This article was published before we became the Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade on 10 July 2024, and this is reflected in references to our old brand and name. For more information about us becoming Chartered, visit our dedicated webpage on the change here.

what is an eori

Ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, we’re going to be looking at some of the key terms and processes of exporting that businesses moving goods into the EU will need to become familiar with.

In this article, Jen Iatelese (our Director of Special Projects) looks at EORI numbers.

What EORI stands for

The EORI system was established in order to implement security measures throughout the European Community and is valid throughout all EU member states.

EORI stands for Economic Operators Registration Identification and is a unique ID number used within the EU to track and register customs data. You need to obtain one of these to allow you to perform the formalities necessary for the import or export of goods to/from the EU.

You need an EORI number to trade goods with countries outside the EU.

If you’re based outside the EU you need an EORI number to trade goods with the UK

From 29th March 2019 the number will be used to track and register data relating to the cross border movement of goods over the UK border. This will mean that businesses currently moving goods between the EU and the UK will also be required to obtain an EORI.

The EORI number is built up from your VAT number. If you do not have a VAT number you will be given a different style of EORI number.

How to get one

eori application

The application process for obtaining an EORI is quite simple. If you have a VAT number you will simply require the VAT number, details of the person raising the application and their business address details.

Non-VAT registered businesses will require the business' trading details including partner/proprietor details, company registration number and incorporation number.

The application will take a matter of minutes and you can expect a response within approximately 3 days.

The above process does not include businesses trading between Southern and Northern Ireland. Those businesses will receive notification from HMRC on the process that they should follow. You can check the validity of an EORI number and access company registration details from the EORI number validation database.

All businesses throughout the member states have access to this electronic database.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you’ll need to get a UK EORI number to continue trading with the EU after 29 March 2019.

HMRC notice advising exporters to get an EORI ahead of Brexit

If you are interested in learning more about EORI numbers why not attend our Customs Procedures and Documentation training course? The one-day course offers a very detailed and comprehensive look at the information that is required to be submitted to customs to enable goods to be imported and exported. Find out more.