were marked with EAN-13 symbols prior to 2005. To sell those products in the U.S. and Canada, manufacturers were required to re-label their products with a 12-digit UPC barcode symbol. This created additional expense and time-to-market issues.

The Sunrise Date is referred to an industry initiative established by GS1 US (formerly the Uniform Code Council). As of January 1st 2005, retailers and trading partners that scan UPC barcodes (12-digit length) should have expanded the data structures associated with the UPC to a 13-digit field length, to process EAN-13 symbols.