‡ In these countries please contact our distributor

Labelling, GS1 and GDSN Standards

GS1 The Global Language of BusinessGS1, Global Standards, is a neutral, not-for-profit, international organization that develops and maintains standards for supply and demand chains across multiple sectors.

GS1 introduced the barcode in 1974 and manages the barcode standard used by retailers, manufacturers and suppliers. Industries such as retail and consumer products have used these standards for years, and the healthcare industry is quickly adopting them as well

Smith & Nephew has adopted the GS1 bar code standard and its GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) identifiers to serve as a foundation for achieving UDI compliance. In fact, some of our customers in the U.S. as well as in countries like France, Spain, Japan and China already require GS1 compliant labels today.

During 2014 and 2015, in order to meet the UDI regulation, Smith & Nephew began the transition from Health Industry Bar Code (HIBCC) barcodes to standard GS1-128 compliant barcodes on all products globally.

Below is an example of an HIBCC bar code label and a corresponding GS1 compliant bar code label:

Current HIBCC Future GS1


Current HIBC barcode label

Future GS1 barcode label

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Global Location Number (GLN) and Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN)

In addition to adoption of GTIN product identifiers, we are implementing two other parts of the GS1 standards:

  1. Global Location Number (GLN) can be used to identify a company’s physical locations and legal entities, enabling efficiency and accuracy in communicating and sharing location information.
  2. GS1 Global Data Synchronisation Network® (GDSN) enables trading partners to automatically share their business data with each other, ensuring that that the data exchanged between them is accurate and compliant with universally supported standards.  The GDSN consists of the GTIN product identifier and the GLN location identifier.

Click here to learn more about our GDSN initiatives and how to access our GDSN catalog.

Contact us

If you have any questions regarding our implementation of the Unique Device Identifier, please contact the Smith & Nephew UDI program director