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GS1 System

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Identify – GS1 Identification Keys

The GS1 identification keys are the heart of the GS1 system: they enable unique global identification of products, sites, transport units and much more.


  • The GS1 identification keys and their structures are defined precisely.
  • The GS1 identification keys are globally unique.
  • The GS1 identification keys enable automatic data processing in the supply chain.
  • The GS1 identification keys and the GS1 System are suitable for all industries. They have been in operation in the consumer goods industry for more than 40 years.
  • The GS1 identification keys take into account all the special features for distribution in open Systems. 

Identification keys
Area of application
Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) Item and services A chocolate bar, a kilo of flour, a litre of mineral water
Global Location Number (GLN) Site and company Branch, unloading ramp, external warehouse, invoicing address
Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) Transport units Pallets, packages, shipping units, consignments 
Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) Load carriers Reusable containers, pallets, boxes, beer barrels
Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI) Fixed assets Computers, railway carriages, ECG devices
Global Service Relation Number (GSRN) Service relationships Identifies a service relationship between the provider and the recipient of the service
Global Document Type Identifier (GDTI) Documents Tax returns, transport documents, driving licences
Global Identification Number for Consignment (GINC) Consignments Logical grouping of different simultaneous consignments to the same destination
Global Shipment Identification Number (GSIN) Shipments Discount vouchers on paper or in electronic format.
Global Coupon Number (GCN) Coupons Discount vouchers on paper or in electronic format
Component/Part Identifier (CPID) Components and parts Vehicle parts (bogies, bolts)

How to get your GS1 identification keys

The basis for all GS1 identification keys is the GS1 basis number (GCP, Global Company Prefix). You can use that to generate all of the GS1 identification keys. You can receive the GS1 basis number (GCP, Global Company Prefix) in Switzerland only as a member of GS1 Switzerland.