GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)

Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) can be used by a company to uniquely identify all of its trade items. GS1 defines trade items as products or services that are priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in the supply chain. 

The GTIN can be used to identify types of products at any packaging level (e.g., consumer unit, inner pack, case, pallet). Groups of trade items with similar production and usage characteristics such as production batches can be further identified with the help of the batch / lot number, expiry date, and similar data elements. Individual trade items can be uniquely identified using a GTIN plus serial number.

Once a company has assigned a GTIN to a trade item, it provides a common language for all of its entities and trading partners worldwide to uniquely identify the item and easily communicate information about the item.

The GTIN can be encoded in a bar code or an EPC/ RFID tag. By scanning the bar code or EPC/RFID tag, companies can efficiently and accurately process products and related information; for example, at check out in a store, when receiving goods in a warehouse, and when administering medication in a hospital.

GTINs can be used to unambiguously identify trade items online, for example in catalogues, in electronic messages such as purchase orders and invoices, and embedded in web pages to optimise use by search engines and other information consumers.

Note: The GTIN is fully compatible with ISO/IEC 15459 - Part 4: Individual products and product packages.

There are four GTIN formats. For applications that require a uniform 14-digit format, leading zeroes need to be added:

000000nnnnnnnn  (GTIN-8)
00nnnnnnnnnnnn  (GTIN-12)
0nnnnnnnnnnnnn  (GTIN-13) 



Information about other keys