A new era of GTIN & GLN in the technology logistics industry in Russia

GTIN and GNL Requirements for Conformity declaration in Russia
A transitional period for GTIN and GLN adoption in Russia is almost over. Find out what these abbreviations mean, why they are necessary, and how they affect the technology shipping and import process in Russia.

GTIN & GNL Requirements for Conformity Declaration in Russia

July 1, 2021, is the last day of an interim period for making the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and the Global Location Number (GLN) necessary to produce a Conformity declaration. Previously, GLNs were only specified when they occurred, but since July 2021, it will be mandatory information. However, as per today, there is still no stringent requirement enforcement for referencing GTINs — a manufacturer should provide them if possible.

A task for assigning GTIN and GLN codes belongs to national organizations that are members of GS1, an association for automatic identification. It is an independent non-profit organization that develops and maintains global standards for business communication.

Changes in registering Conformity declarations

New changes in registering Conformity declarations were introduced in an Order by the Ministry of Economic Development №877 of December 30, 2020.

The Russian Federal Service for Accreditation was the first source to report exact procedures for creating a Conformity declaration. More details about the updates are available in Russian on the organization’s official website.

It is highly advisable to obtain GTINs and GLNs in advance. This way, you avoid delays when preparing customs declarations and documents necessary for importing your products to Russia.

Where GTIN and GLN can be potentially necessary?

Declaration of Conformity

In countries of the Eurasian Customs Union, DoC is a document stating that products — mainly electronics and IoT items — have been tested by an accredited laboratory and meet safety standards essential for importing equipment and its future turnover. In the region, DoC has two formats: GOST R Conformity Declaration and Declaration of Conformity with the technical regulations of the Customs Union.

Declaration for Goods

It is a document containing information about the goods that cross the state border. Declaration for goods proves to local government authorities that export or import of shipments is legal and approved by a customs office. The document also helps control goods’ turnover within a country.
Declaration for goods may contain information about equipment manufacturer, consignee, weight, quantity, and price. It also includes destination points and transportation modes.

Customs Declaration

It is a document listing names and their detailed descriptions of goods intended to be imported or exported. Customs declaration helps local authorities control what shipments enter the territory and prevent bringing equipment potentially dangerous to the local environment, economy, and national security.
When exporting or importing shipments, a customs office may apply additional customs fees.

New transportation politics affect foreign manufacturers

The Order №877 complements another order by the Ministry of Economic Development №478 of July 31, 2020. The second decree also regulates registering Conformity declarations and significantly impacts foreign manufacturers that wish to sell their products in Russia.

If a company declares products manufactured outside Russia and states of Eurasian Economic Union member states, order №478 requires them to provide a GLN code in the application for registering a Conformity declaration. In addition, the manufacturer must specify the GTIN code, which helps identify a declared item.

Order №478 has come into force on 1 January 2021. Its full text is available in Russian in an electronic fund of legal and normative technical documents.

What is GTIN, and how does it help goods identification?

GTIN or Global Trade Item Number is an international code used to uniquely identify items in the global trade system run by GS1. Only GS1 may assign a GTIN code to a manufacturer. The unique number helps define trade items like products and services that can be priced, ordered, and invoiced at any supply chain stage.

GTIN ensures unambiguous trade item identification anywhere in the world. It is possible to apply the code to a product package as a barcode. The GTIN code has four formats and can be 8, 12, 13, or 14 digits long. If an application requires a 14 digits code, when your GTIN has 8, 12, or 13 numbers, you can add leading zeroes to comply with the requirement. It will look like this:

  • 000000nnnnnnnn (GTIN–8);
  • 00nnnnnnnnnnnn (GTIN–12);
  • 0nnnnnnnnnnnnn (GTIN–13).

Besides a barcode, GTIN can look like an EPC/RFID tag.

GTINs are applied to physical products and are widespread in e-commerce, internet applications, databases, and IT systems.

Using GTIN can be helpful for the transportation industry:

— it is an international standard that company in the world can receive and use wherever it is necessary; 

— there are no sphere limitations for GTIN usage: IT services, healthcare, retail, construction, food industry are few examples;

— identifying product type becomes easier at any packaging level, be it a consumer unit or inner pack, or something else.

— complying with the GTIN Management Standards by all partners in a supply chain leads to overall cost minimization;

— unique GTINs help identify an item and exchange the correct information about it. It allows you,  your trading partners, and internal departments to speak the same logistics language all the time;

— scanning a GTIN as a barcode simplifies processing a product and increases accuracy while accessing the relevant information.

What is the GTIN structure?

GTIN–8, GTIN–12, and GTIN–13 codes look similar to each other and have three things in common:

  1. GS1 Prefix is a globally unique number that a company receives from a member of the GS1 Association. The prefix is the foundation for generating GTIN codes. For creating a GTIN–12 code, a U.P.C. Company Prefix is used.
  2. Item Reference is a number that a company assigns to a trade item for its future identification. 
  3. Check Digit is a one-digit number used for data integrity assurance. For generating a check digit, a company calculates the preceding digits of the GTIN code.

