GS1 GTIN Allocation Rules

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GS1 GTIN Allocation Rules

GTIN Allocation Rulesmade even easier


Based on the GS1 General SpecificationsSection 2.1.Version 7.1 - January 2007Copyright © GS1 February 2007


1. Allocating Global Trade Item Numbers1.1. General RuleA Global Trade Item Number(GTIN) is used to identify anyitem upon which there is aneed to retrieve pre-definedinformation and that may bepriced or ordered or invoiced atany point in any supply chain.A separate unique GTIN isrequired whenever any of thepre-defined characteristics ofan item are different in any waythat is relevant to the tradingprocess. The guiding principleis if the customer is expectedto distinguish a new trade itemfrom an old trade item andpurchase accordingly, a newGTIN should be assigned.Specific rules that apply toprevalent industry practices havebeen endorsed by the GlobalCommerce Initiative Board,for the Fast Moving ConsumerGoods (FMCG) industry. Theserules covering many commonbusiness cases can be found inSection 3 below. While all GS1standards are voluntary, the rulesare intended to drive normativepractice within the FMCG sector.1.2. Responsibility1.2.1. Branded and Non-Branded itemsThe Brand Owner, theorganisation that owns thespecifications of the trade itemregardless of where and bywhom it is manufactured, isnormally responsible for theallocation of the GTIN. On joininga GS1 Member Organisation,the member receives a GS1Company Prefix which is forthe sole use of the company towhich it is assigned. Thecompany prefix may not be sold,leased or given, in whole or inpart, for use by any othercompany.The Brand Owner is theorganisation that owns the tradeitem specifications and may be:• The manufacturer or supplierThe company manufactures thetrade item or has it manufactured,in any country, and sells it underits own brand name• The importer or wholesalerThe importer or wholesaler hasthe trade item manufactured, inany country, and sells it under itsown brand name or the importeror wholesaler changes the tradeitem (for example by modifyingthe packaging of the trade item).• The retailerThe retailer has the trade itemmanufactured, in any country,and sells it under its own brand.There are some exceptions asfollows:• Non-Branded ItemsItems without a brand name andgeneric items – not private labels– are still assigned GTINs by theirmanufacturer. As differentmanufacturers may supply itemsthat appear identical to theconsumer, it is possible that itemsthat are apparently the samehave different GTINs. Companiesthat trade in these items need toorganise their computerapplications (replenishmentprograms for example) to copewith this eventuality. Examplesof items that sometimes have nobrand are apples, plasterboard,candles, drinking glasses, etc.• Customer Specific ItemsWhen a trade item is madespecifically for one tradecustomer and is orderable onlyby this customer, it is permissiblefor a GTIN to be assigned by thecustomer. In this case the GTINshould be formed from thecustomer’s GS1Company Prefix.• Other ExceptionsIf the Brand Owner does notassign a GTIN, the importer oranother intermediary can assignan item a temporary GTIN. Thiswould imply that the importertakes on the role of the BrandOwner and could, for example,


with the standard trade item,then a separate GTIN has to beallocated.Minor trade item changes orimprovements do not requirethe allocation of a different GTIN.Examples: label artwork redesign,minor trade item descriptionchanges that do not impact thesupply chain, gross dimensionchange in any axis of less than20% with content quantity ormeasure unchanged. This ruleapplies to retail consumer tradeitems (retail POS unit) andstandard trade item groupings(orderable cases or pallets).If a trade item’s quantity ormeasure changes or if theconsumer will be expected todistinguish between an old andnew brand name or productdescription, then a new GTINmust be allocated.1.3.5. Variants for groupingsTrade items which are a standardand stable grouping of smallerunits identified by must beallocated a separate GTINwhenever there is a change tothe GTIN of any of the unitscontained.1.4. Lead Time inRe-using a GTINA GTIN allocated to a trade item,which has become obsoletemust not normally be re-used foranother trade item until at least48 months have elapsed fromthe date the original trade itemwas last supplied by the BrandOwner to the customer.


