GS1 identification keys
GS1 ID Keys give companies efficient ways to access information about items in their supply chains, and share this information with trading partners.
ID Keys enable organisations to assign standard identifiers to products, documents, physical locations and more.
Because GS1 ID keys are globally unique, they can be shared between organisations, increasing supply chain visibility for trading partners.
To build a GS1 ID key, your organisation must become a member of GS1 and obtain a GS1 company prefix. This will form the basis of your ID keys.
There are 12 GS1 ID keys, allowing organisations to connect physical events and related information, as in the table below.
Used to Identify
Products and services
Can of soup, chocolate bar, medicines, medical devices
Parties and locations
Companies, warehouses, factories, stores, hospital theatres, imprests, pharmacies
Unit loads on pallets, roll cages, parcels, medicine totes, ward boxes
Pallet cases, crates, totes
Medical, manufacturing, transport and IT equipment
Service provider and recipient relationships
Patients, Loyalty scheme members, doctors at a hospital, library members
Tax demands, shipment forms, driving licences, patient records, pathology order forms
Logistics units transported together in a shipping container
Logistics units delivered to a customer together
Medical devices (in the European Union)