GS1 Identification Standards

The underpinning foundation of the GS1 System of Standards is the provision of a unique number that can be used internationally for identification throughout the supply chain. This number is known as a GS1 Identification Key.

GS1 identification (ID) keys used to uniquely and unambiguously identify everything is a supply chain - all products (trade items), logistics units, locations, entities, documents, assets, services and relationships.

All GS1 identification keys can be encoded/combined with automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technologies like Barcodes or RFID tags.


Below is the list of 11 GS1 ID keys used to identify different items:

ID Key

Used to Identify


Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)

Products and services

Biscuit packet, chocolate bar, shirt, handbag, mixer/juicer

Global Location Number (GLN)

Entities and locations

Companies, warehouses, factories, stores, hospitals, farms

Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC)

Logistics units

Unit loads on cartons, pallets, parcels, containers

Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI)

Returnable assets

Pallet cases, crates, totes

Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI)


Medical, manufacturing, transport, office and IT equipment

Global Service Relation Number (GSRN)

Service provider and recipient relationships

Loyalty scheme members, doctors at a hospital, library members

Global Document Type Identifier (GDTI)


Birth & death certificates, trade licenses, academic or other certificates

Global Identification Number for Consignment (GINC)


Logistics units transported together in an ocean container

Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN)


Logistics units delivered to a customer together

Global Coupon Number (GCN)


Digital coupons

Component/Part Identifier (CPID)

Components and parts

Automobile parts