GTIN: The Global Product Identifier

In today’s global marketplace, retailers and online marketplaces 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 Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode, also known as the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN-12). In this blog post, we will explore what GTIN is, how to obtain UPC barcodes, and the role of GS1 in managing GTINs.

How to Get UPC Barcodes

To obtain UPC barcodes, businesses need to work with authorized organizations. One such organization is GS1, a global standards organization that enables companies to identify, capture, and communicate information. GS1 standards serve as the foundation for many industries, allowing for efficient systems and data sharing. While GS1 primarily licenses prefixes to companies and offers educational classes on GTIN management, 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 offer services for obtaining UPC barcodes and assist businesses in understanding the intricacies of GTIN management. By working with trusted organizations like Bar Code Graphics, businesses can ensure that their products have valid and globally recognized UPC barcodes.

The Role of GS1

GS1 plays a crucial role in managing GTINs. Local GS1 offices license prefixes to companies in their respective countries and provide educational resources to help businesses understand GTIN management. It is important for companies to follow the guidelines provided by GS1 to ensure the accuracy and uniqueness of their GTINs.

GS1 also offers training and certification programs to help businesses effectively implement and utilize GTINs. By following GS1 guidelines and participating in their educational programs, companies can improve their supply chain efficiency, enhance data accuracy, and comply with industry standards.


In today’s global marketplace, having a unique product identifier is essential for retailers and online marketplaces. The GTIN, represented by the UPC barcode, serves as this identifier. By working with authorized organizations like GS1 and Bar Code Graphics, businesses can obtain valid UPC barcodes and ensure compliance with global standards. Understanding the role of GS1 in GTIN management is crucial for maintaining accuracy and consistency in product identification. So, whether you are a small business owner or a large corporation, make sure to obtain your UPC barcodes and join the global network of standardized product identification.

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