When you join GS1, you get a unique company prefix which is the basis for creating GTIN for identification of your products. This image illustrates a barcode and a GTIN with the company prefix is marked in red.
When the company prefix is enabled, no other organization can use it to create numbers. The company prefix belongs to your organization and you use it to uniquely identify your products so that they are ready for trade.
The length of your prefix depends on the size of the number sequence you have ordered. You can use your prefix to create different types of numbers depending on whether you identify products, packaging, pallets, inventory, locations etc.
Unique identification of books, sheet music and magazines
Books, notes and magazines can be numbered with GTIN-13 in the same way as other goods. It is also possible to turn the industry codes ISBN (for books), ISMN (for music sheets and notes) and ISSN (for periodicals) into a GTIN-13. It is the Royal Library that hand out ISBN, ISMN and ISSN. If you have questions about numbering books, sheet music and journals, please contact the Royal Library.
Tidsam will answer questions regarding identifying magazines distributed by them.
Labelling of products
The barcode type for encoding GTIN is usually EAN-13. If your product is too small to be labeled with the standard 13-digit barcode, you need to use a special 8-digit GTIN that generates a shorter barcode. These numbers are used only in exceptional cases.
Create barcode labels
You can either make barcode originals yourself or hire someone to do it for you, for example a packaging designer, advertising agency or commercial printer.
We have listed some suggestions for barcode vendors that we know follow our barcode size guide. You can of course use a printing service or similar, but please refer them to our size guide. See barcode suppliers ›
Once you have your barcode label ready, you can use our BarcodeCheck. BarcodeCheck is our service to check the readability, content and quality of barcodes. We also ensure that your barcodes comply with GS1 standards.
Understand the GTIN rules
A new GTIN is always required for a new product. If you’ve made changes to a current product, you may also need a new GTIN. For example, there may be a major change in ingredients or if the size or color has changed.
GS1’s global website lists GTIN rules that require a new GTIN listed.
Does your product need a new GTIN? Use GS1’s on-line tool to guide you through the GTIN rules.
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