ETIM is a classification model for categorizing and specifying technical products and their trading units, particularly in electrical engineering, plumbing, tools, construction, and shipbuilding. ETIM is widely used in the European business market. In the Netherlands, ETIM is considered a market standard in several sectors. Various data pools, such as 2ba and, utilize the ETIM standard, and there is a wide selection of PIM and ERP software that supports ETIM, such as SRC PIM, Stibo STEP, Acto, and Syntess. For data exchange, ETIM internationally employs the BMECat format. This is an XML format dating back to 2005.

Despite the name suggesting otherwise, data standards like ETIM and GS1 are dynamic. These standards are periodically updated to align with technological advancements, new laws and regulations, and user preferences.

In 2020, ETIM began developing a new format based on JSON: ETIM xChange. This format is based on the European Master Data Guidelines (EMDG) from FEST, the European Federation of Wholesale Sanitary and HVAC. The official release for ETIM xChange is scheduled for February 19, 2024.

Features of ETIM xChange include:

  • A simplified JSON structure with logical groupings. The structure is based on multiple (inter)national standards such as EMDG, BMECat, FAB-DIS, and DICO.
  • The well-known GS1 attributes GTIN and GLN are included in the standard for article and location identification.
  • Clear separation between (technical) product specifications and generic logistical data of trading units.
  • A data structure for transferring Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) data in all stages of the product life cycle.
  • Plenty of options for attaching files, such as images, manuals, certificates, and technical drawings. These attachments can be sent in one or more languages.
  • Supports the latest ETIM-MC models, including Connection Types, for generic 3D CAD models.
  • Flexible structure to support different methods for exchanging packaging hierarchies.

If you’re planning to use ETIM classification for product data exchange soon, you’ll need to choose between BMECat and ETIM xChange. Squadra is here to advise you on selecting a suitable PIM or MDM package and deciding between the two standards. Feel free to contact us via the website or get in touch with Jos Schreurs (tel: +31 6 53 35 29 45 or email: for an introductory consultation.

Rinus Broekmans

Application Consultant at Squadra MDM Factory