Identifying Products Using a GTIN

What Is a GTIN?

A Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN) is the number you see underneath the U.P.C. barcode symbol—and it’s the same number that’s encoded in the lines and spaces that the scanner reads. GTINs uniquely identify products at all item and package levels.

Where are GTINs used?

GTINs are used in barcodes scanned at retail point of sale and on inner packs, cases, and pallets of products scanned in a distribution or warehouse environment. They are also used to identify products sold online.

They are commonly used on purchase orders and in delivery and payment documents. They can be encoded into various types of GS1 barcodes and Electronic Product Codes (EPCs), which are programmed into Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. Also, they can be used in the Global Data Synchronization Network™ (GDSN®) through data pools and catalogs.

How to Construct a GTIN

You’ll assign each unique product a separate, unique GTIN. The rules for assigning GTINs help enable that every variation of an item is assigned a number that is globally unique. You create a GTIN by combining your GS1 US-issued U.P.C. Company Prefix number with a unique product number that you assign, plus a check digit that helps to ensure the GTIN is created correctly. A GTIN, along with a U.P.C. barcode, can be used anywhere in the world.

Create your GTINs correctly with GS1 US Data Hub | Product

GS1 US Data Hub | Product is an online tool that allows you to:

  • Create U.P.C. barcodes and GTINs quickly, without guesswork, and worry-free
  • Be confident knowing your U.P.C.s and barcodes are mistake-free and your information is ready to share with trading partners around the world
  • Capture descriptive product information related to each of your products and share this product information with trading partners of your choosing



Identifying Locations Using a GLN

What Is a GLN?

The Global Location Number (GLN) is used to identify the locations of parties involved in business transactions. These can be functional groups within a company or real, physical “places” that might ship, receive, process, or hold inventories, like:

  • Legal Entities: Whole companies, subsidiaries or divisions within a company, health system corporations, etc.
  • Functional Entities: Specific departments within a legal entity, such as accounting departments, purchasing departments, hospital pharmacies, etc.
  • Physical Locations: Manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, warehouses, dock doors, hospital wings, bin locations, restaurants, retail stores, etc.
  • GLNs are commonly used in business transactions such as purchase orders, advance ship notices, and invoices. They are also used within barcodes on logistics labels and on electronic commerce systems such as data synchronization and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

Learn More About the GS1 Global Location Number

The benefit of using GLNs is to enable standardized location identification that is shared across trading partners. They eliminate confusing variations in location names, eliminate the need to develop and translate different proprietary identification systems, and help to ensure that the right product is delivered to the right place.

You create a GLN by combining your issued GS1 Company Prefix number with a unique location number that you assign, plus a check digit that helps to ensure the GLN is created correctly. A GLN is always 13 digits long, so the number of locations you can identify depends on the length of your GS1 Company Prefix.

How to Get Started with GLN

GS1 US Data Hub | Location

The online tool for driving reliable location identification and information to improve business efficiencies, GS1 US Data Hub | Location provides trading partners with a single source of information for locations and how they are related. GS1 US Data Hub | Location supports:

  • Improved order-to-cash efficiency
  • Better accuracy in location information
  • Traceability

In this publication, the letters “U.P.C.” are used solely as an abbreviation for the “Universal Product Code”, which is a product identification system. They do not refer to the UPC, which is a federally registered certification mark of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) to certify compliance with a Uniform Plumbing Code as authorized by IAPMO.