Trade Item Information

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Can't find what you're looking for? Read our Guideline for Trade Item Information

Trade Item Document

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Document status shows if the trade item information is for a new item, a deleted item or a changed item, or is a correction of trade item information. Note that document status applies to the entire trade item hierarchy.

Document status must always be given relative to existing trade item information in Validoo Item. If, for example, information for a new trade item is rejected by Validoo Item, the trade item information should be corrected and resent. When resending, this is still a new item.

New is used when all items in a trade item hierarchy are new and being launched for the first time. It is also used when the item at pallet level is new and the items at case or base unit level are unchanged.

Example 1: a new item is being launched the first time.

Example 2: an existing item at base unit level is being included in new items at case and pallet level.

Delete is used when the supplier deletes trade item information from his system, so that the buyer also deletes the corresponding information. It may only be used for items which are known to the buyer. It may only be used if the buyer has previously received a message from the supplier that the item is being discontinued (given in T4015, Discontinued date time).

Example: Information that the trade item should be removed from the system. Discontinued date has been given in a previous message (as a change).

Change is used when one or more items in the hierarchy are changed, but no item has been corrected. Change does not require the item to be given a new GTIN according to GS1’s GTIN allocation rules. An example is changing the storage temperature of the trade item. It may only be used for items which are known to the buyer.

Example: Items at the case and pallet level are being discontinued. Articles at the base unit level are part of another hierarchy. Discontinued date for the discontinued item must be given.

Correction is used when trade item information for one or more items is corrected. Correction means that information previously sent is incorrect and must be corrected without any change to the item, for example, correcting a spelling error in the item name. It may only be used for items which are known to the buyer.

Example: An attribute of an item at case level is corrected. Other levels are not affected by the correction.

The term Last changed date time enables version control by giving the moment in time when trade item information was last changed in the information provider’s database.

  • Use the date and time of the new version for a new or changed item.
  • Use the most recent date trade item information was changed, if the item has not changed.

Only GLNs which have been created using a GS1 company prefix issued by GS1 Sweden, another national GS1 organisation or GS1 Global Office can be used in trade item information.

Item identification

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In trade item information a GTIN must always consist of 14 digits. If you use 13- or 8-digit numbers, these should be padded to the left with zeroes. It is only the format of the item number which is changed; the meaning of the number is not affected.

Example:

  • GTIN-13: 07300011000017
  • GTIN-8: 00000073000013

There are international rules for which changes to an item require the item to be given a new GTIN and which changes are permitted without a new GTIN being allocated.

You must change the GTIN if you change:

  • brand name
  • package dimensions
  • content’s weight or volume
  • comparison amount
  • contained items (number or type)
  • ingredients (where this is significant for the consumer). Example: An item's ingredients change from gluten-free to containing gluten. The change affects consumers who are gluten intolerant.

You do not need to change the GTIN for:

  • a new package design
  • promotions when material such as competition details is included in or printed on the package, on condition that volume, weight or price are not changed
  • a new supplier selling existing stocks
  • an item that changes status from not orderable to orderable.

Read more about the international GTIN allocation rules

The GTIN allocation rules describe which changes to an item require the item to be given a new GTIN and which changes are permitted without a new GTIN being allocated. An outer dimension may be changed by a maximum of 20% without the item needing a new GTIN.

Read more about the international GTIN allocation rules

A common error in trade item information is that width and depth are interchanged. For the information to be correct the values for height and width need to be changed, which often leads to differences over 20%. You may then resend the trade item information with status correct without needing to give the item a new GTIN on condition that the item is new and not already on the market.

Bear in mind that if the error is discovered at a late stage it can have considerable effect on the recipient's preparations for launch such as planning the items’ placement on the shelf. Draw the attention of your trading partner to the fact that new information with significant corrections has been sent.

