EORI (Economic operators Registration and identification), is a numbering scheme specific to the European Union. If you are not based in Europe you don’t need an EORI number. But if you are based in an EU country you should read the following.
EORI is mandatory for companies and individuals who are carrying out custom activities in the European Union.
An EORI number consists of an ISO country code (EU member state) followed by 12 digits number and maximum of 15 digits. It is based on the trader’s VAT number. For Germany it can look like this DE5512345678.
EORI number is required to provide information for goods both at pre-arrival or pre-departure or is engaged in import and export of goods under a transit process.
How to apply for an EORI number:
The application process consists of filling an application form online. However, the application form varies from an individual to another depending if the individual is:
- Registered for value added tax (VAT).
- Not VAT- registered and the individual is exporting.
- Not VAT – registered and the individual is importing.
The application form you will fill in depends on the country you are in.
Format of the EORI number:
There are two forms of EORI number:
- For companies or individuals registered to VAT, the EORI number will begin with two letters GB for UK. The number is then followed by 12 digits.
- Dummy numbers can be issued for non- VAT – registered operators. The number will be smaller than the usual EORI
There can be one EORI number per trader, regardless the number of offices that may have. Each office will have its own EORI number.
Office 1: GB 123456789015
Office 2: GB 123456789016, it can continue depending on the number of offices.
Consequences of not having an EORI number:
In case you didn’t apply for an EORI number, the customs authorities will hold your cargo until you apply for an EORI number.
They will not impose any penalty or destroy your cargo that you have imported from china or any other county. However, it’s always advisable to have an EORI number before any import process.
In case you didn’t apply in advance, the best solution will be to apply before the shipment has departed from the country of origin.
Does the EORI number applies to any mode of transportation?
YES, an EORI number is mandatory in every import/ export process, regardless of whether you are getting your imported products delivered by sea Freight or Air Freight you should get an EORI number.
DOES EORI number concerns non- registered companies?
EORI number is mandatory for any import process regardless whether you are registered or not. In many European states you are not required to register a company n order to perform commercial activities. Therefore, you must have an EORI number even if you are importing as an individual.
How to apply for an EORI number?
The EORI number is provided by the customs authorities in which you or your company reside. You can either apply online all fill a form an send it by mail or fax to the customs. Below you will find a list of links to different websites of EU customs authorities for more information on the application:
IF you need to check that you are registred and your EORI number is valid, Click here