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.

The government has announced that traders must now include their Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number when applying for an export licence.

Licences are required for controlled goods including military items, dual-use items (those with both civil and military uses), firearms, items that can be used for torture or capital punishment, and goods subject to trade sanctions.

Businesses can apply for export licences for these goods using the government’s online licensing system, SPIRE.


An EORI number is a requirement for businesses moving goods between:

  • GB and the EU
  • GB or NI and countries outside of the EU
  • GB and Northern Ireland
  • GB and the Channel Islands

Since the end of the transition period at the end of 2020, it has been required for the completion of customs declarations for exports from Britain to the EU and for goods movements between Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) has now advised traders of controlled goods that it is also required for applications to get an export licence.


Hamish Mackay, a trade and customs specialist for the IOE&IT Academy, explained to the IOE&IT Daily Update:

“The mandatory requirement on SPIRE will apply to applications for export control licences where a declaration is made to HMRC’s Customs Handling of Import, Exports Freight (CHIEF) or the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) that will is replacing CHIEF over the next couple of years”.

“Instructions on the next steps and what action to take on SPIRE are included in notice NTE 2021/13,” he added.

Traders can apply for an EORI number here.

Further support

Firms that do not yet have an EORI number but are looking to export are advised to research their new requirements for trade with the EU and to sign up to the IOE&IT’s ‘Introduction to Exporting’ training course.

If you are looking to learn more about export licensing rules and requirements, sign up to our dedicated training course on this topic here.