With the start of audits to IFS Food version 7 having a GLN (Global Location Number) became mandatory for companies in the European Economic Area (EEA), the United Kingdom and Switzerland. It is specified in Part 4 of the standard and applies to the subsequent versions of the IFS Food Standard.
IFS decided to introduce the GLN to simplify the communication between suppliers and retailers and to further optimize the security and verifiability of IFS Certificates. For you, the GLN is an additional feature with which you can prove to your business partners the authenticity of your certification and your compliance with the highest standards.
To achieve this, IFS and GS1 have worked together closely. This cooperation is unique worldwide and sets new standards for even more secure certificates. The global GS1 organization is an official provider of GLNs worldwide.
We at GS1 Germany have partnered together with IFS Management GmbH to provide you with the perfect package. It consists of two parts: a GLN for your location and the automatic entry of your GLN into the global GS1 database GEPIR. Both are required for certification.
If you already have a GLN, you can of course also use it for certification. The prerequisite is that it is registered in GEPIR and that the company name and address match the information in the certificate exactly.
What is a GLN?
The Global Location Number (GLN for short) is like a fingerprint in national and international business transactions. With a GLN, companies and parts of companies, such as production sites or warehouses, can be clearly identified. A GLNs consists of 13 digits and is the key to company information stored in databases.
Within the scope of IFS Certification, the GLN identifies the location for which a certificate is sought. Since a GLN can only be assigned to one location at a time, you need at least one separate GLN per certification location.
The entry of your GLN in GEPIR confirms its authenticity
GEPIR is a global GS1 database in which companies and their locations can be found via its respective GLN. In this way it can be determined whether you are the actual owner of the GLN named in the certificate. Your GLN is active in GEPIR as long as you are a customer of GS1.
To use a GLN for IFS Certification, it must be registered and active in GEPIR. In addition, the company name and address must correspond exactly with the information in the certificate. Only in this way IFS and your business partners can verify the authenticity of your GLN and certificate.
You already have a GLN and want to use it for certification?
The role of the GLN in the IFS certification process
The GLN appears on the cover page of the assessment report and on the IFS Food Certificate.
During the IFS Assessment, the auditor checks all mandatory information that appears in the assessment report, including the GLN. The validation is carried out via the global GS1 database GEPIR or via the proof of your order at GS1 by invoice.
There are various options available to you, depending on your needs. However, the decisive factor is always for how many locations you need your own certificate and thus your own GLN.
You can order your GLN from your local GS1 organization or GS1 Germany. At GS1 Germany you have the choice between two offers: GLN Type 1 or GS1 Complete.
You have a single location?
Our solution: GLN Type 1
You have several locations?
Our solution: GS1 Complete
All-around carefree package of GLN and entry in GEPIR
No delay in certification due to fast delivery
Benefit from a strong partnership
The GLN is only mandatory for the IFS Food Standard. Your company needs the GLN if the location is in a country belonging to the EEA or in the UK or in Switzerland as defined in the IFS Food Standard and Doctrine.
With the start of audits to IFS Food version 7 having a GLN (Global Location Number) became mandatory for companies in the European Economic Area (EEA), the United Kingdom and Switzerland. It is specified in Part 4 of the standard and applies to the subsequent versions of the IFS Food Standard. Companies shall have the GLN by the assessment date at the latest.
The GLN helps to optimise communication between food suppliers and retailers. The GLN clearly defines to which company and which site the certificate refers.
Furthermore, the GLN contributes to increase the security and verifiability of the IFS Certificates. Forged certificates can be detected and combated more quickly through a digital comparison.
The GLN is only mandatory for the IFS Food Standard. The obligation is valid since IFS Food version 7.
You can use any GLN for the IFS Certification. The prerequisite is that your GLN is active in GEPIR and that the data in GEPIR matches the company data in your certificate. Therefore, check now whether your GLN is active in GEPIR. Only then can the auditor, the certification body or IFS validate your GLN.
You have the option of having your GLN entered in GEPIR at a later date if you are already a customer of GS1. The procedure depends on where you purchased your GLN.
If you purchased your GLN at GS1 Germany and are a customer of ours, please contact us by e-mail at gln-support @ gs1.de with your company name and GLN. We will make sure that you are added to GEPIR as quickly as possible.
If you have acquired your GLN from a GS1 organization outside Germany, please contact this organization in order to find out whether the registration of your GLN in GEPIR can be carried out subsequently. Here, you can find the contact details of the GS1 Member Organisation in your country.
Alternatively, you can order a new GLN here. We will handle the registration in GEPIR for you directly.
The GLN is a globally unique identification number for a location. In order for the GLN to uniquely identify this location, a GLN may only be assigned to one location at a time. Otherwise it is not possible to differentiate between different locations. The use of a GLN for several locations therefore violates the GS1 General Specifications.
