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.
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.
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.
1. The Consumer or Customer
Is a consumer and/or trading partner expected to distinguish the changed or new product from previous/current products?
Is there a regulatory/liability disclosure requirement to the consumer and/or trading partner?
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).