2. Brand Ownership Changes2.1. Acquisitions & MergersFor the company being acquired,existing stocks on hand which arenumbered before the acquisitionor merger, keep the same GTINProducts that are produced afterthe acquisition or merger maykeep the GTIN allocated beforethe acquisition if the acquiringcompany maintains the GS1membership.A merger implies that someonehas taken over a company andhas assumed responsibility forthe company’s GS1 CompanyPrefix, as well as, their assetsand locations. Products that theacquired company producedunder its GS1 Company Prefixcan still be produced using thesame prefix after the merger,since the acquiring company hasfull control.If it so desires, the acquiringcompany can label all acquiredproducts using their existing GS1Company Prefix. The importanceof ensuring trading partners areinformed of any changes, in atimely manner, cannot be overemphasised.A company shouldbe careful when centralising theallocation of all numbers underone GS1 Company Prefix as itresults in additional work anddata file maintenance forcustomers.2.2. Partial PurchaseIf a company purchases adivision of a company whoseGS1 Company Prefix is used indivisions not purchased, then theacquiring company must changethe GTIN in the purchaseddivision within one year.The rules concerning the use ofthe seller’s GTINs, and other GS1Identification Keys, should betaken into consideration whendrawing up the purchase contract.At the earliest opportunity, thebuyer should phase in newnumbers, from its own range ofnumbers, for items whose brandname it has acquired. The buyerwill be able to do this, forexample, when packaging isredesigned or reprinted.During a company sale, and forfour years following, the sellingcompany must not reallocate theoriginal numbers to other items.2.3. Split or Spin-OffWhen a company splits into twoor more separate companiesit is necessary for each GS1Company Prefix assigned tothe original company to betransferred to only one of thenew companies. Any companyleft without a GS1 CompanyPrefix will need to apply to aGS1 Member Organisation. Thedecision about which of thenew companies should take theoriginal GS1 Company Prefixesshould be made in such a wayas to minimise the number ofadditional GTINs required. Thedecision should be part of thelegal arrangements of the newcompanies.It is not necessary for existingstocks of items to be renumbered.However, when any of the splitor spin-off companies has tradeitems that are numbered witha GS1 Company Prefix that itno longer holds, the companyshould renumber those itemsusing its own GS1 CompanyPrefix when new labelling orpackaging is produced.Customers should be notifiedwell in advance of the changes.Split or spin-off companies thatretain a GS1 Company Prefixmust keep a record of the GTINscreated that have been allocatedto items they no longer own.They must not re-use theseGTINs for a period of at least fouryears after the company thatsplit away owning those itemslast supplied goods identified bythose GTINs. Therefore, thecompany that did not retain theGS1 Company Prefix has to keepthe company that now maintainsit informed of the dates on whichgoods were last supplied usingthat GS1 Company Prefix or toguarantee a date by which thenumber change will be made.


3. GTIN Allocation Rules – made even easier3.1. Market VariantsType of Change to Trade ItemNew Language on a package sold in one Market/Country (single language label).For example: An item packaging with text written in English that changes into Spanish.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping10


Type of Change to Trade ItemAdd an additional language on the packaging of a product sold in several Markets (multi language label).For example: An item of packaging with text written in English and Spanish that adds Portuguese.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping11


Type of Change to Trade ItemLanguage Group Cluster Substitution.For example: An item of packaging with text written in English, Spanish and Portuguese,that changes into English, French and Italian.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping12


Type of Change to Trade ItemSample or Test Trade items.Note: If the trade item is released to market for POS use in any form it requires a GTIN. The GTIN used on thetest/sample trade item can be maintained if the trade item test is successful and becomes orderable.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping13


Type of Change to Trade ItemGroupings of same retail item containing different quantities.Note: The GTIN of the contained item does not change, instead each grouping has an identifying GTIN.GTIN for Standard Trade Item GroupingNote: There are as many GTINs as groupings exist.14


3.2. Replacement of Standard Trade ItemsMinor ChangesMinor changes are those which are not relevant to trading partners (e.g. neither the consumer declarationnor the ordering, billing or stocking information is impacted).Manufacturers may need to distinguish these minor changes in trade items variant(e.g. for tracking price impact).Type of Change to Trade itemMinor formulation change that will replace the existing trade item and does not involve any change in thedeclaration to the consumer.Note: The change has no impact on supply chain partners. Minor ingredient changes do not changethe trade item description.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping15


Type of Change to Trade ItemMinor artwork changes.Note: Minor artwork changes, possibly associated with a trade item re-vamping or seasonal / promotionalflow through, that do not impact other GTIN Rules, should not cause a new GTIN to be assigned.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping16


Type of Change to Trade ItemMinor (not declared) change in net weight / count / volume (e.g. changes in manufacturing tolerances donot impact the declaration to the consumer).Real weight: 998 grs. Real weight: 1000 grs.Note: The changes possibly associated with an improved product manufacturing or processing tolerance thatdo not impact other GTIN Rules, should not cause a new GTIN to be assigned.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping17


