What does GTIN stand for?

GTIN is the abbreviation for Global Trade Item Number. It is an identification number for the worldwide identification of products and services. This number allows products to be uniquely identified. The GTIN is used for worldwide, unambiguous assignment.

The GTIN is awarded by GS1 (Global Standards One). This organization assigns and manages the Global Trade Item Number. In Germany, GS1 Germany is responsible for assigning the numbers.

The assignment of the unique identification number creates uniform standards for companies worldwide.

EAN became GTIN

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is the current designation for the European Article Number (EAN), which is valid until 2009. The term GTIN has since become the globally standardized name for this identification number.

Structure of a GTIN

The GTIN usually has 13 digits. It contains the country name (each country has its own combination of numbers), the company number of the respective company, the article number and a check digit at the end.

For particularly small products, on which a 13-digit Global Trade Item Number does not fit, a so-called short number can be used. This number has 8 digits and contains the country name, the article number and a one-digit check digit at the end of the GTIN.

Furthermore there are the GTIN 14 and the GTIN 12.

How does the GTIN become readable for machines?

In order to make a Global Trade Item Number machine-readable, the GS1 can generate a barcode. The GTIN can also be represented by an Electronic Product Code (EPC).

What are the advantages of the GTIN?

The GTIN is a global standardization. The identification number facilitates the flow of worldwide goods traffic. The products can be identified without overlapping. With the help of the barcode, articles can be registered more quickly at cash registers. Typing errors can be avoided by scanning the code.

How important is the Global Trade Item Number for online trading?

Many marketplaces and search engines, such as Amazon, eBay, Google, etc., require a clear identification of products and services. The Amazon help setting states that the EAN code is required for a product “in order to improve the overall quality of the search results and the catalogue”.

At Amazon, each Global Trade Item Number (formerly EAN) is assigned to its own ASIN. For example, if a trader wants to sell a product with the same GTIN that is already being offered by another Amazon seller, the product will have the same ASIN and will be linked to the trader’s listing.

In order to avoid being added to an existing listing as an Amazon dealer, you should consider in advance whether you want to sell a product for which you are not the producer. When producing your own article, you should have your own GTIN created and then get your own ASIN for your product at Amazon, which no other dealer owns.