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EORI Numbers – a quick guide

If you trade with European Union countries, then after Dec 31 2020 you will need an EORI number to continue doing so. A brief overview of what this is and what to do is set out below.

WHAT IS AN EORI NUMBER?

EORI stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification

WHO NEEDS AN EORI NUMBER?

Any business that wishes to trade with the EU must have an EORI number, It is used as a unique identifier for that business in all customs procedures when exchanging information with customs administrations.

So after Dec 31 2020, if you import or export goods within the European Union (EU) you will need an EORI number for the customs declarations you will have to create.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

For UK businesses the EORI number starts with GB and is followed by 12 digits. For UK VAT registered company the EORI number will be the same as their nine digit VAT registration with three 0s added at the end.

WHAT DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR MY EORI NUMBER?

If you don’t have one then you need the following details to be able to apply:

For businesses:

  • VAT number
  • Effective date of VAT registration (available on your VAT certificate)
  • Business start date
  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (available from to be able to applyCompanies House)
  • Government Gateway details (Userid and password)
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

For sole traders or individuals:

  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway details (Userid and password)
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

NB: If you already have an EORI number that starts with GB, you can continue to use it.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR MY EORI NUMBER?

  1. Get the information listed above ready
  2. Go the UK government website here

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The process should take no longer than a few minutes.

If the HMRC require more checks then they commit to getting you a number within five working days.

USEFUL LINKS

EUROPEAN COMMISSION EORI OVERVIEW

UK GOVERNMENT EORI OVERVIEW