Only the following GTINs can be used in trade item information:

  • GTINs which have been created using a GS1 company prefix issued by GS1 Sweden, another national GS1 organisation or GS1 Global Office.
  • In Sweden, a variable measure number (starting "2X”) can be used as a GTIN for consumer units with variable weight. In some countries, for example the Netherlands, a variable measure number cannot be used as a GTIN, but a “proper” GTIN must be used. The supplier must therefore check what applies for recipients in different countries.
  • ISSN and ISBN can be used as GTINs for books by agreement between GS1 and the respective organisations.

Information for the shelf-edge label is fetched from terms in trade item information. It is important that the supplier populates this information correctly since it is intended to go directly onto the shelf-edge label in the store. The illustration below shows an example of how the information on the shelf-edge label relates to trade item information.

Shelf-edge/till-roll text

The shelf-edge/till-roll text must not contain the brand name or size

  • Common error: Brand name or package size are included in Shelf-edge/till-roll text

Shelf-edge/till-roll text: “Superwash Sens 750” is given in trade item information. Since the brand name and package size have their own terms in trade item information, they will be repeated on the shelf-edge label.

Comparative price

Comparative price is calculated using price and Price comparison measurement value as follows:

Price divided by Price comparison measurement value

Note that the price of the item is not stated in trade item information but set by the store.

Example

The supplier has stated in trade item information that a package of washing powder is sufficient for 20 washes:

  • Price comparison measurement value: 20
  • Unit of measurement for comparison measurement: PCE (each)
  • Price comparison measurement code: PER_WASH

Store’s price: SEK 29.90 per package

Comparative price: 29.90/20 = SEK 1.50 per wash

The Swedish and Latin names for the fish are stated in the terms Item name and Shelf-edge/till-roll text respectively.

  • Item name – Latin name, e.g. Salmo salar
  • Shelf-edge/till-roll text –Swedish name, e.g. Lax

Harmonised system code is required when the buyer has to pay duty on the items being imported. The number is allocated by the customs authorities. If the buyer does not have to pay duty on the items, this information is not needed.

Target market area is the country or other geographical area where the supplier has decided to make the item available for purchase. This in no way affects where the buyer can resell the item to the consumer.

GS1’s global standard for trade item information shows which terms are global and which can vary according to target market area and recipient. On the other hand, GS1’s international GTIN allocation rules apply to all target market areas. The GTIN allocation rules describe which changes to an item require the item to be given a new GTIN and which changes are permitted without a new GTIN being allocated.

Item level

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An item can be one of three different levels:

  • Base unit – the lowest level in an item hierarchy. A base unit is always contained in another item at case or pallet level, but it is self contains no items identified with a GTIN.
  • Case – the middle level in an item hierarchy. An item at case level contains other items and is itself contained in an item. An item at case level can contain items at base unit level or other items at case level.
  • Pallet – the top level of an item hierarchy. An item at pallet level contains other items but is not itself contained in another item.

The contained items at the next lower level in the item hierarchy must be stated for each item at pallet and case level.

Example: There are 24 cases on a pallet. Each case contains six bottles of shampoo. The pallet is pallet level, the case of shampoo bottles in this case level and one shampoo bottle is base unit level.

Item hierarchy

Item level Item Contained item Number of contained items
Pallet Pallet with cases Case of shampoo bottles 24
Case Case of shampoo bottles Shampoo bottle 6
Base Shampoo bottle    

Apples sold by weight packed in a box

  • Base unit: Box of apples
  • Case: No case level if the boxes are on a pallet
  • Pallet: Pallet with a number of boxes

Baking potatoes sold individually packed in a box

  • Base unit: One unpacked baking potato
  • Case: Box of baking potatoes
  • Pallet: Pallet with a number of boxes

Baking potatoes sold by weight and packed in a box

The boxes are on a half pallet and the half pallets on a full pallet

  • Base unit: Box of baking potatoes
  • Pallet: Pallet with a number of boxes

A display pallet often consists of consumer units in opened outer packages. In the article hierarchy, the consumer unit is a base level and the display pallet is the orderable and logistic unit at pallet level.

Example: A display pallet holds 42 packages each with consumer units of cat food.

