EORI Number – When & Who Needs an EORI Number

What does EORI mean?

A person or dealer carrying out the custom activities in the European Union (EU) requires an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification).This system was introduced on 1st July 2009 by all EU member states and substituted the Old Trader’s Unique Reference Number (TURN).

EORI is compulsory if an individual is required to offer information for goods both at pre-arrival or pre-departure, or is dealt with import and export of goods under a transit procedure. In the UK, an EORI number is assigned to an importer and exporter by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

An importer or exporter can employ this number for the objective of custom access declaration and customs clearance for shipments travelling to or from the EU and countries out of the EU. The EORI number is exclusive and provided for an indefinite time period by the Customs Authorities.

As per the new security law, an importer or an exporter must declare the goods arriving or leaving the EU within a prescribed time limit.

EORI Number
EORI Number

If an individual supplies declarations of normal import or export, they will be enclosed under the new law, but if they are not declaring in a standardized manner, it becomes crucial to have an EORI number for completing an Entry Summary Declaration or an Exit Summary Declaration.

Who requires an EORI number?

An EORI number is provided to an individual if he/she plans to import or export merchandise with countries outside the European Union. The countries which require an EORI number are Gibraltar, Andorra, Jersey, Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Guernsey, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Moldova.

How to obtain an EORI number?

EORI number is applied by importers and exporters trading outside the EU by filling an application form. The application form differs subject to whether an individual is:

  • Registered for value-added tax (VAT) – if an individual doesn’t obtain while registering for VAT online. You can get the form by click here.
  • not VAT-registered and an individual who exports. To get the export form click here
  • not VAT-registered and an individual who imports. To get the import form click here

Changes can be notified to the HMRC by contacting the EORI team and letting them know:

  • about change in business name and address or VAT number
  • if the business is already VAT registered.
  • If the EORI number is not required anymore.
  • For adding or removing the details of the business from the public EORI checker.

Having its headquarters in the U.K, a firm has its customs operations with customers situated outside the EU, then Nexa Accountants can assist the business to apply for an EORI number(EORI application often takes processing upto three working days).

EORI Number
Obtain EORI Number

It is significant to note that EORI numbers are often granted to VAT registered firms only. However, there is a likelihood to apply for an EORI number if the business is not VAT registered; Nexa Accountants on your behalf will fill out separate forms for import and export.

We will give the business with a list of queries about the firm and it’s customs operations so that we can take care of the proceedings of the EORI number quickly.

Format of the EORI Number

EORI numbers in the UK starts with the letters ‘GB’. The number is then pursued by a 12-digit number which depends on the trader’s VAT number such as GB987654312000. Also, a non-VAT registered operators issues the minute number of ‘dummy’ EORI numbers. Businesses can also contact the HMRC Excise & Customs Helpline on 0300-200-3700.

Those businesses having a UK VAT number can check to see if it has an EORI status.

Without VAT registration, an EORI number will be smaller as compared to the usual EORI number. This will directly change once a trader in the UK is VAT registered. It is significant to note that there can only be one EORI number per trader, irrespective of the number of offices they may be having. For instance, with TURN every office would have its own trading number. For example;

  • Office1: GB123456789014
  • Office2: GB123456789015
  • Office3: GB123456789016, and it can continue subject to the number of the office.

What may occur if an importer does not have an EORI number?

The customs authority is likely to take the ownership of the consignment until a business is able to grant an EORI number. However, the authority will not wreck the cargo. It is always suggested to have an EORI number before placement of an order and an importer must apply for one before the consignment has dispatched from the country of origin.

An EORI number is compulsory irrespective of whether an importer obtains the consignment delivered by Sea Freight or Air Freight.

In various European states, it is not compulsory to register a company in order to carry out business activity. However, it is essential to apply for an EORI-number even if the products are imported as an individual rather than a registered business entity.

Also, it is significant to note that, an individual/business needs to apply for one EORI number for every country where it is situated. This may also be applicable to businesses in non-coastal countries or other businesses that import goods through a port in a different state of the European Union (EU).

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