EDI Resource Center


EANCOM is an EDI standard created to electronically link order information with the physical flow of goods. It's a subset of the UN/EDIFACT EDI standard, containing only the messages used in business applications, while eliminating many messages in the full EDIFACT schema.

Messages available in EANCOM cover all functions necessary to complete a trade transaction between partners exchanging goods.

Each EANCOM message incorporates GS1 standards for:

  • Physical identification of trade items
  • Logistics units
  • Global Location Numbers (GLNs) identifying the trading partners

Commercial organizations choose messages and scenarios depending on their personal industrial needs.


EANCOM was originally created for retail and consumer goods and became one of the most popular, important EDI standards in the European consumer goods industry. In later years, it's gained adoption in the healthcare and construction sectors.


  • Originally developed in 1987
  • Taken over by GS1 in 2015
  • Updated again by GS1 in 2016

Governing Body

  • Governed by GS1, an international standards organization that also governs EDIFACT

What are The Benefits of EANCOM?

In EDI, it is essential to clearly identify products, services and parties involved, and coding the information exchanged in EDI is essential for automatic processing. EANCOM messages define every product and party by a unique EAN standard article number and EAN location number, respectively.

These EAN standards provide significant benefits, including:

  • Standard Numbering Convention - EAN IDs are unique and globally recognized, so organizations don't have to maintain complex references sheets for partners and codes
  • Standard Messages are simple and accurate - The clear coding of products and locations simplifies EDI messages, saving processing time and costs
  • Multi-Industry Standard - Since any item can be identified by EANCOM's unique IDs, any business can use EANCOM for trade
  • Maintenance and Support - the EANCOM standard is continuously supported and maintained by GS1 (formerly known as EAN International)
  • International and Language Support - EANCOM messages are used worldwide. GS1 spans more than 80 countries and provides EANCOM support in many local languages

Types of EANCOM Transactions

The most frequently used message types are purchase orders (ORDERS), despatch advices for transportation (DESADV) and invoices (INVOIC), but EANCOM messages cover all the functions required to manage a complete trade transaction.

EANCOM messages can be divided into four categories:

  • Master Data Messages - contain data that's consistent across all transactions
  • Commercial Transactions Messages - used for banking transactions
  • Transportation and Logistics Messages - instruct transport services on how and where to move goods
  • Report and Planning Messages - provide useful information for reporting

Master Data Messages

Master data messages can be divided into two subcategories of consistent information:

  • Party information message - identify all the physical and virtual locations (name, address, contacts, financial accounts, etc.) used in transactions
  • Product information messages - provide information containing the descriptive, logistical and financial details of a product or a service

Commercial Transactions Messages

These cover the financial trading cycle and divide into three subcategories:

  • Quotation messages - contain financial request from the prospective buyer (terms of delivery, payment terms, price catalogues, allowances, charges, etc.)
  • Purchase order messages - relate to the ordering process from a proposed order to subsequent changes and order confirmation (relevant quantities, dates, location of delivery, etc.)
  • Invoice and remittance messages - cover payment for goods supplied; the buyer can automatically reconcile the suppliers invoice using the product receipt information

The Transport and Logistics Messages

These provide information on the dispatch advice (DESADV), transport and receipt of the ordered products.

Report and Planning Messages

Report and planning messages provide trading reports that allow partners to plan for the future, exchange requirements information with up-to-date reports and forecasts concerning delivery, sales and stocks. There are two specific types:

  • Syntax and Service Report - the receiver of any EANCOM message can send this to acknowledge or refuse an interchange, functional group or message from other exchanges
  • General Message - used to send data that doesn't fit into any specific standard message

See All EANCOM Transactions