Type of Change to Trade ItemMinor changes in the packaging, at the standard trade item grouping level.Note: This kind of changes has no impact on supply chain partners.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping18


Type of Change to Trade ItemMinor packaging material changes on the retail consumer trade item level (e.g. PET to HDPE).Note: This kind of change has no impact on supply chain partners.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping19


Type of Change to Trade ItemWhen a retail consumer trade item or standard trade item grouping contains a random mix of trade item(e.g. different colours/flavours of jellies) and the random mix is modified.Note: If the mix is random the change to a new random mix has no impact on the consumer declaration orsupply chain partners.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping20


Type of Change to Trade ItemSeasonal recipe (new line proposal) For example "Yoghurt with seasonal fruit”: fruit can change from oneseason to the next.Note: The consumer declaration remains the same whatever the season.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping21


3.2.2. Major ChangesMajor changes are those which require trading partners to distinguish, within their systems, between the"old" and "new" trade item (e.g., the consumer declaration has changed or the ordering, billing or stockinginformation is impacted).Type of Change to Trade ItemA Dynamic Assortment is a standard trade item grouping that comprises a fixed count of a changingassortment of two or more different retail consumer trade items, each identified with a unique GTIN.Different Mix of GTINsNote: The retailer has accepted that the assortment may be changed without notice.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping22


Type of Change to Trade ItemFormulation change, expecting that the consumer distinguishes the new trade item from the old.Note: The change leads to a change in the shelf edge label (consumer declaration).GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping23


Type of Change to Trade ItemChanges to the wording of existing product name or brand or the trade item description(declaration to the consumer).Note: The change leads to a change in the shelf edge label (consumer declaration).GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping24


Type of Change to Trade ItemAny dimensional change, or gross weight change, of more than 20% in the item packaging.Note: Shelf management software and logistic systems need to be updated to ensure optimal shelf spaceallocation.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping25


Type of Change to Trade ItemChanges in the configuration of grouping item assortments. (e.g. 30/50/80/40 change to 40/60/40/60).GTIN for Standard Trade Item GroupingNote: The standard trade item grouping is a new trade item for ordering purposes.26


Type of Change to Trade ItemMajor changes in functionality. For example: new software version.Note: It is recommended that a new GTIN is assigned at both the retail consumer and standard trade itemgrouping levels to ensure all supply chain partners are able to distinguish the "old" fromthe "new".GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping27


3.3. Parallel Trade ItemsPromotions that do not impact GTINPromotions are (normally) short-term modifications to the way a trade item is presented to the customer. Thissection highlights examples of promotions where GTIN at retail consumer trade item level stays the same.Type of Change to Trade ItemTwo or more retail consumer trade items near each other (not attached or banded together) both of whichcan be purchased separately.Buy 2Get 1 FreeFor example: A gift-with-purchase or buy-two, get one free offers.GTIN for Standard Trade Item GroupingNote: No change unless the two retail consumer trade items are shipped together in one physicalpackage when originally they were shipped individually.28


Type of Change to Trade ItemTwo (or more) retail consumer trade items bound together, i.e. designed to promote the trial of theattachment (One-Order Trial Packs), where the packaging measures do not impact on the shelf managing.Note: This kind of changes has no impact on supply chain partners.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping29


Type of Change to Trade ItemTwo retail consumer trade items, not attached or banded together where one item, which cannot bepurchased separately, is free when the other is purchased.Note: The change has no impact on the original item.GTIN for Standard Trade Item GroupingNote: Whenever the free item is not shipped in the same physical container.30


Type of Change to Trade ItemA free item packed inside the primary retail consumer trade item package with no change in quantity oftrade item and the promotion package is sold at the same price as the regular package.Note: The change has no impact on supply chain partners.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping31


Type of Change to Trade ItemReconfiguration of a consumer pack. A consumer package reconfigured for promotional purposes(e.g. anniversary cider edition).Note: The change has no impact on supply chain partners. The consumer declaration is not changed.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping32


Type of Change to Trade ItemDiscount Coupon. A retail consumer trade item may have a discount coupon on or in the package.Note: The change has no impact on pricing, ordering or invoicing. If the retail consumer is given the choicebetween purchasing the trade item with or without consumer discount coupons a separate GTIN isrequired.GTIN for Standard Trade Item GroupingNote: Whenever the coupon does not have an expiration date.33