GS1 Prefix and Item Reference lengths vary, while a Check Digit always consists of one figure. Nevertheless, a combined GS1 Prefix and Item Reference number should be strictly seven digits long for GTIN–8, eleven digits long for GTIN–12, and twelve digits long for GTIN–13.

A Scheme of main GLN-8 components

GTIN–14 consists of the same three components listed above and has an Indicator Digit at the beginning of a code. This number identifies the packaging level for defining the packaging hierarchy of a product with the same Item Reference. The Indicator Digit has any numeric value from 1 to 9.

A Scheme of main GLN-14 components

What is GLN, and why is it better than internal location systems?

GLN or Global Location Number is a specific international code used in electronic data exchange and e-commerce systems. GLN helps identify shortly and precisely locations of legal entities, their functional divisions, and physical facilities such as warehouses, stores, manufacturing areas, transport units.

Like a GTIN, GLN looks like a barcode or an EPC/RFID tag. The code consists of 13 digits beginning with a two or three-figure national prefix and ending with a check digit. The size of the national prefix depends on the country of product registration.

What you should know about GLN:

  • GLN is a worldwide standard format for documents, also in Russia. It eliminates the need to enter requisites and contact information on each occasion;
  • The GLN registration process is mandatory. For economic purposes, it is advisable to register GLNs for several years at a time;
  • GLN helps identify any part of an entity, its separate functions, and branches. GLN can specify even a ramp in a warehouse or a shelf in a store if they take part as standalone items in a supply chain. Thanks to it, your contractor always knows where to deliver goods, and you never have questions about where to offload parcels.
  • For similar items of a lower order, like a row of shelving stands in the distribution center, a manufacturer can add GLN extensions to a GLN code for more precise information. However, if a supply chain structure is complex and extensive, it is better to use separate GLN codes.

Being unique is the primary and strong advantage of GLN codes. Though companies can create their internal system to locate their facilities, such an approach has many pitfalls, especially when a business works with trading partners.

One of the problems is code duplication when companies use the same code to identify different internal branches. It happens because this code is unique in a separate internal location system, but it is not unique globally. The situation leads to misunderstanding and makes the location of the partner’s facilities and entities challenging.

Another issue is overall complexity. When a company creates an internal location system, it decides how facilities’ codes will look. In such a way, the codes receive different structures and formats that make application programming more complex, and each change becomes costly.

A unified GLN system solves both problems and helps optimize operational management inside and outside the company. A GLN code is unique globally, meaning it is easier to identify your company’s branches and the branches of your partner. Moreover, GLN’s uniform standard simplifies “reading” codes belonging to facilities of different companies, even located on other continents. 

What is GLN structure?

GLN does not have variations and always consists of thirteen digits. The number consists of three main components:

  1. GS1 Company Prefix obtained the same way as for GTIN codes;
  2. Location Reference is a number identifying the location of your company or its separate facility. It is you who should assign the Location Reference to the area. 
  3. Check Digit obtained the same way as for GTIN codes and located at the end of GLN.

In GLN, lengths of GS1 Company Prefix and Location Reference are not constant for each location, but placing together, they must not exceed twelve digits. Therefore, a Check Digit always consists of one figure.

A Scheme of main GLN-13 components

How to obtain GTIN and GLN codes in Russia?

First of all, you should know that only a manufacturer or an importer may complete a procedure for obtaining GTIN and GLN codes. In general, to receive a GTIN code, you need to:

  1. Join the GS1 organization;
  2. Pay the annual contribution to GS1;
  3. Describe your product according to GS1 rules and procure GTIN codes.

Steps and Costs

The whole procedure includes the following steps:

  1. Your company submits an electronic request via the GS1 RUS website;
  2. After verification, you receive a bill for entrance fee payment — ₽25 000;
  3. Pay the bill;
  4. When the organization receives the funds, it sends you the registration data and instructions necessary for working with GS1 RUS informational resources;
  5. Using the received registration details, log into your account. Submit the necessary additional information and data, and receive a GLN code;
  6. When new products appear, you should log into your account again, enter the required information, and obtain a new GTIN code.
  7. After the first year, the annual subscription fee is  ₽15 000 to continue your membership in the GS1 organization.

Keep in mind that foreign manufacturers usually join GS1 and receive GTIN and GLN codes in their origin countries. Thus, the same manufacturer should know the codes he has obtained. However, it is also possible to receive GTIN and GLN codes for foreign products in Russia. Then, their barcodes will be shown with a Russian prefix.

GTIN and GLN are identifiers that will be mandatory for conformity declarations to ensure compliance with local and international standards. If you have not already obtained GTINs/GLNs, it is highly advisable to do so now.


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