The GTIN number is a so-called identification number, which is used to mark trading units. GTIN stands for "Global Trade Item Number" and originates from the GS1 system (formerly EAN system), which is responsible for internationally recognized standards for cross-company processes. What is special about the GTIN number is the fact that this standard is recognized worldwide and can be used, for example, for goods, transport units or other "characteristics" for unique identification.
The predecessor of today's GTIN number was the so-called EAN number until 2005, which was successively replaced. A typical GTIN number can be found in everyday life, especially in the form of a barcode that encodes the number and can also be read, for example, as an RFID tag.
Structure of the GTIN number
Depending on the format, we are talking about GTIN-14, GTIN-13, GTIN-12 or GTIN-8, there are different digit strings with eight, twelve, 13 or 14 digits. Each GTIN number has a GS1 base number or GS1-8 prefix and is read as a complete number, with a check digit to ensure that the entire string of digits is correctly represented.
GTIN numbers are also relevant because there are different GS1 member companies that assign a corresponding GS1 base number under license. Companies can now assign their own GTIN numbers for products.