As a global industry-driven, neutral not-for-profit organization, GS1 was directed by industry to make an update to the global GTIN Management Standard to ensure traceability across the value chain through unique product identification and introduce new rules concerning GTIN non-reuse. This update aligns with global best practices.
Review the FAQs below for more information and to understand more about GTIN non-reuse.
Globally, industry has identified the need to have a single rule establishing a permanently assigned unique identification number for all products across an omni-channel world.
Factors causing this update include:
- The typical life cycle of a product has extended significantly as products are resold through online trade channels and re-sellers.
- As organizations merge, grow and enter new sectors, GTIN management becomes difficult without a permanent record of existing GTINs and their history.
- As consumers and trading partners demand more information, listing processes are becoming more complex; the risk of using incorrect data only increases when GTINs have multiple data sets attached to them.
Starting January 1, 2019:
- Any new GTIN allocated to a product SHALL NOT be reallocated to another product.
- Any GTIN that is still active in the market on January 1, 2019 SHALL NOT be reallocated to another product.
- Any GTIN that was discontinued prior to midnight on December 31, 2018 can be reassigned once only, after a period of at least 48 months has elapsed (for most product categories) but thereafter MUST NEVER be reallocated to another product.
- There is no sunset date to reuse a discontinued GTIN after the mandatory four-year waiting period.
- Ensures clear and unique product identification in the omni-channel world, increasing transparency to the consumer, reducing operational costs and confusion in the market and in supply chain data exchange systems.
- Eliminates uncertainty around the existing GTIN rules, while providing complete confidence in global brand ownership with everyone along the supply chain.
- Combats product counterfeiting by establishing an authenticated ownership record.
- More efficient after-sale consumer uses of GTIN including warranty, maintenance and repair.
- Long-term traceability for withdrawal and recall, liability or ownership issues.
- Ensures unique identification in global marketplaces.
- Difficulty in accurately identifying which products are subject to product recalls, risking consumer safety and exposing organizations to brand damage.
- Incorrect data may be used by trading partners causing delays in major business processes and risking relationships.
- May need to recall products and reprint packaging to remediate issues caused by replicated GTINs.
- May be subject to corrective measures from trading partners who expect compliance with GTIN non-reuse rules.