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What is an EORI Number? & Where to Find It

Oct 19, 2021

Brexit has created many changes for businesses – both in the processes and procedures that need to be followed and administration that must be completed.

And one area which has seen several changes is to the import and export of goods and the customs procedures. Here we look at EORI numbers – what they are, what they are used for, who needs one and how to get one.

What is an EORI number?

EORI stands for Economic Operators Registration and Identification number.

It is a unique code which is used by businesses who want to import or export goods to or from the EU.

It became a requirement for UK businesses importing or exporting to EU countries from the 1st January 2020 following the completion of Brexit.

Before Brexit, EORI numbers weren’t required by many businesses in the UK when importing/exporting to EU countries due to the UK being part of free trade area. They were only needed when importing/exporting to non-EU countries.

But since Brexit and the UK leaving the free trade area, EORI numbers are now required when importing or exporting goods to EU countries.

What is an EORI number used for?

The EORI number is used during the customs process of importing and exporting goods.

It is used when completing customs forms and processes. And it also enables customs to identify who is importing and exporting goods.

Government information states that you’ll need your EORI number if you:

  • appoint someone to deal with customs for you and are ‘established’ in the country you’re importing to or exporting from
  • make customs declarations
  • use customs systems, such as the CHIEF system and the Import Control System Northern Ireland (ICS NI)
  • apply for a customs decision

Is an EORI number the same as a VAT number?

No, an EORI number is different to a VAT number. If your business is VAT registered, then you will need a VAT number and an EORI number.

They are linked in some ways, however. For example, if you want to apply the new postponed VAT accounting system you will require an EORI number

Who needs an EORI number?

 The gov.uk site states that you may need an EORI if you move goods:

  • between Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) or the Isle of Man and any other country (including the EU)
  • between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • between Great Britain and the Channel Islands
  • between Northern Ireland and countries outside the EU

They also note that you do not need an EORI number if you’re moving goods for personal use only

Find full details about whether your business requires an EORI number on the gov.uk. site.

How do you get an EORI number?

There are different types of EORI number. Which you need depends on where you are moving goods to and from. You may require more than one EORI number depending on your business activity.

There are two types of EORI number

  • A GB EORI number – needed if you move goods to or from Great Britain
  • An XI EORI number – needed if you are moving goods to or from Northern Ireland

You can apply for an EORI number which begins with GB on the gov.uk website through the Government Gateway system.

Once you have applied you should receive your EORI number immediately. Or it can take up to 5 days if HMRC need to make any checks on your application.

To apply for an EORI number which begins with XI you’ll need to complete an XI EORI registration form. You must have your GB EORI number before you do so and have checked that you are eligible for an XI EORI number.

You should get your XI EORI number within 5 days.

Where to find your EORI number

After you apply for an EORI number it is typically sent to you by email.

You can contact the EORI helpline if you have forgotten your EORI number, have questions about your EORI number or about your application.

At Anthony Jones we appreciate that Brexit has created some extra complexities for businesses. Which is why we are here to help take away the stress of sorting your small business insurance. Our teams of experts will get to know your business and help find the right insurance solutions. Get in touch with us today on 020 8290 9080 or email us at business@anthonyjones.com to discuss your business insurance needs.

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