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GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit, international organization that develops and maintains standards for supply and demand chains across multiple sectors.

With local Member Organizations in over 110 countries, GS1 works with communities of trading partners, industry organizations, governments and technology providers and responds to their business needs through the adoption and implementation of global standards.

GS1 has over a million employee companies across the world, executing more than six billion transactions daily using GS1 standards.[citation needed]

GS1 logo

GS1 standards[edit]

Most companies initially come to GS1 to get a bar code number for their products. However, GS1 standards provide a much wider framework for supply chain visibility. The current architecture of GS1 standards is as follows:

  • Identify: Standards for the identification of items, locations, shipments, assets, etc.. and associated data
  • Capture: Standards for encoding and capturing data in physical data carriers such as barcodes and RFID tags
  • Share: Standards for sharing data between parties

GS1 identification standards do not provide identification of country of origin for a given product. Member companies may manufacture products anywhere in the world.[1]

Industry sectors[edit]

GS1 is focused on three primary sectors:

  • Consumer Goods & Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Transport & Logistics

Additionally, it does work in a number of other sectors as driven by local needs. Other sectors include:

  • Apparel/General Merchandise
  • Retail Grocery
  • Foodservice
  • Fresh Foods

Links to other international standards organisations[edit]

GS1 partners with the following international standard bodies:

  • ISO, the International Organization for Standardization
  • ISO/IEC JTC 1, the Joint Technical Committee responsible for information and communication technology standards
  • UN/CEFACT, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business
  • ITU-T, the International Telecommunications Union standardization sector


Key dates in GS1's history are as follows:[2]

  • 1973: Industry leaders in the United States select a single standard for product identification—the Universal Product Code symbol—over seven other options. Still in use today, the U.P.C. was the first GS1 barcode.
  • 1974: The Uniform Code Council (UCC) is established in the United States as a not-for-profit standards organization
  • 1974: A pack of Wrigley's gum becomes the first product to be scanned with a GS1 barcode in a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio, United States.
  • 1977: The European Article Numbering (EAN) Association is established as an international not-for-profit standards organization. With a head office in Brussels, Belgium, the EAN Association has 12 founding Member Organizations from European countries.
  • 1990: The Uniform Code Council (UCC) and EAN International (EAN) sign a cooperative agreement formalizing their intent to co-manage global standards.
  • 2005: A new name for the organization, GS1, is launched worldwide.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Prefix list", BarCodes & Identification, GS1 .
  2. ^ "Timeline". GS1. Retrieved Sep 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]