Classification system used to find goods and services on will change by 2017

June 18, 2015 - Tags: Government procurement

This guest post has been provided by the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) of Public Works and Government Services Canada. OSME supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by working to reduce barriers and by simplifying requirements for SMEs that want to do business with the Government of Canada.

When you are looking for tender opportunities with the Government of Canada on, it helps to know what Goods and Services Identification Numbers (GSIN) codes apply to the goods or services you supply.

If you know your GSIN code, you can find opportunities (and related procurement information) matching your business' goods or services. On, GSIN codes connect all of the Tenders, Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements, and PWGSC Contract History.

But this classification system is set to change.

UNSPSC to replace GSIN Codes

Coming in 2017, the international classification system for procurement items called the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) will replace GSIN codes.

The transition won't happen overnight. GSIN codes and UNSPSC codes will run concurrently for a time period, until UNSPSC fully replaces the GSIN by April 1, 2017. There is no immediate impact to businesses or government buyers. As the transition to UNSPSC is implemented, PWGSC will inform businesses and government buyers of changes that may impact them.

All of the over 5,000 GSIN codes will be mapped to UNSPSC. The concordance between the GSIN and UNSPSC will be shared through, and will assist in the transition to UNSPSC.

Why Transition to UNSPSC?

The Government of Canada is transitioning to UNSPSC for a number of reasons, including:

  • The UNSPSC reflects many of the newer commodity types, has a strict classification structure, and does not incorporate proprietary or end-use information into the codes.
  • The UNSPSC is governed by GS1 US, in accordance with input from UNSPSC members for the development and direction of the classification, resulting in one authoritative classification system that can be used and shared internationally.

Find out more about the transition to UNSPSC on the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code mini-site.

Contact Information

For more information about United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC), you may call the PWGSC national InfoLine at 1-800-811-1148. The line is staffed Monday to Friday from 07:30 to 17:00 Eastern Standard/Daylight time. You may also send your questions via the Web form found on the Contact Us page.

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