Frequently asked questions by services
If you want to create GTIN codes for your products and use them in EAN bar codes, the first step is acquiring a GS1 company prefix. In Finland, it is granted by GS1 Finland, an independent, non-profit organisation. The GS1 company prefix assigned to companies specifies the first digits of the GTIN codes (EAN codes), identifying unequivocally the company that specific products/brands belong to. The GTIN code is the most widely used and unequivocal product identification standard, and retailers and online traders increasingly require their suppliers to use it. By assigning codes to their products, start-ups may obtain significant sales growth for their products since the GTIN codes are accepted by retailers globally. Ebay, Amazon and Alibaba, for example, either recommend or require their suppliers and sellers to use these codes.
Do I need a bar code if I only sell products online?
The identifier of physical products is the same regardless of the sales channel, i.e., both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Some of the largest online stores have also started to hide products in their product lists if the product does not have an official GTIN code.
Online trade brings high sales potential to small companies, and following the retailer recommendations with respect to product identifiers is therefore a good idea. When you use the correct unique product identifier, your products are better displayed in search engines, and if you are a product manager, you can ensure the uniform visibility of your product regardless of the sales channel more easily.
By using the correct product identifiers in your products right from the start, you can ensure that consumers get a better and more efficient buying experience and that you operate in a uniform manner with all of your resellers and cooperation partners.
What is the GS1 company prefix?
The GS1 company prefix allows you to create bar codes and other identifiers, no matter what your industry is. The GS1 company prefix is a unique identifier granted to the company by GS1 Finland Oy. It is the basis of the GS1 standards found in all GS1 identification codes. The most common examples of GS1 identifiers are GTIN (Global Trade Item Number), SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code) and GLN (Global Location Number).
Why should I get a GS1 company prefix?
When your company has a GS1 company prefix, it has the right to use said GS1 company prefix, and no other company can use the same prefix or codes based on it. The identification codes generated using the GS1 company prefix can be used both in the company’s internal operations and globally for identification purposes between trade partners.
How can I choose the correct option of the different company prefixes?
GS1 Finland grants four different sizes of GTIN code packages for the generation of bar codes: 10 codes, 100 codes, 1,000 codes or 100,000 codes. Furthermore, there is a specific company prefix for the encoding of products with variable weight. Each product variant (size, colour, flavour etc.) needs a unique GTIN code, so you should consider the number of codes needed carefully. If there are four different colours and four different sizes of a specific product, you need 16 codes in total for it. You should consider the needs for codes a few years in advance and choose the company prefix accordingly. This ensures that the numbering space is adequate for a longer period of time and that the company does not need to get a new GS1 company prefix so soon. An annual fee is charged for each GS1 company prefix. The annual fee must be paid as long as the company prefix is used for individual identifiers.
Which GS1 company prefix should I choose for products with variable weight?
In products with variable weight, the weight of the product, and also the price, vary between products. Products with variable weight are weighed using a scale with software that produces the bar code indicating the weight of the product. A GS1 company prefix for products with variable weight is ordered for products with variable weight.
How much does a GS1 company prefix cost?
A one-time joining fee is charged for the GS1 company prefix following the order. The fee varies according to the GS1 company prefix selected. Furthermore, an annual GS1 company prefix fee is charged based on the company’s turnover.
How can I order a GS1 company prefix?
You can order a GS1 company prefix using the electronic order form from this link.
Please make sure that you have the following information available before filling in the order form.
• Client company’s details (name and address)
• Business ID
• Last financial year’s turnover
• Industry of the company according to the Standard Industrial Classification (5-digit TOL 2008 code)
• Invoicing address/electronic invoicing address and operator
• Contact person (name, phone number, e-mail address)
• Personal online bank user identifiers for electronic signature
If you cannot use an electronic signature, please contact GS1’s customer service: email@example.com
How can I check my company’s GS1 company prefix?
You can check your active SG1 services granted by GS1 Finland Oy in your account information (MyGS1). If necessary, you can contact GS1’s customer service: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can my customers check whether my GS1 company prefix is valid?
Yes. Anyone can use our GS1 Gepir information service to check whether a company prefix is active as well as the holder of the company prefix.
What is the GS1 GEPIR?
GS1 GEPIR (Global Electronic Party Information Register) is an international information service that allows you to check company information based on the GS1 codes. The service includes the company prefix registers of more than one hundred GS1 in a single view. You can search by the global trade item number (GTIN), the global location number (GLN) or the serial shipping container code (SSCC) or by selecting the country and entering the company name as the search term. The link below takes you to the service offered by GS1 Global Office. The service is offered in English and it opens in a new window. https://gepir.gs1.org/
How long should I keep the GS1 company prefix active?
The GS1 company prefix must be kept active and the annual fees must be paid for as long as any identification numbers created based on the GS1 company prefix (such as GTIN, GLN, SSCC) are in use. If a GS1 company prefix is terminated, the right to use the identification codes created based on it terminates as well.
What should I do when I run out of codes?
You should order a new GS1 company prefix. To order, use MyGS1 or the order form from this link.
A company may have several company prefix that are active at the same time. An annual fee is charged for each GS1 company prefix. The annual fee is paid for as long as the company prefix is used for individual identifiers.
What is MyGS1?
MyGS1 is a self-service channel, available 24/7, allowing the customer to administer its information and view the services it is using. Customers can also order additional services in the MyGS1 service.
Use this link to register to the MyGS1 service: https://mygs1.gs1.fi/s/login/SelfRegister
I cannot log in to MyGS1, what should I do?
