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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,[1] 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 member companies across the world, executing more than five billion transactions daily using GS1 standards.[2]

 GS1 logo, the global language of business
GS1 Logo

GS1 standards

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.[3]

Links to other international standards organisations

GS1 partners with the following international standard bodies:

  • ISO, the International Organization for Standardization. GS1 is approved to submit standards as Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) through the JTC1 PAS Transposition Process.[4]
  • 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:[5]

  • 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

Notes and references

  1. "GS1 Annual Report". GS1. Retrieved 17 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "About GS1". GS1. Retrieved 17 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Prefix list", BarCodes & Identification, GS1<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
  4. "Approved PAS Submitters". ISO. Retrieved 17 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Historic Timeline". GS1. Retrieved 17 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links