Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI)

The GIAI is one of the two GS1 Keys for asset identification. Companies can apply a GIAI on any asset to uniquely identify and manage that asset. This could be a computer, desk, vehicle, piece of transport equipment, or spare part.


GIAIs enable a company to uniquely record individual assets in asset management and accounting systems across company boundaries throughout its lifecycle – procurement, maintenance, upgrade, decommissioning.

For larger, complex assets within environments the GIAI enables all of the smaller components to be managed using GTINs and other information such as batches or serial numbers, but ensure that the whole can be accounted for in both a financial (eg: depreciation) and operational (eg: maintenance, tracking).

Companies can quickly identify the individual asset and register relevant data such as its procurement details, commissioning, component details, warranties, location (for fixed assets)

Activities such as repair, upgrades and maintenance can also be recorded against the unique identifier within the asset register.

By attaching a barcode or EPC/RFID tag with a GIAI encoded to the asset it enables activities to be recorded using data capture technologies. Barcodes can be scanned to verify maintenance or service activities or to confirm relocation or redeployment. Use of RFID tags on moveable assets can enable them to be tracked or located in real time. One example of where GIAI is used for real time location management is within healthcare on items such as IV Pumps. When encoding the GIAI into a data carrier the Application Identifier (8004) is used.

Master data related to the individual components of an asset can be sourced and managed via its GTIN and associated master data.

The GIAI comprises the GS1 Company Prefix of the company assigning the asset identifier and an individual asset reference. The individual asset reference is alphanumeric. Its structure is left to the discretion of the asset owner or manager.

How you assign a GIAI depends on the length of your assigned GS1 Company Prefix.

GS1 Company Prefix: This will be allocated to you by GS1 Australia and will vary in length from seven to nine digits. Companies assigning the GIAI can be either the asset owner or a leasing or rental company.

Asset reference: This is assigned by you and comprises alphanumeric characters and can be up to 30 characters in length.


Fact sheet

A GIAI can identify an asset for its entire lifecycle.

Whether or not the assigned GIAI may remain with the physical item when the item changes hands, depends on the particular business application. If the GIAI remains with the physical item, then it must never be reused.

Where an asset is upgraded it may not be necessary to change the GIAI. The requirement to change may be influenced by regulations or defined by companies’ policies.

GIAI is fully compatible with ISO/IEC 15459-4 & 5.