Basic documentation

Here you can find basic technical documentation for GS1's standards for identification, data capture and information sharing.

This documentation is primarily aimed at technical staff and system developers.

Identification, barcode and RFID labelling

The GS1 General Specifications is the basic rule book that describes the GS1 system and how to use it.

Download GS1 General Specifications (.pdf).


GS1 Electronic Data Interchange

GS1’s two standards for electronic commerce are GS1 EANCOM and GS1 XML. GS1 UN/CEFACT specifies how the GS1 system is used in UN/CEFACT XML messages.


GS1 EANCOM is an implementation of the UN/CEFACT EDIFACT standard.

Go to documentation for EANCOM'2002 Edition 2016 on GS1’s global website.

Go to documentation for EANCOM'97-2000

Download EDIFACT/EANCOM syntax rules 97-2000 (.pdf)


Go to documentation for GS1 XML on GS1’s global website


Go to documentation for GS1 UN/CEFACT XML on GS1’s global website


GDSN is GS1’s standard for synchronising basic information on, for example, trade items, places, and prices.

Go to documentation for GDSN on GS1’s global website


EPCIS is GS1’s standard for sharing event information.

Go to documentation for EPCIS on GS1’s global website