As some of you may have discovered if you recently tried to update your GSA supply catalog, you may get a notice that UPC codes are required on products listed under certain SINS when uploading to GSA Advantage.
GSA Advantage requirements for UPC Code
GSA Catlaog requirement for UPC CodeThis new requirement caught many off guard, including many GSA managers and contracting officers who were unaware of the change. We will likely hear more about this in the coming months. The main reason for adding this requirement; however, is to accommodate agency requests to facilitate comparison of like products. Some vendors use different product numbers for the same product (e.g., some add a prefix), but a UPC code will be consistent across all products, thereby facilitating pricing and term comparison.
It will take some effort to get this information from each manufacturer, but it can be done so long as the manufacturer uses UPC codes. Some don’t! What happens if your products are listed under a SIN that requires a UPC code but your manufacturer does not use UPC codes? What are you to do?
GSA Advantage UPC Waiver Process
Apparently, GSA had not contemplated this fully before going live with this new mandate. That said, they have come up with an interim waiver process. If your manufacturer does not use UPC codes, here’s what to do:
- Call the VSC and explain that the manufacturer does not provide a UPC.
- The VSC representative will then ask you to put that in an email to him/her.
- They will code that Sin for the waiver, and you will receive an email back along the lines of "We have reviewed your request for a UPC waiver. In the UPC field, use the number 99999999999999 (#9, 14 times) for all approved SIN numbers. Your approved waivers SIN is _______. "
- You can use it only for the waived SIN. Using the 9s for other SINS will not work.
Please note that you do not have to update your GSA Advantage catalog proactivelycatalog proactively.You can wait until the next time you do an update.
We’ll update you further as this shakes out.