What is the value of the GS1 Traceability Standard?

GS1 has succeeded in producing a global business agreement on generic requirements and a common way to describe the traceability process, while taking into account differences imposed by diverse legislative and business requirements and diverging expectations in terms of enabling technologies.

While businesses recognize the value of traceability, they do not want multiple, potentially conflicting, traceability systems, and they do not want to increase costs unnecessarily. Businesses also recognize that an individual company is only one partner in the supply chain, and that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So they want a system that could easily be adopted by just about everyone in the supply chain.

The GS1 Traceability Standard addresses these business needs, we believe, in the following ways:

  • It is based on existing business practices, and there is no need to purchase, create or integrate new systems.
  • It uses a common language, the GS1 System of identification and bar coding, as well as GS1 EANCOM® and GS1 XML messaging.
  • It is, therefore, broad-based in that GS1 Standards are used in over 150 countries around the world by a large majority of supply chain partners (there are over 1 million GS1 user companies).
  • It takes a global approach, addressing the supply chain as a whole rather than any particular individual partner.
  • It is thorough, covering the fundamentals of traceability – identification, data capture and management, links management, and communication.
  • It focuses on the interfaces of physical flow of materials and products, establishing an open, global relationship between independent partners.
  • It is flexible, recognizing that circumstances vary within and between sectors, and thus providing for tailored applications.
  • It allows companies to define the minimum requirements for creating a system of traceability.


Acrobat-Reader Global Traceability Standard