Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers serve as a business’s unique customs ID. Issued by their respective countries, they start with a corresponding two-letter country code, e.g., GB for the UK and FR for France, followed by a company-specific number. There has been some confusion, however, as to whether UK businesses will need to file for an EU EORI number in order to continue their import and export operations post Brexit—or vice versa for EU businesses. The answer is, it depends on your circumstances.
Make sure you have your UK EORI number so you can import goods into the UK after October 31. Although HMRC has supplied UK EORI numbers to over 88,000 VAT-registered businesses, if you are not VAT-registered, have a subsidiary company that also trades goods with the EU, are new a new company, or already have an EU EORI number, you need to apply online for a UK EORI number.
Regarding import into the EU, in most cases UK businesses will not need to submit a customs declaration to EU customs and therefore do not need an EU EORI number. Rather, the business that is importing the goods will submit the declaration to EU customs. However, in certain circumstances UK businesses are required to submit a customs declaration to the EU:
- If you have a branch in the EU and are exporting goods to it, you will need an EU EORI number.
- If, according to the terms of your contract, you are responsible for submitting both export and import declarations, which is the case for the Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) Incoterm, you will need an EU EORI number.
Likewise, most EU businesses will not need to submit a declaration to UK customs, and therefore will not need a UK EORI number. However, if either of the circumstances above apply: you have a branch in the UK that you are exporting goods to, or you have contractually agreed to submit both export and import declarations, in the case of the DDP Incoterm, then you will need to secure a UK EORI number.
In order to obtain an EU EORI number, please refer to your national customs authority.
How to Get Your UK EORI Number
It’s really easy, only takes 5-10 minutes, and it’s FREE. Visit https://www.gov.uk/eori. Many companies will receive their EORI number on the spot, however if additional checks are required, they will be fast-tracked, and you will receive your number within five working days.
For more details, download the EORI mythbuster document issued by HMRC >>