Type of Change to Trade ItemA retail consumer trade item may have a coupon or other identifiable printed matter that would offer proofof having purchased that item. The coupon would be returned by mail by the consumer for refund.Note: If the coupon is time critical it should be treated as a new item.GTIN for Standard Trade Item GroupingNote: Whenever the coupon does not have an expiration date.34


Type of Change to Trade ItemWhen items are purchased by the retailer at the regular price, additional items are furnished free of charge.Note: When the quantity of items is increased in a case, the GTIN changes.GTIN for Standard Trade Item GroupingNote: If the quantity of regular cases is increased (e.g. buy ten cases and get one case free), there is nochange in the standard trade item grouping GTIN.35


Type of Change to Trade ItemCertain time critical promotion (e.g., World Animal Day) where the promotion item has to be on display ona given day.Note: The change has no impact on supply chain partners.The consumer declaration is not affected.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping36


Promotions that do impact GTINPromotions are (normally) short-term modifications to the way a trade item is presented to the customer.This section highlights examples of promotions where a new GTIN is required at one level.Type of Change to Trade ItemIf a retail consumer trade item is changed to a retail consumer trade item that has a pricing statement onthe label.Note: The change requires supply chain partners to distinguish old and new stock.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping37


Type of Change to Trade ItemPrice reduction is explicitly specified on the pack of a retail trade item.Note: The change requires supply chain partners to distinguish old and new stock.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping38


Type of Change to Trade ItemA bonus pack is an item that has increased quantity (net weight, count, volume) and is sold at the same priceas the regular item.Note: Quantity increase affects unit pricing and information found on shelf labels.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping39


Type of Change to Trade ItemItems, composed of two or more retail trade items normally sold separately, that are bound together.Note: A new GTIN is required for the retail consumer trade item because it is a new and unique product.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping40


Prepriced MerchandisePrepricing is discouraged as a trade practice as it introduces complexity for retail consumer trade item andstandard trade item grouping price file maintenance through the supply chain.Type of Change to Trade ItemRetail Consumer Trade Item with price label attached per specific retailer(s) requirements.Note: Retail consumer trade item where multiple retailers require specific price labelling does not requireindividual GTIN assignment per each price label.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping41


Type of Change to Trade ItemWhen the manufacturer includes prepricing as part of the package graphics, such as is normally done with aManufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).Note: The change requires supply chain partners to distinguish old and new stock.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping42


Type of Change to Trade ItemWhen the selling price is marked on the packaging and the marked selling price is changed.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping43


3.4. Other Parallel Trade ItemsOther changes which could impact GTIN allocation.Type of Change to Trade ItemDifferent manufacturer for an (apparently) identical trade item made for a specific retailer.Manufacturer AManufacturer BNote: The Retail Price is not relevant to the GTIN.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping44


Type of Change to Trade ItemDifferent Retail Price (e.g., for different regions in one country) and the price is not marked on the packaging.SUPERMARKET City ASUPERMARKET City BNote: The retail price is not relevant to the GTIN unless it is pre-priced by the supplier on the package.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping45


Type of Change to Trade ItemNew / additional pallet layout to co-exist permanently with the original layout.Note: The pallet pattern / layout does not impact the quantity of retail consumer trade items or casescontained. If the pallet is an ordering unit a different GTIN is required for each pallet configuration.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping46


Type of Change to Trade ItemRetail trade items presented with different EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance).Note: The change has no impact on supply chain partners. The consumer declaration is not affected.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping47


3.5. SeasonalsType of Change to Trade ItemTrade items modified for seasonal reason (e.g. holiday pack, chocolate over-wrapped for Easter).Note: A new GTIN is required‐since it is a new item. Recurring seasonals should use the same GTIN each season.GTIN for Standard Trade Item Grouping48


Type of Change to Trade ItemTrade item with different vintage (e.g. wine).For example: New GTIN if the vintage impacts pricing. Same GTIN if the vintage has no impact on pricing.GTIN for Standard Trade Item GroupingNote: If the vintage impacts pricing.Note: If the vintage does not impact pricing.49


GS1 - The global language of businessWith special thanks to:ArgentinaBlue TowerAvenue Louise 326, b10BE 1050 BrusselsBelgiumT +32 (0)2 788 7800F +32 (0)2 788 7899www.gs1.org

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