GTIN Rules have Changed

The Standard for GTIN Reuse across all industries changed on December 31, 2018

The reason for the change

  • GTIN reuse creates confusion online where products live forever
  • In listing processes, it creates out of date catalog data
  • GTIN management becomes unclear for brands with products in multiple sectors

We're here to help!

If you do not reuse GTINs today, don't start reusing!

Take a look at the FAQs below to answer any questions.

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Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)

The GTIN Management Standard

The GTIN Management Standard is designed to help industry make consistent decisions about the unique identification of trade items in open supply chains. If you would like more information about the 10 Management Rules you can download the GTIN Management Standard Document >

From GTIN Adoption to Maturity - Insights for the Journey

Standards-based product identifiers are essential for efficient and effective communication of product information. Whether it’s B2B or B2C data sharing, a non-standards-based approach can result in inefficient, time-consuming, error-prone business processes. Watch this 30-min webcast to get an overview of how your company can progress through the GS1 US GTIN Adoption and Usage Model and receive detailed implementation guidance for each level of GTIN maturity in the U.S. retail, healthcare, and food industry supply chains.


Yes, effective December 31, 2018, GTINs SHALL NOT be reassigned regardless of where they are assigned in the packaging hierarchy.

Any product in "For Reuse" state can remain there until the end of the reuse period (47 months). Then the GTIN can be made available again. 

No InUse products can be added to "For Reuse" status after December 31, 2018. 

GS1 US Data Hub | Product will be changing in January 2019. 

Draft and InUse product statuses will remain the same. 

The new statuses that will be introduced are: 

  • "Archived": Product withdrawn from the market
  • "PreMarket": Products intended to be introduced in the next 12 months 

Cleanse your systems based on the updates made by Brand Owners to GDSN and product catalogs. 

GTINs that have been discontinued BEFORE 12/31/2018 can be reassigned to a different product. 

GTINs that are active or "in use"  on 12/31/2018 or later, cannot be reassigned to a different product. 

If you have discontinued GTINs, make sure they are marked as such, or remove them from all relevant trading systems. 

This includes, but is not limited to: GDSN®, product catalogs, internal GTIN assignment systems, and GS1 US / other GS1 member organization GTIN assignment systems (GS1 US Data Hub®) 

Review your GTIN assignment systems.  

  • Are the current rules for reuse coded into your system? 
  • Do updates need to be made to comply with the updated standard? 
  • If you use 3rd party software solutions, are your solution providers prepared to support the change? 

Yes, there are two exceptions. 

1. If a GTIN has been assigned to an item, which was then never actually produced, the GTIN may be deleted from any catalog immediately without first being marked as discontinued. In this exceptional case, the GTIN may be reused 12 months after deletion from the seller’s catalog.

2. Trade items that have been withdrawn from the market and are reintroduced may use the original GTIN if they are reintroduced without any modifications or changes that require a new GTIN as specified by the GTIN Management Standard.

Impact to Industry FAQs

When GTINs are no longer reused, industry and consumers may benefit in the following ways:

  • Reduced consumer confusion in the market and in supply chain data exchange systems
  • Increased transparency to the consumer
  • Better brand visibility online
  • Enhanced product traceability with uniqueness of product history and provenance
  • More efficient after-sale consumer uses of GTIN (Warranty, Maintenance, Repair)
  • Improved sales analytics
  • Enable uniqueness of online data, post-initial offering (collectibles, etc.)

This industry-driven change, which does not go into effect until the end of 2018, will help companies get unique product identification “right” from the start. Keeping product identification truly “unique” and persistent in both the physical and digital world is needed to support today’s omni-channel consumer experiences. Consistency across the physical and digital world is foundational to the future of commerce.

Trade items (and their associated data attributes) remain in digital/online paths to purchase far longer than they remain in physical-store supply chains. For example, in consumer-to-consumer marketplaces it can be decades. Because of this, stopping GTIN reuse is critical in an omni-channel world.

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