Item level Item Contained item Number of contained items
Pallet   Display pallet   Consumer unit of cat food  324
Base   Consumer unit of cat food  -  -

 

Note that the opened outer packages must not be described as an item at case level since they do not have the same logistic attributes as unopened outer packages. If opened outer packages were described as if they were unopened, this might lead to problems in supplying retail stores.

Producy classification

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Product classification states how the item is classified according to GPC (Global Product Classification). GPC is mandatory for all levels in an item hierarchy.

In homogenous item hierarchies, the same product classification as the base level can be used for all levels. For mixed item hierarchies, the product class for variety pack or one of the contained items’ product classes can be used for entire hierarchy.

Read more about GPC and the GPC Browser

Item status

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Item status states if the item is intended for sale to the end consumer, if it is a logistic unit or if it is orderable. Note that the same item can have several of these attributes.

  • An item that is a consumer unit can also be orderable (physically large consumer items sometimes have no case level).
  • An orderable item can also be a logistic unit (for example a display pallet).

Example: Bottles of mineral water can be sold to the consumer individually or in a six-pack. Orderable units are a six-pack of bottles or a box with four six-packs. The logistic unit is a pallet with 24 boxes.

Read more about item status

The term Consumer availability date time is the date and time from which sale of the item to the end customer is permitted, i.e. the launch date.

The term First ship date time is the earliest date and time that the item can be shipped under prevailing delivery terms, regardless of where it is shipped from.

The term Start availability date time is the earliest time at which the supplier can accept orders. This date should not be confused with Consumer availability date time which is when the item should be on store shelves.

If Consumer availability date time is used as Start availability date time there is a risk that the item will be opened in the buyer’s purchasing system too late for ordering. This can in the worst case mean empty shelves at launch or, almost as bad, unnecessary manual intervention.

Seasonal items are specified by stating the period during which an item is orderable using Start availability date time and End availability date time. If the new season is given, the correction is sent as trade item information with the new dates.

An example is given below of a seasonal item which is launched, available for three seasons, and then deleted from the product range.

Season 1

  • T0153 Document command: New item
  • T4727 Start availability date time: 2015-10-15
  • T4726 End availability date time: 2015-12-27

Season 2

  • T0153 Document command: Change
  • T4727 Start availability date time: 2016-10-14
  • T4726 End availability date time: 2016-12-27

Season 3

  • T0153 Document command: Change
  • T4727 Start availability date time: 2017-10-14
  • T4015 Discontinued date time: 2017-12-27

Packaging

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For items which are loaded onto one of Svenska Retursystem’s pallets, Packaging type code, Pallet type code and Returnable package deposit code must be populated. When Validoo Item carries out its validations the load device weight given in the code list is included in the gross weight. In the event that different standard weights are given in the code lists for Pallet type and Returnable package deposit, the weight from Returnable package deposit is used.

  T0137 Packaging type code T2244 Pallet type code T0148 Returnable package deposit code
SRS returnable half pallet PX-pallet 10 - ISO 0-pallet 7350000486100
SRS returnable half pallet (brewers) PX-pallet 10 - ISO 0-pallet 7350000486117
SRS/Paletten black returnable full pallet PX-pallet 11 - ISO 1-pallet 7350000486308
SRS/Paletten grey returnable full pallet PX-pallet 11 - ISO 1-pallet 7350000486315

 

For items which have one of Svenska Retursystem’s boxes as the packaging type, "T0137 Packaging type code" should be set to CR – Crate and "T0148 Returnable package deposit code” to the appropriate model of box.

For pallets which do not carry a deposit, Packaging type and Returnable package deposit code should be given. For example, for a single-use half pallet set “T0137 Packaging type code” to PX – Pallet and “T2244 Pallet type code” to 10 – ISO 0-pallet.

Packaging material must be populated when:

  • The item’s packaging material will be recycled and the supplier has not paid the packaging fee for recycling.

Packaging material does not need to be populated when:

  • the supplier has paid the packaging fee for recycling, or
  • the item does not have any packaging material (e.g. a baking potato), or
  • the item has returnable packaging (which therefore will not be recycled).

Why do I need to state the packaging material?