If your company has several locations but currently only one GLN, it is decisive for the further procedure whether you have a GLN type 1 or GLN type 2 (in Germany part of GS1 Complete). With a GLN type 2 in the GS1 Complete package you have the possibility to generate additional sub-GLNs for your locations with the help of the GLN Manager. This is not possible with a GLN type 1. You can therefore decide whether you purchase a single GLN type 1 for each location or order GS1 Complete and generate sub-GLNs yourself.
If you have any questions about your existing GLN, please contact your GS1 member organisation directly.
The GLOBALG.A.P. number (GGN) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies each individual producer within the GLOBALG.A.P. database. It has been created specifically for the GlobalG.A.P. process and is used only there.
For IFS Certification, on the other hand, the GLN is required. It can be used to uniquely identify not only the company (or producer), but each individual production site. Since the IFS Food Certificate certifies one location, you need a GLN accordingly. Furthermore, only the GLN can be validated by the auditor via GEPIR.
If your company doesn’t have a GLN yet, it can be ordered at the day of the IFS Assessment at the latest. If you don’t have it available, the number can be communicated to the certification body right after the IFS Assessment.
If you want to have only one location certified, the GLN Type 1 is the right choice for you, because it allows you to purchase a single GLN.
The price for the GLN Type 1 is 95.00€ (plus statutory VAT) in the first year. From the second year on, you only pay 85.00€ (plus statutory VAT). The billing is per calendar year.
GS1 Complete is the right choice for you if you are looking for certification for multiple locations. The price for GS1 Complete is made up of a one-time initial fee and an annual fee based on your annual revenue. Billing is per calendar year.
The use of the GLN Manager to generate additional sub-GLNs is free of charge for GS1 Complete customers.
|GS1 Complete||One-time fee|
|For up to 1,000 GLNs / GTINs||230.00 Euro plus VAT|
|I||less than 5 million Euro||150.00 Euro*|
|II||5 million Euro up to less than 25 million Euro||420.00 Euro*|
|III||25 million Euro up to less than 50 million Euro||670.00 Euro*|
|IV||50 million Euro up to less than 250 million Euro||1,900.00 Euro*|
|V||250 million Euro up to less than 500 million Euro||2,650.00 Euro*|
|VI||500 million Euro up to less than 1.25 billion Euro||4,000.00 Euro*|
|VII||1.25 billion Euro up to less than 2.5 billion Euro||5,500.00 Euro*|
|VIII||2.5 billion Euro up to less than 5 billion Euro||7,000.00 Euro*|
|IX||5 billion Euro up to less than 7.5 billion Euro||9,000.00 Euro*|
|X||7.5 billion Euro up to less than 10 billion Euro||11,000.00 Euro*|
|XI||10 billion Euro up to less than 15 billion Euro||20,000.00 Euro*|
|XII||15 billion Euro and above||30,000.00 Euro*|
* plus VAT
With GS1 Complete, you are well-prepared to operate several locations and covered if you plan to open additional locations or branches in the future. GS1 Complete customers have free access to the GLN Manager, so you can generate additional sub-GLNs for your locations and branches at any time.
Are you planning to sell your products in the retail sector in the future? Then GS1 Complete is the ideal solution for you, because, in addition to the GLN, GS1 Complete also allows you to create GTINs (formerly EAN) for your products. The GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) is the number below the barcode and uniquely identifies each product worldwide. The GTIN is a prerequisite for the sale of products in stores and on online marketplaces.
Do your business partners ask you to notify them of your deliveries electronically? That is also possible with GS1 Complete. With the SSCC/NVE (number for shipping units) and the EANCOM standard you can easily meet your partner's requirements.
The GLN appears on the cover page of the assessment report and on the IFS Food Certificate.
During the assessment, the auditor checks all mandatory information that appears in the assessment report, including the GLN.
The auditor will check the validity of the GLN number either by querying it online in the GEPIR database or by checking the confirmation of your order or the invoice you receive from GS1. Alternatively, the certification body can check the validity of the GLN after the assessment.
Yes, the GLN is mandatory for companies in Switzerland as Switzerland is integrated into the European economic area through bilateral agreements with the EU. This is clarified in the IFS Food Doctrine.
The Global Location Number (GLN for short) identifies companies and parts of companies such as production sites or warehouses.
The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN, formerly EAN), on the other hand, identifies articles, products or product variants.
At first glance, the two numbers are indistinguishable due to the same format. Whether it is a GLN or GTIN, however, can be easily recognised by the context in which the number is placed. Consequently, the same number can be both GLN and GTIN. As a location is certified within the framework of IFS certification, the GLN is used for its identification.
The basic number contained in the GLN is also the prerequisite for the GTIN. This means that you always start with an individual GLN and on this basis you can create further identification numbers such as the GTIN or other sub-GLNs.