GS1 Certificate: Do You Need One To Sell On Amazon?

As a new Amazon seller, you will want to ensure you have everything in place to ensure the most success out of your new venture. This includes all the correct paperwork, forms, and ‘stamps of approval’. If you’ve spoken to others in the industry, you have probably heard of or come across a GS1 certificate. But do you actually know what it is, and do you need one?

We want to ensure you’re all set up and ready to sell all you can, so we’re going to provide you with all the information you need about GS1 certificates. While it is possible to sell certain products without one, you most likely do need a GS1, so it’s best to know all about it.

So, let’s get started.

What is a GS1 certificate?

As an Amazon seller (or potential seller), you’ve probably noticed those barcode stickers on products, right? Behind those lies something called a GS1 certificate, quietly ensuring smooth operations in the global marketplace.

But what exactly is it? Essentially, it’s a specialised ID issued by the Global Standards organisation. Its job is to ensure accurate tracking and identification of products throughout the supply chain.

Think of it as a universal language for product identification, making life easier for manufacturers, retailers, and customers. From managing inventory to scanning items at the checkout, the GS1 certificate plays a crucial role in streamlining operations.

In essence, the GS1 certificate serves as a foundational element in the intricate web of product tracking and management.

Do you need a GS1 Certificate to sell your products on Amazon?

GS1 codes are unique identifiers used for labelling products with barcodes, making inventory management easier. Amazon now requires all products listed with a barcode to have a GS1 registered barcode. This means you need a GS1 certificate to use these barcodes on Amazon. The certificate proves that your business owns the GS1 prefix, ensuring compliance with Amazon’s barcode standards. Without it, your product listings might get rejected or even delisted from Amazon. So, if you want to sell on Amazon and use barcodes, getting a GS1 certificate is essential to meet their requirements.

Why is a GS1 certificate important?

Why is a GS1 certificate important?

A GS1 certificate holds significant importance for businesses, particularly those looking to sell products on Amazon, due to several key reasons:

Global recognition

GS1 standards are like a common language for businesses worldwide. They help everyone understand each other when it comes to product info. This makes it easy for companies to trade across borders without any hiccups. It’s all about keeping things smooth and efficient, no matter where you’re doing business.

Unique identification

GS1 certificates are like special tags for your products. They give each item its own unique ID number, kind of like a fingerprint. This helps keep track of everything, from the factory to the store shelves. With these IDs, you can manage your inventory better and make sure you’re never out of stock when customers come knocking.

Compliance with retail standards

Lots of stores, including Amazon, want products with GS1-certified barcodes. It’s like a stamp of approval that shows your products meet all the rules. Following GS1 standards means your products can go places – they’ll be more visible to customers and easier to find online.

Enhanced data accuracy

GS1 standards make sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to product info. They lay down the rules for stuff like size, weight, and colour, making sure everything’s consistent. This means fewer mistakes and happier customers who know exactly what they’re getting.

Amazon’s requirements

Amazon likes it when your products have GS1 certificates, especially if they’re branded. They don’t force you to get one, but they strongly suggest it. It’s all part of their Brand Registry program, which helps protect your brand and keeps things legit for customers. Using GS1-issued IDs makes it easier for Amazon to keep track of your products and make sure they’re the real deal.

Prevention of counterfeiting

With GS1-certified barcodes, you can fight back against fake products. These special codes help trace items back to their origins, proving they’re the real deal. This protects both businesses and shoppers from getting ripped off by counterfeiters. It’s all about keeping the marketplace safe and trustworthy for everyone.

Efficient supply chain management

Following GS1 standards streamlines your supply chain processes, from ordering to delivery. This means less hassle, lower costs, and happier customers who get their orders on time.

How to get a GS1 certificate

How to get a GS1 certificate

  1. Visit the GS1 website: Head over to the GS1 website ( to kick off the process.
  2. Choose your country: Pick your country or region from the list they’ve got on the website.
  3. Select membership type: GS1 has a few different membership options, so go for the one that fits your business best. Think about how many product codes you’ll need and whether you’re selling locally or globally.
  4. Complete the application: Fill out the form with all your business info – stuff like your company name, where you’re based, and how they can get in touch with you.
  5. Pay membership fee: There’s usually an annual fee for GS1 membership. Pay up using whatever payment method they accept.
  6. Receive GS1 certificate: Once they’ve processed your application and you’ve paid your fee, they’ll send you your GS1 certificate. This includes your special GS1 company prefix.
  7. Register your products: Now it’s time to get your products in the system. You’ll assign each one a unique ID number (GTIN) and create barcodes using your GS1 company prefix.
  8. Integrate with retail partners: If you’re selling through retailers or online platforms like Amazon, make sure your products meet their barcode requirements. Most places need GS1-compliant barcodes for listings and tracking.
  9. Maintain membership: Don’t forget to keep your GS1 membership up-to-date by renewing it each year. And stay on the ball with any changes to the GS1 standards.

Key takeaways

GS1 certificates provide unique identification for products, ensuring global recognition, compliance with retail standards, and enhanced data accuracy. While not mandatory for all Amazon sellers, GS1 certificates are highly recommended, especially for branded products, to meet Amazon’s requirements and prevent counterfeiting. Having a GS1 certificate streamlines operations, enhances product visibility, and fosters trust among customers, making it a valuable asset for businesses selling on Amazon.

If you need more information on GS1 certificates and want help getting them, Mercatus is here to help. We offer the ultimate service to help put your Amazon business on the market, ensure things are running smoothly, and that you reach the highest level of success. Get in touch with us so we can get started building the future of your sales together.

GS1 certificate FAQs

What is GS1?

GS1 acts as the backbone of product identification. It’s this global organisation that dishes out unique ID numbers and barcodes for products, making it easier for businesses to manage things like inventory and logistics.

Do I need barcodes on my products to sell on Amazon?

Yes, Amazon wants your products to have barcodes when you list them. While they prefer the ones from GS1 for smooth sailing operations, they do accept other types of barcodes too.

How much do GS1 codes cost?

GS1 codes can be quite pricey. For 1-10 barcodes, it’s $250 upfront plus a $50 annual renewal fee. The cost per barcode decreases with larger purchases, but for beginners, it’s a significant expense. Alternatively, GS1 offers a single UPC barcode for $30. If your product doesn’t require a barcode, you can apply for a GTIN exemption. This exemption allows you to sell without a barcode, which can be a more budget-friendly option, especially for those just starting out.