UPC, EAN, GTIN and Their Usage in EDI
The Universal Product Code, UPC, has been the dominant product
identification standard in the United States for since it was
established in the 1970's. It is a
12 digit code, unique to a product, which allows it to be scanned and
read in virtually any major retail establishment.
In order to facilitate sharing UPC item information among trading
partners, UPC catalogues by QRS and GE were developed in the early
1990's. An EDI 832 transaction can be used to load the catalogs
with UPC information. A supplier can load their product codes one
time and all of their retailers can pull the information.
The European Article Number, EAN, is an expanded UPC with 13
digits, the first two are the country code. It is widely used throughout the rest of
the world. A UPC code formed in the United States is compatible because
the country code for the US is 00 and
the missing first digit is assumed to be a zero.
The Global Trade Item Number, GTIN-14, expands to a 14th digit with
the new digit providing a level of packing. An example of usage would be
for a carton containing identical items. It could be identified with a
GTIN carton level indicator.
The Uniform Code Council is the organization that assigns
manufacturer's ID numbers, which are used within the product
identification codes to assure that products are uniquely marked. The
UCC also establishes the standards for many EDI guidelines.
The UCC has a sunrise date stating that all North American retailers
should be able to handle the EAN (13 digit code) by January 1, 2005. It
is recommended that if upgrading technology to meet this sunrise date,
that room for the full 14 digits be provided to support GTIN in the
The UCC has also implemented UCCnet for global data synchronization,
facilitating exchanging GTIN information in near real time.
Retailer GTIN Implementation Notes
Federated Department Stores - "We are in the process of making
the system changes to allow a 14-digit barcode symbol. We expect to be
fully converted in Summer 05. U.P.C. s and EANs will continue to flow as
they always have. We do not recommend that you add leading ‘0’(s) to
fill the 12 or 13 symbol. The additional digits should only be used when
they carry meaningful packaging hierarchy information."
JCPenney - "JCPenney is 2005 Sunrise compliant. We are able to receive, scan, and process EAN/UCC-8, UCC-12 (UPC), and EAN/UCC-13 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs). JCPenney does not currently support the EAN/UCC-14 GTIN. All item communications between JCPenney and our trading partners must use the EAN/UCC-8, UCC-12 (UPC), or EAN/UCC-13 GTIN. These GTINs are not to be sent with any leading zeroes to mimic an EAN/UCC-14."
Nordstrom - "Nordstrom is Sunrise 2005 compliant. We are able
to receive, scan and process EAN-8, UCC-12 (UPC), and EAN-13 Global
Trade Numbers (GTINs). Nordstrom does not currently support the EAN-14 (GTIN).
All item communication between Nordstrom and our trading partners must
be through the use of the EAN-8, UCC-12, or EAN-13 GTINs. These GTINs
are not to be sent with any leading zeros to mimic an EAN-14."
May Department Stores - "The May Department Stores Company will
comply with the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) format when sending EDI
documents, effective January 2005.
All outbound EDI documents (sent to you from a MAY division) will
use the full 14-digit GTIN structure. Those documents include: 850
Purchase Order, 852 Product Activity, 812 Credit/Debit Memo, 820
Remittance Advice and the 824 Application Advice.
We will be prepared to accept inbound EDI documents (from you to a
MAY Division) using the full
14-digit GTIN structure at the same time as our outbound, January
2005. Those documents<
include: 810 Invoice, 856 Advanced Ship Notice and the 855 POA/Reverse
Data structures that are less than 14-digits will be right justified
and left zero filled."
Target Corporation - "As of Jan. 1, 2005, Target Corporation has
become EAN.UCC Sunrise compliant. EAN (European Article Number) barcodes
are used to code merchandise manufactured in countries outside of the
United States. To be compliant, changes were made to all Target systems
to read and process both EAN and UPC barcodes."
Contact the EDI Center