Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)
The (Global Trade Item Number) is used for the unique identification of trade items world-wide. GTIN makes the opportunity of retrieving information about sales, inventory management, automatic reordering and a wide range of other business applications.
A separate unique GTIN is required for every different trade item. This implies that each variant must be assigned a different number whenever the variation is, in any way, apparent and significant to any partner in the supply chain, to the final user or to the retail customer. What is understood to be an apparent and significant variation may differ from industry to industry
The basic characteristics of a trade item are:
• The brand name
• The product type and variety
• The quantity of product
• The dimensions of the packaging and its nature
Global Trade Item Number is of the standardized structure and includes following information
• GS1 Company Prefix
The first two or three digits constitute the GS1 Prefix allocated by GS1 International to its Member Countries. Following three digits constitute the company prefix that GS1 Member Organizations allocate to their national member companies.
The GS1 Prefix and the Company Number form the GS1 Company Prefix. In general it comprises six to nine digits depending on the needs of the company.
• Item Reference
The Item Reference is comprised typically of one to six digits. It is a non-significant number, which means that the individual digits in the number do not relate to any classification or convey any specific information. The simplest way to allocate Item References is sequentially, that is 000, 001, 002…
• Check Digit
The Check Digit is the last digit of the GTIN. It is calculated from all other digits in the number, in order to ensure that the number is correctly composed.
Use in Practice
The choice of data structure depends on the nature of the item and on the scope of the users applications.
There are four numbering structures that are described below:
GTIN-8, GTIN-12 (UPC-A, or UPC-E), GTIN-13 and GTIN-14 (ITF-14)
The major application of GTIN-13 standard is intended for scanning at the retail point of sale – retail items. If they are very small an GTIN-8 Number is used.
Trade Items not sold through retail outlets may be packaged in a wide variety of ways.
Such items can be identified in different ways:
by allocating a specific GTIN-13, or GTIN-8 Numbers
Alternatively, by allocating an GTIN-14 (ITF-14) number. This is formed by taking the number allocated to the trade item contained, and preceding the number by an indicator, which can take the value 1 to 8. This solution is only available for homogenous groupings of standard trade items, where all units contained in the group are identical. But in case of variable quantity trade items it takes the value 1 to 9.