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About the rules

The GLN allocation rules have been organised by four main GLNs usages: Legal entity, physical location, function and digital location. These four main usages are not mutually exclusive, and in case a GLN identifies multiple location types all related rules need to be applied (see the rules under 1.3).

Two types of rules are provided:

  1. Structural rules define the main principles of GLN allocation.
  2. Action rules define how the GLN allocation principles must be applied when organisational changes occur.

As part of the action rules a short summary of the rule is provided as follows:

  • New GLN, as a result of the rule a new GLN is allocated.
  • Same GLN, as a result of the rule the existing GLN is maintained.
  • Inactive GLN, as a result of the rule the existing GLN is deactivated. Trading partners are informed the GLN cannot be used in any new transactions. The GLN may still be used when referencing earlier transactions.

About the guidelines


The Global Location Number (GLN) is the GS1 identification key used to identify any location (physical, digital, functional, and or legal) that needs to be identified for use in the supply chain. The GLN supports organisations of varying degrees of complexity, ranging from a one-person enterprise to a multinational with hundreds of locations, several legal entities, supported by various IT systems.


The purpose of the guidelines is to provide guidance on how organisations can use the GLN to effectively identify company and trading partner locations to improve supply chain, logistics, inventory management, and other business processes. This guidance is relevant when GLNs are first allocated and throughout an organisation’s life cycle. The guidelines complement the GLN rules defined in the GS1 General Specifications and GLN Allocation Rules.