Glossary for Industry Terms

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Global Trade Item Number – GTIN

What is a GTIN number?

The GTIN number stands for Global Trade Item Number. The GTIN number is used by companies to uniquely identify their products as well as their product variations. This is frequently 13 digits and is used to universally track products and product variations across organisations. The Universal number allows product manufacturers and re-sellers to have a unique number that identifies products. This is helpful when different stakeholders use various systems and need to link product stock levels and attributes together.

GTINs can commonly be found underneath the barcode of a product and can be used as a lookup tool in inventory management systems as well as between stores that sell the same product.

Some other words commonly associated with GTIN numbers include UPC and EAN. These refer to types of GTIN numbers found in North America and Europe respectively. They are sometimes also referred to as the Global Trade Identification Number.

How many digits is a GTIN?

The length of a GTIN can vary depending on the type of product and where the product will be sold. The most common length of GTINs are either 12 or 13 digits. North America uses the 12 Digit system whereas Japan and Europe more commonly use 13 digits for their GTINs.

Is GTIN the same as a barcode?

GTIN numbers are not the same as a barcode. GTIN refers specifically to the 8, 12 or 13 Digit number you see often appearing underneath the barcode. The barcode itself is the combination of lines and gaps between the lines of varying sizes that allow scanners like point of sale machines to easily scan and recognise products.

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