BRUSSELS--New rules concerning Global Trade item Numbers (GTINs), which retailers in North American will need to be able to scan and use by Jan. 1 2005, are now available on the EAN (European Article Numbering) International Public Web site (www.ean-int.org/gtinrules). EAN International, based here, and the Uniform Code Council, Lawrenceville, N.J., EAN's North American counterpart, last week announced new Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) Allocation Rules as part of the launch of the latest annual update (Version 4.0) of the General EAN.UCC Specifications on global product identification. The Web site includes a GTIN Allocation Rules tool to help companies apply GTINs to their products correctly. UCC has set Jan. 1, 2005, deadline, known as the Sunrise Date, when North American retailers and manufacturers are expected to be capable of handling bar codes containing 13- and 14-digit GTINs, in addition to 12-digit UPC codes. According to EAN, one set of rules for applying GTINS will ease the transition to the Sunrise Date. "Harmonizing the rules globally eliminates the historic variations that have crept into the national interpretations over the years," the organization said in a statement. "Now manufacturers will benefit from having just one set of rules for all their retail customers and conversely retailers will benefit from having the same set of rules used by all suppliers."