In Sweden there is a statutory supplier responsibility for recycling packaging material. Since recycling is not self-financing, operations are financed through fees.

The company that sells the goods to the consumer is responsible for ensuring that the fee is paid. The retailer therefore needs to know if the supplier has already paid or not. If the supplier has not paid the fee, the retailer needs to know in addition what packaging material is used in order to pay the correct fee.

How is packaging material shown in trade item information?

The example shows how trade item information should be populated for various cases.

Example 1: Packaging fee has been paid. Packaging material does not need to be populated.

  Base unit level Case level Pallet level
  Chocolate bar, 200 g    
Förpackningsavgift betald, indikator Yes Yes Yes
Returemballage, indikator No No No
Förpacknings-/kollityp, kod Wrapper Case Pallet
Förpackningsmaterial, kod - - -
Förpackningsmaterialets vikt - - -
Kodlisteutgivare för förpackningsmaterial, kod - - -

 

Exempel 2: Förpackningsavgiften är inte betald. Förpackningsmaterial behöver därför anges, förutom för artikeln på toppnivå eftersom den är returemballage.

 

  Base unit level Case level Pallet level
  Tomatoes 400g  Case, 16 cans  Full pallet, 36 cases
Förpackningsavgift betald, indikator No No No
Returemballage, indikator No No Yes
Förpacknings-/kollityp, kod Can- metal (with paper label) Case Pallet
Förpackningsmaterial, kod Metal Corrugated board -
Förpackningsmaterialets vikt 38 gram 263 gram -
Kodlisteutgivare för förpackningsmaterial, kod GS1 Sweden GS1 Sweden -
Förpackningsmaterial, kod Papper/board -  
Förpackningsmaterialets vikt 8 gram -  
Kodlisteutgivare för förpackningsmaterial, kod GS1 Sweden -  

 

Exempel 3: Förpackningsavgiften är inte betald. Förpackningsmaterial behöver därför anges, förutom för artikeln på basnivå eftersom den är oförpackad.

  Base unit level Case level Pallet level
  Baking potato   Case, 16 pieces  Full pallet, 18 cases
Förpackningsavgift betald, indikator No No No
Returemballage, indikator No No No
Förpacknings-/kollityp, kod Unpacked Case Pallet
Förpackningsmaterial, kod - Corrugated board Wood
Förpackningsmaterialets vikt - 216 gram 25000 gram
Kodlisteutgivare för förpackningsmaterial, kod - GS1 Sweden GS1 Sweden

Dimensions

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Height, width and depth for consumer units are defined starting on the face that is exposed the consumer. It makes no difference if an item is placed on the shelf, in a cupboard or in a box.

Read more about package measurement rules

The front is the face with the largest area and which is used to sell the item to the consumer, that is the face which is marked with for example the item name and/or the brand. This definition applies even if the package is placed on the shelf in a different way, for example table margarine. The front is defined as the margarine packet’s lid since the brand name is largest on this face.

 

Nesting increment is given for packages when it is not the same as the items height and/or layer height. Examples: a pack of table margarine, returnable boxes, SRS boxes or buckets.

The illustration shows how an item’s height and nesting increment add up to the total height of the stack.

 

In Packaging guide for groceries, published by ECR Sweden, there are recommendations for the maximum pallet height and maximum weight for consumer units, cases and pallets. The recommendations, or the recipient-specific rules, have been prepared to enable optimised road transport and storage in racks at distribution centres.

The recipient-specific rules are used by some buyers, but not others. If the buyer uses recipient-specific rules these are checked in Validoo Item on behalf of the buyer.

Within grocery retail the following recommendations apply:

  • Pallet height max 1250 mm
  • Pallet weight max 1 000 000 gram
  • Consumer unit weight max 15 000 gram
  • Case weight max 15 000 gram
  • Half pallet weight max 500 000 gram
  • 1/3-pallet weight max 334 000 gram
  • 1/4-pallet weight max 225 000 gram

Even if the buyer applies the recipient-specific rules, he can make exceptions, called dispensations, for certain types of item. It is the buyer who decides if he will permit a height in excess of the maximum pallet height or a weight over maximum weight. It is the buyer himself who issues and administers dispensations. Contact your buyer, therefore, to get a dispensation from the recipient-specific rules.

