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Global Business Identifier Initiative


The Global Business Identifier (GBI) initiative seeks to develop a single identifier solution that will improve the U.S. government’s ability to pinpoint high-risk shipments and facilitate legitimate trade, create a “common language” between government and industry, and improve data quality and efficiency for identification, enforcement, and risk assessment.

GBI is a priority initiative under the Border Interagency Executive Council (BIEC), an executive advisory board made up of more than 50 U.S. Federal agencies with import and export responsibilities. In 2017, the BIEC established the GBI initiative to address issues with the Manufacturer/Shipper Identification Number, known as the “MID” and identify potential improvements. Though the MID served the U.S. government well since the 1990s, increasingly complex global supply chains necessitate better insight into where and how imported goods are manufactured, packaged, and exported.

Evaluative Proof of Concept (EPoC)

The BIEC developed an Evaluative Proof of Concept (EPoC) that will test three global identifiers’ ability and determine the optimal combination to help the U.S. Government identify main legal entity and ownership, specific business and global locations, and supply chain roles and functions.

To improve the U.S. government’s visibility into imports, CBP is partnering with three globally recognized global identifier companies: GS1 U.S., Dun and Bradstreet (D&B), and the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) to test their identifiers’ ability to, alone or together, meet the U.S. government’s needs. Those identifiers are:

  1. Global Location Number (GLN)
  2. Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)
  3. Legal Entity Identifier (LEI)

Through the GBI EPoC, CBP aims to leverage existing entity identifiers (GLN, DUNS, LEI) to develop a systematic, accurate, and efficient method for the trade to report, and the U.S. government to uniquely identify, legal business entities, their different business locations and addresses, and their various functions and supply chain roles. CBP will consider whether these three global identifiers, alone or together, ensure that CBP receives standardized trade data in a universally compatible trade language. Moreover, CBP will examine whether the identifiers submitted to CBP during the GBI EPoC can be easily verified, reducing uncertainties that may be associated with the information related to shipments of imported merchandise.

The GBI EPoC was approved in August 2022 and operates within the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). CBP published the Federal Register Notice on December 2, 2022, launching the test. On July 21, 2023, CBP published an amended Federal Register Notice announcing the extension and modification of the GBI EPoC.

How to Participate in the EPoC

The test is open to all importers of record and licensed customs brokers, provided that these parties requested permission and are approved by CBP to participate in the test. Importers of record and licensed customs brokers seeking to participate should email the GBI Inbox ( with the subject heading “Request to Participate in the GBI EPoC.” Please reference the Federal Register Notice for details. Companies of all sizes are encouraged to participate and will be given ample time to respond to the FRN and obtain one or more identifiers prior to participating in the GBI EPoC.

Webinars for the Trade Community

CBP hosted a webinar on February 28, 2023, at 3:00 p.m., ET. This educational webinar provided an overview of the GBI initiative and details on the three global identifiers, including how to obtain the identifiers, from CBP’s entity partners GLEIF, GS1, and Dun & Bradstreet. Play Webinar Recording


CSMS #57322357

Trade User Information Notice

Press Release


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