You must register for the service before logging in for the first time: https://mygs1.gs1.fi/s/login/SelfRegister
If you cannot register, a username is probably not set up for you yet.
In such a case, please contact our customer service directly at email@example.com
Will using the Rekisteri become mandatory?
All the countries must be using the register and connected to the global register by the end of 2021. After the Finnish Rekisteri has been taken into use, all the new company prefix customers are required to use the register. Current customers will start using the register in phases in 2020 - 2021. After this, storing the GTIN codes in the register is mandatory for all company prefix customers.
How much does it cost to use the register?
The GS1 register does not charge a separate user fee; its use is included in the annual fee charged for the company prefix.
Do Private Label products have to be stored in the register as well?
Private Label codes will also be stored in the product register. The company whose company prefix was used to create the codes, i.e., usually the company that owns the private label product brand, is responsible for this.
Do products that are only used internally have to be stored in the register as well?
All the GTIN codes created based on the company prefix are stored in the register. If the GTIN code is only used internally, it is marked with “Not a consumer product”, and the information of the GTIN code is not transmitted to the global register.
Do sales batches or pallets have to be stored in the register as well?
Yes. All the GTIN codes created based on the company prefix are stored in the register.
Who can view the information stored in the register?
Each company administers the usernames of their register and can assign viewing rights to the persons of their choice. Retrieving information from the global register will become possible in 2021. After that time, the codes of other companies can also be viewed in the GS1 register. Only GS1 Finland’s customers will be able to view the information.
What is the Synkka service?
Synkka is a centralised product information service for suppliers, importers, wholesalers, retail chains and HoReCa sector operators. It allows trading partners to share and receive product information and photos. Furthermore, Synkka allows the sharing product information to other countries, such as Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
How can I join the Synkka service?
You can join the Synkka service in the MyGS1 service or by ordering the service. Taking the Synkka into use requires that the company has a valid GS1 company prefix.
How much does it cost to use the Synkka service?
A joining fee is charged when you start using the Synkka service. We also charge a fixed annual fee based on the company’s turnover.
What is the Golli service?
Golli is a service designed especially to meet the needs of our retail and utensil suppliers. With Golli, it’s possible to handle order processing and deliveries completely digitally. The service creates pallet markings and the delivery notifications required by the trade automatically, which reduces the amount of paper work and human error. A system that is compatible with large retail chains’ highly automated systems turns a small actor into a big one: the solution places all suppliers on a par. Service users can be sure that all pallet markings and shipment data will be transmitted in accordance with the shared GS1 standards.
How can I join the Golli service?
A valid company prefix is the only prerequisite for the Golli service. You can order the Golli service in MyGS1 or use the order form: https://mygs1.gs1.fi/s/tilaa-golli
How much does it cost to use the Golli service?
The annual fee of the Golli service is EUR 900/year (VAT 0%). No joining fee is charged for the activation of the Golli service.
What is GTIN?
GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number. The GTIN number was previously referred to as the EAN code. It is a unique identifier number for a product. GTIN codes are used as the global product identification standard. The EAN bar code is created based on the GTIN number.
How do you create the GTIN code?
The creation of the GTIN code depends on the length of the GS1 company prefix granted. The GTIN code always starts with the GS1 company prefix, followed by digits that can be selected freely (the number of digits depends on the length of the GS1 company prefix), and finally, a check digit is calculated.
What is EAN?
Consumer packages are identified using a GTIN number and marked with an EAN-13 (or EAN-8) bar code. The EAN bar code is used in consumer products so that the product can be scanned at the checkout.
Is the EAN the same thing as the bar code?
Many retailers require suppliers to use the Global Trade Item Number (or the GTIN). These numbers printed in conjunction with the bar code help in the unique identification of products both in modern online stores and in traditional shops where bar code scanners are used to read the product codes. In short, the EAN bar code is the product’s unique GTIN code in bar format.
Can I use the same GTIN code for all my products?
The same GTIN code may not be used for different products. The GTIN code is a unique product identification, and each variant, such as a different size or flavour, needs its own code so that the products can be differentiated. The international GTIN management standard specifies common rules for the managements of GTIN codes assigned to products.
Do I have to report the codes somewhere?
The company must keep records of the codes they have taken into use. Trade partners should be informed of the GTIN codes as part of product information so that they can create the products in their own background system. GS1 register makes it easy to keep track of the identification numbers that have been used and to see how many numbers are available for the company at a glance. GS1 register also makes it easy to check the product number (GTIN code) assigned for each product.
What is UPC?
UPC stands for Universal Product Code. UPC bar codes are created based on the GTIN-12 codes granted in North America. The UPC bar code is used on the other side of the Atlantic instead of an EAN bar code, but both bar codes are used the same way and they serve the same purpose. Just like EAN bar codes, also UPC bar codes work everywhere in the world.
What is GLN?
GLN stands for Global Location Number. The GLN is an identifier of a party that makes it easier to identify the company, its internal functions or places of business The GLN is used in electronic trade notifications for the identification of the parties of a transaction in conjunction with placing orders, deliveries, invoicing and messaging, for example. The GLN is created based on the GS1 company prefix.
How can I update changed company information?
Reporting any changes in a company’s information is important (e.g., the company’s name or business ID changes, the invoicing information changes or contact person changes). You can change the invoicing information easily in the MyGS1 service. Other changes can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to transfer GS1 services to another company due to a corporate transaction or a merger, for example, fill in the service transfer application.