Types of GS1 ID Keys
There are different GS1 ID Keys to suit different uses. You can use GS1 ID Keys to identify anything from a product or place to a consignment note or crate.
An ID Key for every application
GS1 ID Keys can be used to identify objects in the supply chain, including:
See the GS1 General Specifications for more detail
GS1 ID Key: GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)
GTINs are used to identify any trade item (product or service) at any point in any supply chain. They are recognised worldwide and are often referred to as barcodes.
There are four formats for GTINs, each with specific purposes. The type of GTIN you use can depend on a number of things, including the size of the item, whether it is retail or non-retail, and where it is being sold.
See the global GTIN Management Standard
The GTIN-13 is the most commonly used GTIN for retail trade items. It can also be used for non-retail items like outer cartons, display cartons and more.
See how to allocate a GTIN-13
See how to allocate a general distribution GTIN
GTIN-8 allows a smaller barcode to be used on smaller retail trade items.
See how to allocate a GTIN-8
Over the past 10 years, United States and Canada have steadily been updating retail Point-of-Sale systems to be able to scan GTIN-13 and GTIN-8. If you are exporting trade items to these countries, you should confirm with your trading partners if they can scan these numbers. If they cannot, you will need to use a GTIN-12. You can apply for this through GS1 Australia.
See how to allocate a GTIN-12
See how to allocate a general distribution GTIN for North America
The GTIN-14 is used on general distribution trade items – that is, items that are not intended for sale to the consumer at Point-of-Sale.
See how to allocate a general distribution GTIN
See how to allocate a general distribution GTIN using a GTIN-12
A logistic unit – often referred to, but not limited to, a pallet – is an item that is transported and/or stored, and needs to be tracked or traced through the supply chain. GS1 ID Keys can be used to identify:
- Individual logistic units
- Multiple logistic units for consignment
- Multiple logistic units for shipment
Individual logistic units
GS1 ID Key: SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code)
Use SSCCs to identify items transported or stored (e.g. logistics units) in your supply chain.
See how to allocate an SSCC and create a logistics label
Multiple logistic units for consignment
GS1 ID Key: GINC (Global Identification Number for Consignment)
Use GINCs to identify a grouping of logistic units that has been consigned to a freight forwarder or carrier and is intended to be transported as a whole. This ID Key is generally assigned by the freight forwarder or carrier.
Multiple logistics units for shipment
GS1 ID Key: GSIN (Global Shipment Identification Number)
Use GSINs to identify a group of logistic units for the purpose of a transport shipment that travels under the one bill of lading. This ID Key is generally assigned by the supplier of the shipment.
GS1 ID Key: GLN (Global Location Number)
Use GLNs to identify:
- Physical locations - a site (an area, a structure or group of structures) or an area within the site where something was, is, or will be located.
- Digital locations - a digital location represents an electronic (non-physical) address that is used for communication between computer systems.
- Legal entities – any business, government body, department, charity, individual or institution that has standing in the eyes of the law and has the capacity to enter into agreements or contracts.
- Functions – an organisational subdivision or department based on the specific tasks being performed, as defined by the organisation
See the global GLN allocation rules
See how to allocate a GLN
Get a GLN
Using the GS1 System, you can identify both individual assets and returnable assets.
GS1 ID Key: GIAI (Global Individual Asset Identifier)
Use GIAIs to identify fixed assets of any value in your company, such as a computer or vehicle, so you can identify and track them through their lifetime.
GS1 ID Key: GRAI (Global Returnable Asset Identifier)
Use GRAIs to identify returnable assets like trays, crates or pallets. They can be used for tracking purposes, or can be part of a hiring or rental system.
See how to allocate GIAIs and GRAIs
GS1 ID Key: GSRN (Global Service Relationship Number)
Use GSRNs to identify a service relationship between a business and a client (e.g. club membership, loyalty program, hospital patients).
GS1 ID Key: GDTI (Global Document Type Identifier)
Use GDTIs to identify documents by their type (e.g. proof of ownership, tax demands, proof of shipment forms, insurance policies, internal invoices, etc).
GS1 ID Key: GCN (Global Coupon Number)
Use GCNs to identify coupons, with the option of adding a serial number. Each GCN is unique worldwide.
Components and parts
GS1 ID Key: CPID (Component/Part Identifier)
Use CPIDs to identify components and parts, typically where an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) defines specifications for a final product, such as automobile parts.
Important: this identifier can only be used between trading partners.