What is an EORI Number?

What is an EORI number?
An EORI number – which stands for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number – is a unique ID code used to track and register customs information in the EU.

Who needs an EORI number?
You can register for an EORI number as a business or an individual. All EU based importers and exporters need an EORI number – and in some cases, organisations based outside of the EU but trading within Europe, need one too. If you’re moving goods within the EU or importing products for your own private use you won’t need an EORI number.

How to apply for an EORI number
If you’re based in the UK, then you’ll have to complete the correct paperwork to get an EORI number. The document you need will vary depending on your circumstance – more on that in a moment – but the basic steps you’ll have to take are as follows:

  • Visit the EORI information page on the UK government website
  • Find and complete the correct form for your needs, based on your location and business type
  • Submit the form electronically
  • Receive your EORI number by email within three working days
  • Pass your EORI number to your freight forwarder to use for customs declarations.

Registered for VAT in the UK
https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/shortforms/form/EORIVAT

Not VAT registered in the UK
https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/shortforms/form/EORINonVATExport

Not VAT registered + importing
https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/shortforms/form/EORINonVATImport

If you’re not based in the UK, or if need some extra help, there’s a helpful e-learning resource provided by the EU authorities, included in the sources below.


What happens if you’re not EORI registered
If you don’t have an EORI number then you can’t import or export goods from the EU legally. This is because the EORI number is used for customs declarations of all goods entering or exiting the EU.

How long will the EORI application take?
If you complete the paperwork correctly, you should have your EORI number by email within three working days. HMRC advise that you check your spam folder if the email doesn’t arrive, as it may have been delivered there instead.

How to contact the EORI team
If you need to get advice or ask questions about obtaining an EORI number, you have a few options:
To get specific EORI advice, contact the HMRC EORI team using the online form