GTIN Basics

2017-06-06 23:22

You must have a GS1 Company Prefix before you can assign a GTIN

“A GS1 Company Prefix is the only way to uniquely identify your brand in the global supply chain. Your Company Prefix will be used to form U.P.C. barcodes and other types of barcodes and numbers. As your business grows, you’ll learn to depend on your Company Prefix to uniquely identify your company and brand in the global supply chain.” ( -- this is an outside link and will take you to a website not affiliated with EnvioAg) 

Where to get a GS1 Company Prefix

To get a UCC Company Prefix, you must apply for membership to the GS1 US (formerly the Uniform Code Council). There is a fee for membership and it is based upon the information you provide about your company in the application.

Apply at:

Once a GS1 Company Prefix is assigned, GTIN numbers can be created

Envio uses a GTIN-14 numbering system to generate its barcodes. Where the numbers come from:

  1. The first digit is the Indicator Digit and it indicates the package level
  2. In the Envio system, the Prefix ID assigns the second number.
  3. The third set of numbers is The UCC Company Prefix (a 6-9 digit number assigned to you by the GS1). Example: A 6 digit UCC Company Prefix, “456789” had been assigned to the Envio Produce Company. This number will represent the Company on all of the products as well as in any EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) applications. It is unique to the company.
  4. The fourth set of numbers are used to reference the specific product. It is called an Item Reference Number. This number is not assigned by the GS1. This number is up to the manufacturer/packer and is often assigned in a random manner.
  5. The last number is a check digit calculated from the previous 13 digits. It is not randomly assigned. Envio will calculate this check digit for you. When finished the number must be a total of 14 digits long.

Example GTIN-14 NumberSample GTIN

Here is an example breakdown of this GTIN-14 code

GTIN Explanation Graphic

N1 - Indicator digit, used for GTIN-14, “1” to “8” indicates a packaging level and “9” a variable measure item. Zero in this position is not considered an Indicator Digit, but rather a pad or fill zero. There is however, no worldwide consensus on which number indicates which packaging level and no significance should be built into this number.

N2 - Envio defaults this number to zero and labels it a Prefix ID.

N3 - N8 (but could be up to N11) is your GS1 Company Prefix.

N9 - N13 Item (product) reference number. The length of this number varies in length depending on the length of your GS1 Company Prefix. In this example, the yellow section is what determines the length of the product number. Each different type of trade item is assigned a unique number. For ease of administration, we recommend you assign them sequentially (001, 002, 003, etc.).

N14 is a check digit, which follows the standard modulo 10 calculation. It will be calculated automatically.

Setting up the GS1 Company Prefix in Envio

  1. Login to Envio
  2. Go to Company > your company > General
  3. At the bottom of the screen, locate the GTIN Identifiers fields
  4. Type your assigned GS1 Company Prefix into the Company Prefix field.
  5. Count the number of digits in the Company Prefix field and type this number into the Prefix Length field
  6. Save and Close
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