GTIN-14 Data Structure

                          GTIN Anatomy 6-24

Components of a GTIN-14

  • Indicator Digit – The indicator digit denotes the level of packaging for a particular carton. A number 0 – 8 should be used as the indicator digit. *This is a general practice please call if additional assistance is needed.
  • GS1 Company Prefix –The GS1 Company Prefix is a 7-10 digit number assigned by GS1 to uniquely identify ownership of a particular brand. Depending on the number of items a company needs to identify, a GS1 Company Prefix may be 7 to 10 digits in length.
  • Item Reference – For cartons that contain the same item the item reference is the same as that used for the item level GTIN (GTIN-8, GTIN-12, GTIN-13).  For cartons that contain an assortment of items a new item referenced is assigned.
  • Check Digit – The last digit of GTIN-14 is a calculated check digit. Using a MOD10 check digit algorithm, the calculated check digit prevents substitution errors.

GTIN-14 Data Carriers

There are several GS1 data carriers commonly used to convey GTIN-14 data structures.  The above illustrations conveys how both the ITF-14 and GS1-128 data carrier both have ITF14_10012345678902GTIN-14 data structures.  To determine which data carrier should be used be sure to confirm;

Scanning Capabilities of your Trading Partner

Many legacy applications are programmed to use only the ITF-14 version of a GTIN-14.

Trading Partner Requirements

In order to accommodate traceability initiaves such as the Produce Traceability Initiave (PTI), many industries in healthcare and food distribution will require the GS1-128 data carrier for GTIN-14 barcode data to enable encoding the; Lot, Batch, Expiration within the same symbol.GS1-128-14

Assigning a GTIN-14 for specific type of carton

The following GS1 Videos explains in detail the GTIN-14 Data Structure, and how to an assign an Indicator Digit and Item Reference number for different types of cartons.

GTIN-14 Allocation Rules

The GS1 created the GTIN Allocation Rules to define how to assign a GTIN-14 for different types of cartons, cases, items.

Standard/Uniform Carton – Assigning a GTIN-14 for a carton containing the same items

A carton containing the same items is referred to as Standard or Uniform Carton which means all items in the carton have the same UPC-12(GTIN-12).  Standard/Uniform Cartons generally have an Indicator digit of a value between 1 – 8.  The Company Prefix and Item Reference (first 11 digits) of UPC-12 is the same as the items in the carton.



Mixed Assortment Carton – Assigning a GTIN-14 for a carton containing different items

A carton containing items which are marked with a different UPC-12, is referred to as a Mixed Assortment.  Mixed Assortments use a ‘0’ for the Indicator digit followed by valid GS1 Company Prefix and then new Item Reference Number is assigned.



Applying a GTIN-14 to Cartons

A GTIN-14 can be printed directly onto an outer cartons if you have custom graphics already being printed on carton.  The graphic designer for the packaging graphics uses a Barcode Graphic File for the barcode.  Special size considerations need to be taken into account when printing a GTIN-14 corrugate cardboard due to the bleed factor, and associated challenges with maintaining an acceptable ISO/ANSI Barcode Print Quality Grade.



For companies who are using generic cartons or do not have any custom graphics being printed on outer carton will incorporate a GTIN-14 onto a label which is affixed to carton.

person applying label

In choosing whether or not printing labels in-house using an on-demand printer (laser or thermal), or having a 3rd party printer provide printed GTIN-14 labels, we suggest contacting Bar Code Graphics to assist.  We support companies by providing; barcode label software, blank labels as well as printed barcode labels.




We do not recommend using inkjet technology to print GTIN-14 barcodes onto corrugated.  Inkjet printing does not have a high enough resolution to generate high quality barcode symbols.  We’ve worked with many companies who were using inkjet printing, and were having compliance issues and/or couldn’t scan barcodes printed using inkjet.

GTIN-14 Sizing Considerations

The appropriate size for a GTIN-14 will determined by; Which Data Carrier?  ITF-14 or GS1-128, and whether or not symbol will be printed directly onto a carton or printed on a label.

GTIN-14 Formatted Using IFT-14


GTIN-14 Formatted Using  GS1-128

GTIN-14 GS1-128diagram



Educational Videos

The following GS1 video explains common GTIN issues.  We strongly recommend reviewing this video to prevent potentially assigning an invalid GTIN.

  • UPC (GTIN-12)

  • ISBN/Books

  • Medical/UDI

  • Supply Chain

  • Assets/Inventory

  • Coupon

Select Solution by Application


There are a variety of different types of barcodes. However, the UPC (Universal Product Number) symbol is the most recognized barcode in the United States, since it appears on almost every retail product. The UPC symbol is the barcode representation of the GTIN-12 which consists of twelve numeric characters that uniquely identify a company’s individual product. The GTIN-12 number is part of the family of GS1 global data structures that employ 14 digits and can be encoded into various types of data carriers.

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A requirement for selling a book through booksellers, wholesalers, and distributors is the assignment of unique ISBN numbers for each title and for each book to be marked with a Bookland EAN barcode.

The Bookland symbol allows for encodation of ISBNs (the numbers publishers use to identify their products). Since an ISBN is unique to one particular title (or product), the corresponding Bookland EAN symbol is a title-specific marking which is unique for that title. For example, if a title is available in hard cover, soft cover and as an e-book, three unique ISBN Bookland EAN bar codes are required.

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The FDA UDI Mandate is part of a comprehensive healthcare traceability initiative to improve patient safety.  The Unique Device Identifier (UDI) requirement is rooted in holding each member of the supply chain responsible for ensuring each medical device is marked with a UDI barcode with data maintained on the FDA’s GUDID universal database.

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Supply Chain

Logistic barcodes such as the GS1-128 Shipping Label are used to track movement of a shipment within a supply chain.  Since suppliers are making shipments to a variety of trading partners it is essential to integrate the relevant standards and current technology.  The use of EDI and 2D barcodes which can encode much more data has transformed many supply chains.

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The first step in designing an asset tracking system is to determine whether you are working with assets or inventory.  Assets are any items a company uses internally such as tools, equipment, furniture etc.  Inventory are items which are sold, distributed or used by a company.  The distinction between Assets and Inventory is essential in regards to how the items will be marked, scanned and stored.

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The successful integration of GS1 DataBar Coupons has dramatically improved many promotions.  The interhent features including; value codes and automatic expiration date checking for retailers, has enabled more efficient redemption, much better security and better metrics to measure the performance of a campaign.

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Bar Code Graphics

Bar Code Graphics