Publish- SAN Agency

SAN Agency

SANs are used by publishers and distributors to identify the book seller and link to their order processing and launching systems.

SAN Agency


The Nielsen SAN Agency has been appointed to issue SANs/GLNs on behalf of Book Industry Communication (BIC). Standard Address Number (SANs) and Global Location Numbers (GLNs – also known as EANs) are unique identifiers that can be assigned to the addresses of organisations involved in the book selling or publishing industries.  Both schemes are recognised throughout these industries and enable commercial transactions to be made more efficiently and accurately. For example, SANs are used by publishers and distributors to identify the book sellers and link to their order processing systems.

SANs and GLNs identify specific geographical locations. If your organisation relocates (even if only by a few doors along the same street) a new SAN and GLN will be required to ensure that orders and deliveries are still made correctly.

Benefits of having a SAN/GLN


SANs are used by publishers and distributors to identify the book seller and link to their order processing and launching systems. GLNs are required when using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to send and receive business data forms electronically, i.e. invoices, credit notes, orders etc. Both SANs and GLNs are required for using certain systems and services, e.g. TeleOrdering, Pubeasy, EDI and Internet Services.
We can assigns SANs to organisations based in any country except: US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

To apply for a SAN use our online form.

If you would like to know the SAN/GLN number for an organisation or check the organisation and address linked to a SAN/GLN please complete our SAN look-up form.

For more information email:



A SAN is a Standard Address Number. It is a unique numerical identifier which is always seven digits in length. A GLN is a Global Location Number which can be derived from the SAN. It is made up of 13 digits and is sometime referred to as an EAN location number. These numbers are recognised throughout the bookselling and publishing industries.

The SAN Agency can assign SANs and GLNs to organisations involved in the book trade including booksellers, wholesalers, distributors, libraries, subscription agents, printers and publishers. Each time we assign a new SAN we will automatically provide the corresponding GLN.

SANs/GLNs are used to identify locations of organisations involved in the book trade such as wholesalers, distributors, subscription agents, printers, publishers, booksellers and libraries. They can also identify departments or specific job titles, but do not denote a named individual.

We will need some general details from you and will ask you to complete a simple application form either via the web or email. We will require the following details: trading name of the organisation, full address including postcode, contact name, email address, telephone number, VAT number (if you have one) in order to allocate the SAN/GLN. We will also require payment prior to processing. If you apply via the web, you will still need to send payment before your SAN can be issued.

We are able to process applications for SANs/GLNs from third parties on behalf of other organisations, but we need to be informed who will be sending payment for the service.

We are able to process your information within 48 hours of receiving your payment. This excludes weekends, bank holidays and days when the office is officially closed.

The fee is £54.00 exc. VAT, £64.80 incl. VAT per SAN/GLN.* We will require payment before we can process your application.

We can accept the following methods of payment: cheque (made payable to SAN Agency), Bank Transfer, MasterCard, Visa via the ISBN Store Payment Portal.  Please request a customer and invoice number if paying online.

Prior to processing we will always verify your organisation does not already have a SAN/GLN. If we find one has already been allocated we will return your payment or make a refund as appropriate.

* Prices are correct at 30 July 2019 but are subject to change without notice.

For those organisations which already have an existing SAN we will be happy to process a GLN free of charge. However, we will need proof of your SAN to compare with our records and confirmation of address details. We will be happy to check if you already have a SAN if you wish.

If the GLN has been allocated by the SAN Agency, then we will attempt to derive a SAN from it.

A SAN/GLN relates to a specific address, and so if your organisation moves it will need to apply for a new SAN.

When you move, there is a difference between the standards applied to the address identifiers.  The ISO that governs the use of SANs allows for a change of address.  The ISO for GLNs based on SANs does not allow for a change of address.

You can choose to change the address, keeping the SAN and abandoning the GLN which will be removed from the record; or have a new SAN/GLN.  Best practice would be to assign a new SAN to represent the new address.

If you think that the data we are holding for your organisation is out of date (for example, the telephone number or SAN contact person has changed) you can inform us by emailing quoting your SAN and the details you wish to amend.