Markets & Technologies > Identification > Glossary > World International Standardization bodies


Bar code

A standard method of identifying the manufacturer and product category of a particular item. The bar code was adopted in the 1970s because the bars were easier for machines to read than optical characters. Bar codes’ main drawbacks are they don’t identify unique items and scanners have to have line of sight to read them.

CEPT (Conférence Européenne des Administrations des Postes et Télécommunications)

The body responsible for European efficient utilisation of Spectrum and related regulatory matters.

Compliance Labeling

Many industries, including the auto, technology and aerospace industries, have established label standards for products and goods moving through the supply chain. These standards specify the use of mandatory data fields, acceptable bar code symbologies, print quality minimums and environmental considerations. Compliance labeling standards ensure that everyone practices a similar labeling approach that clearly defines the label format, usage, and the information to include on the label. There are no compliance labeling standards yet for RFID, but some consider bar-code labels with embedded UHF EPC tags as compliance labels.

Digital certificate

A digital message that contains the identity of an company or organization, its public key combined and a signature of this data from a certificate authority (Trust Center) proving the correctness of this data.


A method of sealing a digital document in a manner similar to that used for electronic signatures. Electronic seals enable computers to authenticate that documents or electronic messages have not been altered, providing a level of security in digital communications.

ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute)

The European standards organization responsible for standardization in telecommunications.

European Article Number

A system for identifying products developed by EAN International, the bar code standards body in Europe. There are several types of bar codes that use EANs, including EAN-8, EAN-13 and EAN-14.

Global Commerce Initiative

A user group founded in October 1999 by manufacturers, retailers and trade industry associations, to improve the performance of the international supply chain for consumer goods through the collaborative development and endorsement of recommended voluntary standards and best practices. Its charter is to drive the implementation of EAN•UCC standards and best practices, including use of EPC.

Global data synchronization

A term that generally refers to the process of ensuring that a manufacturer's master files with product information match those of retailers. GDS is an important prerequisite to deploying RFID in open supply chains because companies need to ensure that RFID serial numbers refer to the right product information in a database.

Global Location Number

A numbering scheme created by EAN International and the Uniform Code Council to as a means to identify virtually limitless numbers of legal entities, trading parties and locations to support the requirements of electronic commerce (B2B and B2C). Parties and locations that can be identified with GLNs include functional entities (e.g., a purchasing, accounting or returns department), physical entities (e.g., a particular room in a building, warehouse, loading dock, delivery point) and legal entities or trading partners (e.g. buyers, sellers, whole companies, subsidiaries or divisions such as suppliers, customers, financial services companies, or freight forwarders).

Global Positioning System

Developed for and managed by the United States military, GPS is a satellite navigation system. It consists of 24 satellites above the earth. They transmit radio signals to receivers placed on ships, trucks or other large assets that need to be tracked. The receivers compute longitude and latitude and velocity by calculating the difference in the time signals are received from four different satellites. Some companies are integrating RFID and GPS systems to track assets in transit.

Global System for Mobiles (GSM)

The digital cellular telephone system, widely used in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)

A standardized system of identifying products and services created by the Uniform Code Council and EAN International. Product identification numbers, such as EAN/UCC-8, UCC-12, EAN/UCC-13, and EAN/UCC-14, are based on the GTIN.

ISO 10536

The international standard for proximity cards

ISO 11784

The international standard defining frequencies, baud rate, bit coding and data structures of the transponders used for animal identification.

ISO 11785

ISO RFID standard that defines the air interface protocol.

ISO 14443

A set of international standards covering proximity smart cards.

ISO 15459

Unique identifiers for transport units (used in supply chain management)

ISO 15693

The international standard for vicinity smart cards.

ISO 15961

ISO RFID standard for Item Management (includes application interface (part 1), registration of RFID data constructs (part 2), and RFID data constructs (part 3).

ISO 15962

ISO RFID standard for item management - data encoding rules and logical memory functions.

ISO 16963

ISO RFID standard for item management - unique identifier of RF tag.

ISO 18000

A series of international standards for the air interface protocol used in RFID systems for tagging goods within the supply chain.

ISO 18000

ISO RFID standard for the air interface for RFID frequencies around the globe

ISO 18001

RFID for item management - application requirements profiles.

ISO 18046

RFID tag and interrogator performance test methods.

ISO 18047

The ISO RFID standard that defines the testing including conformance testing of RFID tags and readers. This is split into several parts that mirror the parts for ISO 18000.

ISO 24710

Information technology, automatic identification and data capture techniques - RFID for item management - Elementary tag license plate functionality for ISO 18000 air interface.

ISO 24729

RFID implementation guidelines - part : RFID enabled labels; part 2: recyclability of RF tags; part 3: RFID interrogator / antenna installation.

ISO 24730

RFID real time locating system: Part 1: Application Programming Interface (API); Part 2: 2.4 GHz; Part 3: 433 MHz; Part 4: Global Locating Systems

ISO 24752

System management protocol for automatic identification and data capture using RFID

ISO 24753

Air interface commands for battery assist and sensor functionality

ISO 24769

Real Time Locating System (RTLS) device conformance test methods

ISO 24770

Real Time Locating System (RTLS) device performance test methods

ISO 7816

A set of international standards covering the basic characteristics of smart cards, such as physical and electrical characteristics, communication protocols and others.

Mean time between failures (MTBF)

The average or mean time interval between failures, often expressed as the reciprocal of the constant failure rate.

Mean time to repair

The length of time that a system is non-operational between failure and repair.


MIFARE is the NXP Semiconductors-owned trademark of a series of chips widely used in contactless smart cards and proximity cards.

National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

An American standards body that establishes standards for information-processing technology, particularly IT used by the Federal government.

Near-field communication

RFID reader antennas emit electromagnetic radiation (radio waves). If an RFID tag is within full wavelength of the reader, it is sometimes said to be in the "near field" (as with many RFID terms, definitions are not precise). If it is more than the distance of one full wavelength away, it is said to be in the "far field." The near field signal decays as the cube of distance from the antenna, while the far field signal decays as the square of the distance from the antenna. So passive RFID systems that rely on near-field communication (typically low- and high-frequency systems) have a shorter read range than those that use far field communication (UHF and microwave systems)

Open Systems

Within the context of radio frequency identification, they are systems in which data handling, including capture, storage and communication, is determined by agreed standards, so allowing various and different users to operate without reference to a central control facility.