GS1 identification standards
At the heart of the GS1 system of standards is the unique identification of commercial and logistical units, services, locations, packaging and others, which is applied worldwide.
For the formation of each of the identification numbers, a GS1 company prefix is required, which consists of the GS1 prefix of the country, for Bulgaria it is 380 and the company number. The exception is GTIN-8, which is built on the country prefix.
Identification of products/services
A business unit is any unit (product or service) that can be priced, ordered or invoiced, and for which predefined information needs to be extracted at the individual stages of the supply chain. The commercial unit can be either a separate item or a standard and permanently grouped package of several units.
A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is used to identify trade items according to GS1 standards. For GTINs, four standard structures are described in the specifications: GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13 and GTIN-14.
For the needs of automatic data processing and depending on the application, GTIN can be coded with different barcode symbols EAN/UPC, DataBar, ITF-14, GS1-128.
Identification of locations
The Global Location Number (GLN) serves to identify the company as a legal entity and/or its functional and physical units (branch, department, warehouse, ramp, etc.). The GLN is actively used in the electronic exchange of data according to the standards of the GS1 EDI system (formerly known as GS1 eCom) between trading partners, contributing to the accurate identification of the various structural units involved in the trading relationship.
The GLN can also be encoded in a barcode with the corresponding identifier applied to indicate what it means, for example:
AI (410) is used to indicate the place of delivery – “To be delivered to” location;
AI (411) indicates that the invoice must be issued to the relevant location – “To be invoiced to”;
AI (412) indicates “Purchased from” location;
AI (413) indicates the final addressee, when passing through intermediate locations – “Transported to – To be delivered to – To be sent to”;
AI (415) precedes the location number of the invoicing party In applications developed so far, the barcode used to encode the GLN is GS1-128;
Identification of logistic units
A logistic unit is a unit intended for transport and/or storage (pallet, container, box pallet or shipment). In addition to the term “logistics”, the concepts of transport or delivery unit are often used in practice. For the management and tracking needs of the logistics unit along the supply chain, GS1 standards define an identifier that is unique and valid worldwide. The identifier is called the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) and is the only mandatory element of the standard GS1 logistics label. The SSCC serial code is 18-bit and has the following structure:
Extension digit – can take values from 0 to 9 and serves to increase the capacity of the number (determined by the company).
Serial number – determined by the company creating the corresponding logistics unit. The number complements the company prefix up to and including the 17th digit and has the meaning of a counter (example: 0000001, 0000002, 0000003, etc.). The serial number is different for each subsequent logistic unit, regardless of whether it has the same content as the previous one.
GS1 Company Prefix – identifies the company that uses the corresponding number. The company prefix gives worldwide uniqueness to the generated SSCC, but does not indicate the origin of the good.
Control digit (18th) – calculated according to a certain algorithm when generating the barcode.
For automated processing purposes, the SSCC is coded with the GS1-128 barcode symbol (formerly EAN/UCC-128).
Returnable Asset identification
A Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) serves to identify reusable packaging. It is used to manage, track and maintain data records for the relevant type of packaging or individual units thereof. Once determined, the GRAI remains for the lifetime of the relevant packaging and can be barcoded using the attached AI (8003).
Each GS1 National Organization issues a number with a country prefix provided by GS1 Headquarters.
See more about the prefixes of individual GS1 organizations.