Understanding GTIN: The Global Product Identifier

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In today’s global marketplace, retailers and online marketplaces like Amazon require a unique identifier for every product. This identifier needs to be globally unique and adhere to a worldwide standard. One such identifier is the UPC barcode, also known as GTIN-12 (Global Trade Item Number). Let’s delve deeper into what GTIN is and how it is obtained.

How to Get UPC Barcodes (GTIN)

A GTIN, or UPC barcode, is composed of two primary components: a U.P.C. Company Prefix and a Product Number. To obtain UPC barcodes, companies need to work with a global standards organization called GS1. GS1 enables companies to identify, capture, and communicate information by providing them with unique identifiers.

GS1 is responsible for creating and maintaining standards that allow for efficient systems and processes to share data across industries. However, GS1 offices primarily license prefixes to companies in their respective countries and offer educational classes on GTIN management. It’s important to note that they do not provide actual barcodes or direct assistance.

In the United States, Bar Code Graphics is the authority on barcoding and UPC implementation. They work closely with GS1 US and offer services for obtaining GTINs and implementing them effectively. If you are a company looking to obtain UPC barcodes, Bar Code Graphics can guide you through the process and provide the necessary resources.

Benefits of GTIN and the Importance of Standardization

GTINs, or UPC barcodes, play a crucial role in the retail industry. They provide a unique identification system that allows for accurate and efficient product tracking, inventory management, and supply chain optimization. Here are some key benefits of using GTINs:

  1. Global Recognition: GTINs are recognized and accepted worldwide, ensuring seamless operations and compatibility across different countries and markets.
  2. Improved Efficiency: With GTINs, retailers can easily track and manage their inventory, reducing errors and streamlining processes. This leads to improved efficiency and cost savings.
  3. Enhanced Consumer Experience: By utilizing GTINs, retailers can provide accurate product information to consumers, enabling them to make informed purchasing decisions. This fosters trust and loyalty among customers.


GTINs, or UPC barcodes, are essential in today’s global marketplace. They provide a standardized and globally recognized system for product identification. Working with organizations like GS1 and Bar Code Graphics, companies can obtain GTINs and implement them effectively. By embracing GTINs, retailers can enhance efficiency, improve inventory management, and provide a better consumer experience. So, if you’re a company looking to expand your reach in the retail industry, getting GTINs should be a priority.


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