EAN is an abbreviation of European Article Number or European Article Number. GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number. Both tracks have been developed by GS1; GS1 stands for General Specifications 1. This body issues new codes to manufacturers who bring new products to the market. Trade and industry set up GS1 over 45 years ago. An independent and neutral organization was needed because it is the only way to easily distinguish billions of products from millions of companies worldwide. Do you want to know more? Take a look at the GS1 website: https://www.gs1.nl/ We will use the abbreviation ‘GS1 code’ in this article.
By linking an unique registered barcode to a product, everyone knows exactly which product it is and who the seller is. GS1 codes thus form the language of (online) sellers. Compare it to IP addresses: everyone on the internet has that unique IP address. This is how the internet works and how EAN codes make the sale of products function better.
Why these codes?
A GS1 code is a barcode used worldwide to identify, for example, the following units:
- Articles (GS1 article code or GTIN-13, EAN-13)
- Locations (GS1 location code or Global Location Number GLN)
- Shipments (Serial Shipping Container Code SSCC)
- Items with variable weights (23 code)
- Customer cards (GS1 customer card code)
- Coupons (GS1 coupon code)
In the Netherlands, GS1 codes always start with the numbers 88 or 87. In CORAX, we call such a standard barcode a license plate.