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GS1 and Global Data Standards

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What is GDS?

Global Data Standards (GDS) enable unique identification for all products, business locations, documents and sharing of information across enterprises, so that users can gain a shared view of goods as they move through the supply chain, enhancing supply chain visibility. It serves as the foundation for seamless cross-border information flow, and facilitates smooth cross-border trade.

Values of Global Data Standards

To address supply chain connectivity and complexity challenges, thereby relieving the supply chain choke points in Asia Pacific region, the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) has been driving the GDS initiative since 2012. It recommended Governments to leverage business data and systems such as product identification and data sharing standards in cross-border control and supply chains for improved transparency and better risk management, resulting in better product visibility and improved efficiencies, faster clearance, less spoilage, etc.

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Approval by APEC and ABAC in 2014

In the 2014 APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Declaration, theAPEC Leaders:

  • Endorsed the use of Global Data Standards in APEC supply chains;
  • Advised APEC economies to work towards a region-wide framework for global data standards;
  • Encouraged APEC economies to work with private sector to cooperate with wider use by developing pilot projects.

Subsequently a series of regional GDS projects were carried out. The APEC GDS projects aimed to enhance understanding about GDS’ operation and explored the benefits, costs and resolutions to possible obstacles / challenges by providing interested Member Economies with first-hand experience in trying out GDS to track the movement of selected products along the supply chain.

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GS1 Takes the Lead for GDS Projects

GS1 standards are the common foundation for business worldwide by uniquely identifying, accurately capturing and automatically sharing vital information about products, locations and assets.

Scope of GDS projects
  • GDS will be applied to selected “products” so that all the involved stakeholders along a supply chain (e.g. from manufacturer to third-party logistics service provider, customs, carrier and finally to importer) could track-and-trace the products end-to-end in real time
  • Sharing of traded goods amongst different supply chain stakeholders via the Supply Chain Visibility (SCV) information platform.
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GS1 Hong Kong Spearheaded GDS projects

GS1 HK collaborated with various APEC economies and was appointed manager of some GDS projects since 2015, using GS1 HK’s visibility platform ezTRACK™ (an EPCIS standard-based, globalised track-and-trace platform), including:

  1. A more enhanced supply chain performance: Exporting wine from Australia to Hong Kong and exporting boxed meat from Australiat o US;
  2. Reinforcing supply chain connectivity: Exporting durian from Malaysia to China and Hong Kong, exporting asparagus from Peru to the United States and exporting tequila from Mexico to the United States;
  3. Asia-Pacific Model E-port Network Visualisation of Sea Freight Logistics

* For details of the above cases, please refer to the case study materials

Recognition by APEC and ABAC in 2017

“We welcome the conclusion of the study on Global Data Standards (GDS) and encourage officials to explore the wider use of interoperable GDS in the region."

APEC Joint Ministerial Statement 2017

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