Storage and Handling

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Quantity of complete layers and Quantity per layer are not mandatory and should not be populated when the display unit is a full pallet.

Stacking factor states how many packages can be stacked on one another without the goods being damaged. If the highest stack that can be made consists of three packages the value shall be 3.

In some cases the stacking factor is converted to the weight which a package can withstand. The number should therefore be stated even if the package type will never be stacked up to this number.

Packaging hierarchy

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Describing a brewery pallet - example

A brewery pallet consists of a full pallet with two half pallets on it. On each half pallet there are two trays with 24 bottles in each. Four layers of trays and bottles are stacked on each other. At the top of each stack there is an empty tray which locks the upper layer of bottles. The bottles, trays and pallets have deposits which must be given in trade item information. Each item can have information on one or more deposits. Each deposit can be associated with a given quantity.

The item hierarchy consists of three levels:

Pallet level

  • The pallet level is the full pallet.
  • Dimensions and weight include the full pallet’s height and weight
  • Packaging type: pallet.
  • If a returnable full pallet with deposit is used, the deposit code for a returnable full pallet is given.

Case level

  • The case level is the half pallets with the two stacks.
  • For a mixed pallet, the item hierarchy has several items at case level
  • Dimensions and weight include the half pallet’s height and weight
  • Packaging type: pallet.
  • If a returnable half pallet the deposit is used, the deposit code play a returnable half pallet is given.
  • The case level item also includes the deposit for the 10 trays on each half pallet

Base unit level

  • The lowest level of the item hierarchy is the base unit level, which in this case is a 1½ litre PET- bottle with beverage
  • For a mixed pallet, the item hierarchy has several items at base unit level
  • Deposit code for 1½ litre PET is given.

This is how an item hierarchy with deposits looks for a homogeneous and mixed pallet:

Homogeneous pallet

Item level Item Contained item Number of contained items Deposit/Quantity  
Pallet level Full pallet Half pallet 2 Deposit code for returnable full pallet / 1
Case level Half pallet Bottle 192 Deposit code for returnable half pallet / 1
Deposit code for tray /10
Base unit level Bottle - - Deposit for PET 1½ l / 1

Mixed pallet

Item level Item Contained item Number of contained items Deposit/Quantity  
Pallet level Full pallet Half pallet A
Half pallet B
1
1
Deposit code for returnable full pallet / 1
Case level Half pallet A Bottle A 192 Deposit code for returnable half pallet / 1
Deposit code for tray /10
Case level Half pallet B Bottle B 192 Deposit code for returnable half pallet / 1
Deposit code for tray /10
Base unit level Bottle A - - Deposit for PET 1½ l / 1
Base unit level Bottle B - - Deposit for PET 1½ l / 1

Food and beverage information

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Companies in the FMCG sector and companies in the foodservice require different terms for food information.

The following terms have priority as a minimum header food and beverage information is sent to companies in grocery retail:

If the item has a list of ingredients, then these should be given in

  • T4088 Ingredients statement

If the item has a nutrition declaration, this should be given in

  • T4069 Preparation state
  • T3820 Nutrient basis quantity type code
  • T3824 Nutrient basis quantity
  • T5100 Measurement unit code

For each nutrition value

  • T4073 Nutrient type code
  • T4074 Quantity contained
  • T3780 Measurement unit code
  • T4075 Measurement precision

If the item is marked with information that it contains, or may contain, an allergen state:

  • T4077 Allergen statement
  • T4078 Allergen type code
  • T4079 Level of containment
  • T4080 Allergen specification agency
  • T4081 Allergen specification name

Note that, if appropriate, “free from” information is stated in the Trade Item Information.

