Identification Numbers

The underpinning foundation of the GS1 System is the provision of a unique, non-significant number that can be used internationally for identification (see below) throughout the supply chain. This number is known as a GS1 Identification (ID) Key or GS1 Identification Number.


Types of GS1 Identification Keys

Which GS1 Identification Key you need depends on what you want to identify, whether it's a DVD, pharmaceuticals, or a loyalty program.

The table below should assist with determining the appropriate GS1 Identification Key:


What is identified GS1 Identification Key GS1 ID Key Abbreviation Examples

Trade Item

Global Trade Item Number

GTIN

DVDs, pharmaceuticals, cereal

Logistic units

Serial Shipping Container Code

SSCC

Pallets of items
Shipments of items

Consignment

Global Identification Number for Consignment

GINC

Group of pallets and their goods.

Shipment

Global Shipment Identification Number

GSIN

Direct shipment of goods from the seller to the buyer.

Location 

Global Location Number

GLN

Warehouses, factories, stores, edi mailbox.

Returnable assets

Global Returnable Asset Identifier

GRAI

Pallet bases, crates, drums, beer keg.

Assets

Global Individual Asset Identifier

GIAI

Surgical equipment, computers

Service relations

Global Service Relation Number

GSRN

Members of a customer loyalty scheme, patients, employees

Documents

Global Document Type Identifier

GDTI

Invoices, shipment forms, insurance policies, banking documents, virtual documents


GS1 Identification Keys can be put into barcodes but can also be used in other carriers such as RFID tags. The GS1 Identification Keys are also be used in eMessaging transactions and as a component of synchronising product data between trading partners.

The GS1 System also supports the identification of additional data in the form of attribute information