The GTIN standard has incorporated the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), International Standard Music Number (ISMN), International Article Number (which includes the European Article Number and Japanese Article Number) and some Universal Product Codes, into a universal number space.
GTINs may be 8, 12, 13 or 14 digits long, and each of these 4 numbering structures are constructed in a similar fashion, combining Company Prefix, Item Reference and a calculated Check Digit (GTIN-14 adds another component- the Indicator Digit, which can be 1-8). GTIN-8s will be encoded in an EAN-8 barcode. GTIN-12s may be shown in UPC-A, ITF-14, or GS1-128 barcodes. GTIN-13s may be encoded in EAN-13, ITF-14 or GS1-128 barcodes, and GTIN-14s may be encoded in ITF-14 or GS1-128 barcodes. The choice of barcode will depend on the application; for example, items to be sold at a retail establishment should be marked with EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC-A or UPC-E barcodes.
The EAN-8 code is an eight-digit barcode used usually for very small articles, such as chewing gum, where fitting a larger code onto the item would be difficult. Note: the equivalent UPC small format barcode, UPC-E, encodes a GTIN-12 with a special Company Prefix that allows for "zero suppression" of 4 zeros in the GTIN-12. The GS1 encoding/decoding rules state that the entire GTIN-12 is used for encoding and that the entire GTIN-12 is to be delivered when scanned.
|GTIN-13||EAN·UCC-13, EAN-13, CIP|
|GTIN-12||EAN·UCC-12, UCC-12, UPC|
The numbering structure is as follows:
All books and serial publications sold internationally (including those in U.S. stores) have GTIN (GTIN-13) codes. The book codes are either constructed by prefixing the old 10-digit ISBN with 978, and recalculating the trailing check digit, or from 1 January 2007 issued as thirteen digits starting with 978 (eventually 979 as the 978 ranges are used up).
Each type of trade item is given its own GTIN, with the understanding that there is a potential need to retrieve pre-defined information from such items; this product or service may be priced, ordered, or invoiced at any point in the supply chain. This includes individual items as well as all of their different packaging configurations.
In February 2005, employees and booksellers of Barnes & Noble were informed that beginning at the end of March, their computer systems were going to add the ability to search by EAN to facilitate a switch over to the EAN (sometimes called ISBN when used for books) from the then-current standard of 10-digit ISBN codes. Receipts would now list the EAN, rather than the 10-digit ISBN. Since all existing 10-digit ISBN codes are mapped to a subset of the space of 13-digit EANs, booksellers' computer systems will still be able to search by ISBN (and UPC in the music departments) to help booksellers locate older books that have not been assigned an EAN.
By January 1, 2005 the U.S. ISBN agency requires publishers be able to communicate ISBNs as GTIN-13s. The new 979 prefix for publications will be available on January 1, 2007 or upon eventual assignment of the last 978 prefix.
Some special ranges exist. The usage for some is GS1 Member Organisation (GS1 MO) specific. The GS1 Company Prefixes that begin with the 3 digits listed below are used to construct what are considered RCN's (Restricted Circulation/Distribution Numbers) or are specific to a particular industry, such as the publishing industry:
The EAN-13 and EAN-8 are other point of sale barcodes that are widely used outside of North America. A UPC formed in the United States can be transformed into an EAN by prefixing it with a zero.
The Global Trade Item Number, GTIN, is an identification number that may be encoded in UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-8 & EAN-13 barcodes as well as other barcodes in the GS1 System.