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While EORI numbers might be a familiar concept to those who already trade globally, they might not be as well known to businesses that have only traded within the European Union.
With Britain set to exit the EU in the not too distant future, UK businesses trading into or out of the EU will need to register for an EORI number. Here’s everything you need to know about what they are, who needs one, and how to get yours.
What is an EORI number?
EORI stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification. It is a unique code that is assigned to importers and exporters to keep track of and register trade between EU and non-EU countries. Numbers consist of a country code that shows where you are registered, alongside a number unique to your company.
Who needs an EORI number?
Any business or individual who exports out of the EU or imports into the EU from a non-EU country, and who is the person or company responsible for providing the correct information to customs teams on departure and arrival, will need to register for an EORI number.
How do I get an EORI number?
If you’re based in the UK, your EORI number will be assigned to you by HM Revenue and Customs. All you have to do is go to https://www.gov.uk/eori and fill out the online application. Remember: the form you need to choose depends on whether you’re VAT-registered and whether you’re importing or exporting – so be careful to select the correct option.
If you are VAT-registered, there’s a chance you might have been issued an EORI number automatically. This can easily be checked here.
To complete the form, you’ll need:
- Your full name or business name and address
- Your role and contact details
- The legal status of your business
- Your VAT-registered number or, if not applicable, description of the goods you wish to transport including quantity and value
- Your VAT-registered name or, if not applicable, your delivery address and freight agent name
- Your VAT address or, if not applicable, your method of import or export
How long does the EORI application take?
Once you’ve completed and submitted your EORI registration application correctly, you can expect to receive your number by email within three days.
What if I don’t have an EORI number?
EORI numbers are essential for monitoring imports and exports so, if you attempt to make a shipment without one, your goods will not be allowed through customs. Not only can this result in costly delays to your supply chain, but you may also end up facing expensive storage costs while your goods and details are processed.