GTIN and EAN codes briefly explained

What is the GTIN?

From individual product cartons to transport pallets, the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) ensures that goods can be identified and traced worldwide. This unique identification number is therefore essential for efficient logistics and warehousing.

EAN code

The difference between GTIN and EAN

The GTIN is a universal identification number that is unique worldwide, regardless of the selected data carrier - whether barcode, data matrix or RFID tag. Originally, the term EAN also referred to the article number given in the barcode, the European Article Number.

Since the international changeover to GTIN in 2005, however, only the actual barcodes are referred to as EAN. EAN-13, the standard code with 13 digits, which is used for most products, and EAN-8, a shorter, 8-digit version for smaller products, are still the most commonly used barcodes for indicating the GTIN. The changeover to modern 2D codes is currently underway, as this will allow significantly more information to be reliably displayed in code form.

GS1 base number

The GS1 base number is the foundation for creating a GTIN. It is issued by GS1, an international organization, and forms the basis for generating unique product identification numbers. In order to obtain a GS1 base number, companies must become members of GS1.

Barcotec, as a GS1 Solution Partner, supports you in taking the necessary steps to obtain your own base number and thus generate GTINs for your products.

Optimal barcode quality

The quality of the printed EAN code is crucial for smooth data capture. Both the size and the contrast of the barcode play a key role here. Factors such as the required print quality and the label material used are also part of our professional advice. Together, we ensure that your GTIN codes are optimally designed and can be read by scanners without any problems.