The Global Trade Identification Number or GTIN is a globally unique number issued by global standards body – GS1, to ensure a unique identity for your product. GS1 India is an affiliate to GS1 and is set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, along with other apex trade bodies, for providing unique GTINs to brand owners in India, for identification of their trade items.
GTINs are also commonly known as barcode numbers. Though there are many sources using which you can generate free barcode numbers, but they are not genuine GTINs and may fail to provide unique identification to your product. The 13-digit GTIN comes with numerous advantages for various industry sectors, especially in retail and online businesses.
When used on product cases, it helps in identifying different packaging levels. Generally, GTIN is same for all items of a SKU/product, but in case required, manufacturers can also identifying each item separately. For this serialised GTINs or SGTINs are used.
GTIN encoded in barcodes is linked with various other attribute information of the product such as its name, size, price, colour, variant, dimensions, images, HSN code, etc. It can further facilitate in the accurate and efficient recording and processing of product information with each scan of the barcode. GTIN also help manufacturers / brand owners comply with various regulatory standards such as ISO, FSSAI, export regulations, etc.
There are 4 types of GTINs:
- GTIN-8 (EAN/ UCC-8): A 8-digit number
- GTIN-12 (UPC-A): A 12-digit number
- GTIN-13 (EAN/UCC-13): A 13-digit number
- GTIN-14 (EAN/ UCC-14 or ITF-14): A 14-digit number
Out of these 4 types, GTIN-13 also known as European Article Number (EAN), is widely used in India. In order to sell your product in retail or online store, you need to have this 13-digit unique code for your product.
GTIN has a standard structure consisting of 4 components. The first component is the Country code. This code is different for different countries. For India, GTINs start with 890. The second part of the GTIN is the company prefix, followed by product code and check digit.
E-commerce websites, like Amazon, require sellers to enter product IDs/GTINs to get listed on their shopping portal. GS1 India allocates GTINs, which can be generated through DataKart (MDM system that enables online generation and management of GTINs).
In case you want to sell your products or services through online platform then you can issue a request to GS1 India for allocation of GTIN. In fact, once you are registered with GS1 India or any other authorised GS1 organisation, you can create any of the GS1 ID keys using your subscription number.
Having GTIN issued by GS1 India also ensures higher visibility for your product in Google search.