If the item has information on diet type (e.g. Halal or Kosher) state:

  • T4066 Diet type code

If information is being sent to companies within food service, in addition to the terms above the following are prioritised as a minimum:

  • T4193 Nutritional claim
  • T4090 Health claim
  • T4092 Number of servings
  • T4036 Number of smallest units per package
  • T4093 Maximum number of smallest units per package
  • T4082 Preparation type
  • T4083 Preparation instructions
  • T4084 Product yield type code

 

Combined products which consist of components that do not have their own GTINs should have the ingredients for the individual components listed after each other. Example: A package consisting of both Serrano Ham and chorizo. The ingredients are listed as "INGREDIENTS: Serrano ham: Ham, salt, preservative (E252) Chorizo: Pork, salt, spices, colouring (E120)."

If the combined product consists of components which have their own GTIN the information is reported separately for each of the items.

Combined products which consist of components that do not have their own GTINs should have a common nutritional declaration for all components. If the combined product consists of components which have their own GTIN, the information is reported separately for each of the items.

The amount of added caffeine should be reported in the ingredients list, for example "caffeine (0.15%)". Note that caffeine which is present naturally, such as in coffee or tea, does not need to be reported in the ingredients list.

Allergens must be specified using the attributes T4078 Allergen type code, T4079 Level of containment and T4088 Ingredient statement.

The user group for Food and Beverage information recommends that allergens are marked with uppercase in T4088 Ingredient statement.

Example: The allergen mjölk is specified in bold or italic letters in the ingredient statement on the package. In T4088 Ingredient statement, the allergen MJÖLK is specified in uppercase.

Enter the code value for "MILK", T4078 Allergen type code.

Yes. You must list any allergens in element “T4078 Allergen type code” in the Food and beverage information even if your product, for example a package of eggs, has no list of ingredients. When the correct allergens are listed the recipient can easily sort products by allergen type in his product database.

Element “T4069 Preparation state” is used to state if the nutrient values in the Food and beverage information apply when the product has or has not been prepared by the consumer/customer after purchase.

Example: Use “Unprepared” if the nutrient values apply to undiluted fruit squash or “Prepared” if the values apply after the squash has been diluted with water.

Other

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All items which are sold per unit must have a GTIN, even if they are unpacked and do not carry a barcode. The following recommendation applies for dough which is baked in-store and then sold to consumers:

  • T4037 Consumer unit indicator = true (consumer units)
  • T0137 Package type = 9J (unpacked)

The supplier decides if it is the unbaked dough or the package that the dough pieces are packed in that is the orderable unit. Height, width and depth for the dough piece are measured as for a consumer unit.

For items with varying dimensions such as meat, fish, cheese, fruit and vegetables where the quantity of products in a package can vary and the price varies with the quantity, trade item information is given as follows:

Variable measure item indicator

In trade item information the term Variable measure item indicator is set to true to show that the item is variable measure. The indicator is a yes/no indicator which is mandatory at all item levels since some items, for example cheese, can have a variable weight at base unit level but fixed weight at case level.

GTIN, Global Trade Item Number

A consumer unit with a variable weight is numbered with a variable measure number. Since a GTIN is always 14 digits in trade item information, the 13 digit code should be padded with a leading zero. When a variable measure number is used in trade item information, the four digits showing the price in crowns or the weight in kilograms are replaced by four zeros and the check digit recalculated.

Read more about variable measure numbers

Note that it is only the consumer unit, at the base unit level of the item hierarchy, which is numbered with a variable measure number. Items at the case level and pallet level must not be numbered with a variable measure number but with a GTIN.

Item width, height, depth, gross weight and package contents

Measure and weigh several units to determine an average value for the item’s dimensions and use these in trade item information.

Trade item information for books is reported as follows:

Information provider -- GLN for the order recipient, that is the party the item is ordered from. Can be a trading partner or distributor.

  • Brand name – author’s name (last name, first name)
  • Item description -- title and publisher or imprint separated with “/”.
  • Shelf-edge/till-roll text -- book title. May be shortened to fit.
  • Package size -- type of binding (hardback/paperback/library/talking book)
  • Dimensions -- the book’s dimensions are given according to the picture on the right.