Skip to content
× FreshBooks App Logo
FreshBooks
Official App
Free - Google Play
Get it
You're currently on our UK site. Select your regional site here:
4 Min. Read

What Is an EORI Number & How to Get One

What Is an EORI Number & How to Get One?

You must have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI) if you import or export goods. It’s relatively new, but regardless if you have been in business for years or you’re just starting out there are some certain things you should know.

If you’re just looking into getting an EORI number the process is fairly simple. This is good news as sometimes the importing and exporting registration process can be overwhelming.

So, what exactly is an EORI number and how do you get one? Here’s everything that you need to know.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is an EORI Number?

How Do You Get an EORI Number?

Key Takeaways

What Is an EORI Number?

There are tons of goods that get imported and exported every day, and an EORI number is a way to register and track all the customs activities in the EU. It stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number. And any business that imports or exports goods within the EU needs to have one.

Your business doesn’t need to have an EORI number if the only work you do is in digital services. There also isn’t a requirement to have one when goods get passed between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It’s worth noting that if your business is part of a larger corporation or holding group, then the application gets processed by the parent company.

How Do You Get an EORI Number?

If you are a new business just starting out or if you are just getting around to getting an EORI number, the process can be fairly simple. It’s just important to make sure that you fill out and submit the correct paperwork. There are some differences in the application process if your business is registered for VAT or not.

Basically, if you are registered for VAT in the UK then you will fill out a different application compared to if you are not VAT registered. Not being VAT registered in the UK could mean you send goods to a country outside the EU or the goods are related to commercial use. There is also a separate application if you’re not VAT registered and you receive goods from a country outside the UK.

It might seem like a lot to take into account but the process is nice and straightforward. You can help things go smoothly by preparing some details before starting the application. If you’re currently intending to clear goods in or out of the EU with customs authorities, then you will need to provide all the details of the shipment.

You can’t complete the form ahead of time, so try and remember not to skip this step in the process, otherwise, your application could get rejected. This could make customs procedures more difficult.

Depending on the application you need to fill out, you will need some different bits of information.

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK:

  • Your full name, position in the business and your contact details
  • The VAT registered number, name and address

If you’re not VAT registered for exporting:

  • The business name, the business address and the contact details
  • The legal status of the business and any other relevant information
  • A description of the goods, as well as the number of goods and their value
  • The delivery address and name of the freight agent
  • The details and method of export

If you’re not VAT registered for importing:

  • You will need all the same details as businesses not registered for exporting

Once you complete and submit all the correct paperwork, you should receive your EORI number within a week. If for some reason a week has passed and your number still hasn’t arrived, HMRC has said to check your spam folder in case it gets delivered there by mistake.

Key Takeaways

If you import or export goods and your business is based in the UK, you need to have an EORI number. Keep in mind that the application you need to complete and submit will depend on whether or not your business is registered for VAT in the UK. Make sure you have the right paperwork in place before you get started to help make sure there are no errors.

To help keep things simple, the first thing you should do is visit the government website to find the right application form. It will get based on your business location and business type, and you can then submit the application electronically. You should receive your number within a week to provide it to your freight forwarder for customs declarations.

Did you enjoy reading this guide? Head over to our resource hub for more great content!


RELATED ARTICLES