GTIN: How to Identify Products

If you need to identify products for retail point of sale or at all package levels (inner packs, cases, and pallets), or if you need to identify medical devices for U.S. FDA UDI, you’ll need 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.

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