GS1 Frequently Asked Questions
GS1 is the global standards body for item identification. Each country has its own local office that administers the licensing of Company Prefixes and GTINs. In the US, the local GS1 office is called GS1 US. Even though GS1 US is technically a monopoly, the GS1 system does provide trading partners the assurance of globally unique item identifiers. It is for this reason that retailers and marketplaces, such as Amazon, require suppliers to obtain GS1 UPC barcodes.
No. GS1 US only provides the identifiers (GTINs to build the numeric Universal Product Code. Unfortunately, many new companies incorrectly associate a barcode with a UPC, so the GS1 sites use ‘Apply for Barcode” and this often causes confusion.
GTIN.Cloud is a global UPC product data repository plus management portal used to assign GTINs and create .eps barcodes. Unlike other databases, the GTIN.Cloud repository enables companies to export all of their GTINs to other registries (i.e. Amazon, Google, DataHub) without any additional fees. Furtrhermore, an assigned GS1 Barcode Consultant personally validates both assignment and UPC product data before publishing.
The DataHub is a basic tool included with a GS1 licensing membership and can manage GTIN assignments. It is important to note that the DataHub does not actually publish or promote products to trading partners, but is a repository for storing GTIN assignments and product data. Also, basic access to the DataHub is limited and does not allow members to download GTINs and Case Barcodes (GTIN-14) without an upgraded membership ($4500). Unlike DataHub, GTIN.Cloud creates the .eps barcode files and allows companies to export all their data to any other registry. In addition, there is no validation by a consultant to ensure data s correctly provided. The GTIN.Cloud data can be exported into DataHub but DataHub does not allow all GTIN data to be exported out of the registry. For additional information, please call 800-662-0701 x250 or visit GS1 Barcode Service.
GTINs have different statuses and data can easily be amended in “Draft” states. Once a GTIN is “In Use” there are certain attributes that can be changed. GS1 consultants can assist with these type of instances.
This is commonly done to correct typographical errors and strategy changes. The Brand Name can be changed for a “In Use” product. Based on the impact of the change for your trading partners, you may want to consider issuing a new GTIN. Please note that the trade item will use up an available GTIN.
If a product has an “In Use” status on the GS1 DataHub, a new GTIN is required to be assigned for any change in net content.
Aside from assigning company prefixes, the GS1 creates the global standards for item and logistical barcoding. The GS1 General Specification covers all the rules for allocating numbers. As of January 2019, GS1 guidelines do not allow for UPC (GTIN) reuse. Click Here To Learn More.
The first digit of a GTIN-14 is called an “indicator digit” and is only found in case identification. If another case that contains the same trade item is created, the new GTIN-14 will start with an indicator digit of “2” and so on. GTIN-14s can have indicator digits up to the “8”.
UPC (GTIN) identification is used by a variety of industries and in some cases there may be minor alterations and requirements associated with barcode marking. For example, certain states have specific requirements for expanded product data for CBD products.