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


What is an EORI number?

When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on December 31st UK EORI numbers will no longer be valid in the European Union. Per January 1st 2021 there will be two types of EORI numbers. An EU EORI number and a UK EORI number.

An EU EORI number is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses that want to import or export goods into or out of the EU. An EORI number is assigned by the member state where your company is established. Once you have an EORI number, this number will be valid in all other EU member states.

A UK EORI number is similar to an EU EORI number, but it is issued by the British Customs Authority (HMRC) and only valid in the United Kingdom.

An EORI number is used as an identification number in all customs procedures when exchanging information with Customs administrations.

When do you need an EORI number?

Companies importing goods into or exporting goods from the European Union need an EORI number. This number is used to exchange information with Customs Authorities.

As of January 1st 2021 companies importing goods into or exporting goods from the United Kingdom need a UK EORI number. Until then EU EORI numbers are also valid in the United Kingdom.

Companies that trade to and from the UK based on an EU EORI number are strongly advised to get a UK EORI number.

What does an EORI number look like?

The EU EORI number consists of two parts: the country code of the issuing Member State, followed by a code or number that is unique in the Member State. A Dutch EORI number is made up of the letters NL followed by 9 digits. The 9 digits are your company’s fiscal code. 

The UK EORI number is similar to the EU EORI number. It is the letters GB followed by a 12 digit number, which is based on your company’s VAT number. If you have a UK VAT number then HMRC should have issued you an EORI number already.

Where do I get an EORI number?

How to get an EORI number varies per member state. According to the Customs Authority in the Netherlands companies registered there don’t have to apply for an EORI number, but they can deduct it themselves. Companies that wish to apply for one, can do so. Each EU member state has its own processes in place to request (or deduct) an EORI number. You can find more information on that in my earlier post: Where Can I Get an EORI Number? An Overview of all EU Customs Authorities.

For a UK EORI number, please see this page.

Any more questions?

If you are not sure what EORI number you need or are not clear on how to get one, contact one of our specialists.