What is an EORI number, and do I need one?

An EORI number (said: Ee-or-Ee) is an Economic Operations and Identification number, it’s required to move goods between countries. The purpose of the number is to provide information to customs officials about businesses transferring goods between countries. It’s an integrated and shared network throughout member states of the EU trading bloc and many countries outside of it.

Who needs an EORI number?

Any business looking to import or export into the European Trade Union (including the UK) and businesses located within the trade union looking to trade internally. In some circumstances, it may be necessary for an individual to obtain an EORI number depending on the legislation of the member state and the goods that they are moving, as this can be subject to EU law.

What does an EORI number enable me to do?

Having an EORI number allows you to:

  • Submit customs declarations
  • Submit Entry Summary Declarations or an ENS – This is to declare what goods are to enter into the customs union
  • Submit Exit Summary Declarations or an EXS – This is to declare what goods are exiting the customs union
  • Gain temporary storage within a territory covered by the customs union
  • Enable a carrier to move your goods on your behalf between territories
  • Have a carrier act on your behalf regarding summary declarations

Are there any exceptions?

If the courier being used to transport the goods has an EORI number, they can provide their reference in place of the business importing the goods into their respective country. This places the courier as the chief legal agent responsible for import, this includes any taxes or duties incurred that they would then seek reimbursement of via the importing business. This service is heavily courier-dependent and is usually available from larger couriers such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc. Smaller couriers tend not to provide this service.

Where do I get an EORI number from?

There are multiple places from which to obtain an EORI number:

For UK businesses looking to export or import – https://www.gov.uk/eori/apply-for-eori

For anyone looking to export goods to the UK –https://www.gov.uk/eori/apply-for-eori

For specific countries in the EU – https://taxation-customs.ec.europa.eu/customs-4/union-customs-code/national-customs-administrations_en