What is a gtin global trade item number?

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is used for identification of a company and product to support supply chain efficiencies in various business processes, including ordering communication about product movement and traceability. The GTIN is is used to identify an item, package or case for fresh produce. It is encoded in a barcode.

There are three different Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) used in the fresh produce industry. They are 12, 13 or 14-digit numbers called GTIN-12, GTIN-13 and GTIN-14 respectively. GTIN-12s and GTIN-13s are the product identification numbers used to identify products passing at point-of-sale. GTIN-14s are the non-retail product identification numbers primarily used to identify groupings of identical retail items (such as cases). The GTIN is the most widely used standard in the world, being used by more than a million companies in over 100 countries. 

GTIN Components

A GTIN consists of a GS1 Company Prefix, an Item Reference Number and a Check Digit. 

What is a GS1 Company Prefix?

A GS1 Company Prefix must be licensed from GS1. The company prefix uniquely identifies your company as the brand owner of the item. It expires annually, so a company needs to maintain its subscription for the company prefix in order to use it. The prefix is not a stand-alone number; it appears at the beginning of the identification number or GTIN beneath the barcode

Your GS1 Company Prefix:

    • is specific to your company
    • provides the ability to create new GTINs as needed
    • must be renewed annually to keep existing barcodes registered


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