An Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number is a unique customs ID for businesses.
An EORI number issued by the UK will start with GB, followed by 12 digits. It will include the business’s VAT registration number if they are registered for VAT.
An EORI number from the EU starts with different letters depending on the country that issued it – for example, one issued in France will start with FR.
How do I know if I need an EORI number?
UK businesses exporting goods from, or importing goods into, the UK will need an EORI number from the UK to submit a customs declaration to UK customs.
Most UK businesses will not need to submit customs declarations to EU customs and so will not need an EORI number from the EU. The business they are trading with will submit the declaration to EU customs.
There are some circumstances where UK businesses will need to submit a customs declaration to the EU and so will need to register for an EORI number from the EU as well. For example:
• If a UK business with a French branch exports goods from the UK to its French branch, then it will be responsible for making an export declaration to UK customs and an import declaration to French customs. So it will need an EORI number issued by the UK and an EORI number from the EU.
• are not VAT-registered
• have a subsidiary company that also trades goods with the EU
• are new, or have commenced trading with the EU since the start of 2018
• already have an EORI number from the EU…
…will still need to apply online if they have not done so already.
How do I apply for an EORI number?
Businesses that still need to get an EORI number issued by the UK can do so online on GOV.UK. It only takes five to ten minutes to complete the form and is totally free.
They will receive their EORI number straight away, or within five working days if HMRC needs to make more checks.
Northern Ireland and Ireland
Most Northern Irish businesses will not require an EORI number
issued by the UK for their trade with Ireland.
• Northern Irish businesses that trade goods with Ireland which require an import or export declaration, such as goods liable to Excise duty (alcohol, tobacco and certain oils) and a small number of controlled and licensed goods will require an EORI number issued by the UK. More information on movements concerning these types of goods is on GOV.UK.
• If Northern Irish businesses trade goods with EU member states other than Ireland then they will need an EORI number issued by the UK.
Check out our page on preparing your business for Brexit for more useful links and information.