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GS1 is an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the development and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains globally and across multiple sectors. The GS1 System of standards is the most widely-used supply-chain standards system in the world.

GS1's main activity is the development of the GS1 System, a series of standards designed to improve supply-chain management. The GS1 System is composed of four key standards: Barcodes (used to automatically identify things), eCom (electronic business messaging standards allowing automatic electronic transmission of data), GDSN (Global Data Synchronisation standards which allow business partners to have consistent item data in their systems at the same time) and EPCglobal (which uses RFID technology to immediately track an item).

GS1 was formally created in 2005 to consolidate the work of the North American UCC (formed in 1974) and the EAN (European Article Numbering Association, formed in 1977 by 12 European organisations representing manufacturers and retailers). UCC and EAN had always cooperated closely to ensure compatibility of the standards for which each was responsible. It has its head office in Brusselsmarker. There are GS1 member organisation offices in 108 countries.

GS1 maintains a list of prefixes used by GS1 member organisations to assign company prefixes to their member companies enabling them to create GS1 Identification Keys.

GS1 prefixes do not provide identification of country of origin for a given product. Member companies may manufacture products anywhere in the world.

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