The Global Language of Business

Do I need a new barcode number?

A new product versus a product change

When making decisions about product identification, it is important to understand the differences between a NEW product and changes to an existing product.

GTIN Management StandardNew products

New products are those which do not currently exist in a brand owner’s product offering and are new to the marketplace. A new product should be considered an “addition” to a product range. The GTIN Management Rules require that if a product is new, it should always be assigned a new and unique GTIN to accurately distinguish the new product from any other products that are currently available.

Product changes

Changes to existing products are considered “replacement products” i.e. the previous version of the product will no longer exist once the replacement product has flowed through. Some minor changes do not require the allocation of a new GTIN while other changes are of a significance that does require the allocation of a new GTIN. The GTIN Management Rules define when a change to one or more certain attributes (features) of an existing product require a new GTIN.

Guiding Principles for assessing product changes

When determining if a product change is of significance or not there are 3 principles to be assessed. At least one of the guiding principles must apply for a GTIN change to be required.

GTIN Management Standard Guiding Principle: Consumer1. The Consumer or Customer

Is a consumer and/or trading partner expected to distinguish the changed or new product from previous/current products?

GTIN Management Standard Guiding Principle: Regulation2. Regulation

Is there a regulatory/liability disclosure requirement to the consumer and/or trading partner?

GTIN Management Standard Guiding Principle: Logistics3. Logistics

Is there a substantial impact to the supply chain (e.g., how the product is shipped, stored, received)?

The 10 GTIN Management Rules

1. New product introduction

2. Declared formulation or functionality

3. Declared net content

4. Dimensional or gross weight change

5. Add or remove certification mark

6. Primary brand

7. Time critical or promotional product

8. Pack/case quantity

9. Pre-defined assortment

10. Price on pack

Click on any of the rules above to explore the details further (opens the GS1 Global website) or use the online GTIN Management Decision Tool to evaluate your planned product change(s).