The Threat of Unauthorised Numbers to Product Identity Governance



As the world moves forward towards the future, GS1 has been increasingly asked to support new areas and become a critical piece in solving global problems, such as counterfeit goodsfood safety and patient safety. Identified by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as one of the 50 things that made the modern economy  GS1 has been required to take steps to ensure that the GS1 Standards & Keys remains healthy and well protected.

Consumers and trading partners are demanding more and better product data than ever before. At the same time, there is a proliferation of inconsistent approaches to exchanging data, which results in poor-quality product information and unnecessary costs to brand owners and retailers. This ultimately results in lost sales and an erosion of consumer trust, especially in e-commerce. The Consumer Goods Forum’s Product Data Coalition and GS1 are collaborating on three strategic initiatives to address the weaknesses of today’s data exchange processes, and to ensure that products are represented as well in the digital world as they are in the physical world—with multiple benefits for the industry such as simplified listings, reduced time to market, more consumer transparency and reduced counterfeiting. Below is a brief overview of the three initiatives followed by a step-by-step guide to getting started:

Strategic Initiative 1


1. Make sure that all of your company's physical products are uniquely identified with a GS1-issued GTIN (Global Trade Item Number), in other words an authentic GS1-issued Barcode Number.

2. Make sure that your Product's "ID Card" or the collection of information related to your product contains the 7 basic attributes for easy an efficient identification.

3. Use the GS1 Malaysia Member Product Databank to share your company's product information with your trading partners and consumers.


​The ubiquity and quality of digital data is transforming the way consumers learn about brands, even more so in the wake of COVID-19. The crisis is accelerating consumer reliance on digital and is spurring faster growth in e-commerce. All of this constitutes a call to action for the industry

The Consumer Goods Forum, together with GS1, is urging all Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies to take the necessary steps to support our three strategic data initiatives. The below summarises the 10 steps to ensure your products will be represented as well in the digital world as they are in the physical world:


1. Understand the requirements for product data governance and how to onboard your organization.

2. Make sure all your products are labelled with GS1-issued Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) or barcode numbers.

3. Make sure the core product attributes (7 basic attributes: GTIN, Product Name, Brand Name, Net Contents & Unit of Measure, Product Classification or GPC, Target Market and Product Image) is provided when submitting your product information using the GS1 Malaysia Product Listing Template.

Click here to download the template.

4. Submit your product listing to be uploaded into the GS1 Member Product Databank.

Find out more here.

5. Make sure your uploaded product information is correct by using the GS1 Malaysia Product Search Portal (Click Here!) or Databank Mobile App. (Download it here!)

6. Make sure your company information is correct by using the GS1 Global Electronic Party Information Registry (GEPIR).

Click here to try!

7. Ensure that the presented information matches your company's own product data.

8. Update or make changes to your master product data as required.

9. Work with your supplierstrading partners and e-marketplaces to ensure information accuracy and visibility.

10. Work with your local GS1 and government agencies to promote product identity governance.


Companies can only acquire barcodes from official GS1 member organizations (MOs) such as GS1 Malaysia. Every country has only one GS1 member organization, such as GS1 Australia, GS1 China, GS1 UK and GS1 US, serving more than 160 countries around the world. As a standards-based product identity governance organization, GS1’s mandate is linked to our international directive for data visibility and governance as well as country-specific regulations. Our members’ GS1 Membership License is the best proof of their legitimacy, which can be further verified through GS1’s Global Electronic Party Information Registry (GEPIR).

GS1 Malaysia is an official strategic partner of Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumerism Affairs (KPDNHEP) and we are working closely with them and other government agencies and local associations to ensure that the GS1 Standards & Keys are indicative of good business practices and product identity governance.

GS1 Malaysia would like to remind our members who are brand owners, as well as those who use OEM or Contract Manufacturers or who are OEM/Contract Manufacturers themselves that they should always ensure that your own and your client’s products bear GS1-allocated barcode numbers at all levels of the supply chain. OEM/Contract Manufacturers should strongly encourage your clients/brand owners to subscribe directly with GS1 Malaysia for their product identification needs, however if that is not possible, we present the following possible alternatives:

  1. OEM manufacturers subscribe for GS1 Malaysia on their client’s behalf, with their client’s full knowledge AND details.
  1. OEM manufacturers subscribe for GS1 Malaysia on their client’s behalf, using their own (the OEM Company) details, with their client’s full knowledge.

OEM members are reminded that the allocated identifiers/barcode numbers from the new account can only be used on that client’s products. As long as this is upheld, any change to your contract with your client will only require a transfer of the affected membership, without any risk or dispute to your main membership.

In all the available options above, GS1 Malaysia will always maintain a strict confidentiality stance. If the above options are not sufficient to cover your current situation or if you have some questions, GS1 Malaysia is always open to discussions. Any changes are subject to discussion and approval from GS1 Malaysia.