THE General Administration of Customs of China has rolled out a GTIN reporting function for its single window declaration system, marking a significant step toward adopting GS1 barcodes in customs clearance.

The decision comes in response to recent rapid growth in cross-border trade, both in type and volume.

Global Trade Item Numbers are the numbers used to create barcodes within the GS1 system, the system used on consumer products globally. The system is administered by GS1, a group of member organisations operating in 114 individual countries.

“This is great news for all GS1 Australia members trading with China,” Marcel Sieira, GS1 Australia’s head of customer engagement and business development said.

“GS1 standards and data can be leveraged for faster clearance and shorter cycles. GS1 Australia continues to work with Australian agencies in adopting similar approaches locally.”


Customs agencies all over China have implemented GTIN declaration for the single window system and enterprises can enjoy an intelligent auto-fill feature by using GTIN. This simplifies and speeds up the declaration process and improves accuracy.

Based on the recently established GTIN information database, an imported or exported product can be automatically identified and its declaration elements such as classification, country of origin and specification can automatically appear in the “single window” system as long as its GTIN is provided and related product information has been populated in the database.

According to a customs specialist at Taicang TuoHai Customs Clearance Co, an experienced customs broker of infant formula milk powder, it is very difficult for the company to complete the declaration form due to the complexity and terminology of ingredients which amount to six or seven on average, and sometimes more than ten in a single product.

From now on, once a GTIN has been entered and confirmed, all its ingredient information will enter the system immediately. In addition, the system has a batch import function for product series, which improves efficiency.