Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)

give your trade items a unique identity

GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) is used to give items, packaging and services a globally unique identity. With the number you can create a barcode that can then be read with a scanner.

GTIN is the most widely used identity carrier in the world and appears under the barcode of almost all products. The GTIN contains information about;

  • country in which the number is issued
  • your company’s identity
  • product identification number

Basically all commercial products have their own GTIN which ensures that items are not mixed up with each other. You create GTIN using your GS1 Company Prefix which you get when joining GS1.

Who uses GTIN?

Companies who use GTIN are most often in grocery and retail industries, marketplaces, foodservice, alcoholic beverages, pharmacy, construction, technical industries and healthcare.

They use GTIN to create efficiency, safety and traceability in their supply chain. GTIN is used all over the world, making it easier to do business both locally and globally.

The benefits of GTIN

GS1 numbers are part of a common business language between trading partners worldwide. When a product is numbered with a GTIN, it receives a globally unique number that makes the information become;


products with globally unique numbers cannot be mixed up


products can be tracked and traced by everyone in the supply chain


the barcode can be scanned anywhere in the world

This makes it easier, among other things, to order goods, at checkout and to produce sales statistics for products and services. By numbering items with GTIN, companies can streamline processes, improve data quality, and create traceability transparency across the value chain.

How GTIN is used


Create barcodes

You can use your GTIN to create a barcode to identify and capture items for sale in physical or digital trading. The most common barcode types for carrying GTIN are EAN-13, EAN-8, GS1-128 and ITF-14, but GTIN can also be coded into a GS1 DataBar or GS1 DataMatrix depending on industry. There are four GTIN formats to choose: GTIN-13 and GTIN-14 are the most frequently used, but you can also choose between GTIN-8 and GTIN-12.


Share information

With a GTIN, a supplier can easily share information about a product or item with the buyer who is going to sell the product in a store or a Marketplace. The Global Trade Item Number is what you need to help your physical units take their place in the digital ecosystem.

Our how to guides will help you get ready to send trade item information or sell products online.

Trace items

GTIN and other GS1 identification standards are part of the GS1 Global Traceability Standard, which is used to track products, locations and parties in the supply chain – from the origin of the product to where it has been sold. Thanks to the unique identity numbers, you can gain traceability, transparency and security in your business. Learn more about GS1 standards for traceability.

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Start using GTIN

To identify your trade items, you need to subscribe to a GS1 Company Prefix. Join GS1 to unlock all GS1 standards.

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