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EORI number: What it is and how to get one

Nowadays, many foreign goods can be found at almost every corner market or even small local shop. This is thanks to new systems and ways of transporting, exporting and importing, which have been developed. Such is the EORI number.

Even if you are not a trader or own such a business, it is still good to be acquainted with one of the reasons you have access to items you would not typically find in your own country.

What is an EORI number

Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) is a system of unique identification numbers used in customs procedures across the EU and UK for customs declarations when importing or exporting cargo.

It is mandatory for businesses and traders to have such an identification number in order to exchange information with Customs administration and it also aids in statistics and security. 

Who needs an EORI number

The EORI number is a must-have when it comes to moving goods between Great Britain or the Isle of Man and any European country or ones outside the EU, Northern Ireland, as well as the Channel Islands.

Customs require this number, therefore traders and businesses need to acquire such in order to settle matters, including custom declarations, applying for a custom decision or using customs systems like the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) and the Import Control System Northern Ireland (ICS NI).

The type of EORI one needs solely depends on where goods are being moved from and to, which may cause the necessity of two or multiple such numbers. In case the trader or business cannot provide the proper one, there is a high chance of experiencing delays at customs (e.g. goods being stored until the right one is available), as well as increased costs.

Tools to check EORI numbers in the UK 

Due to changes following Brexit the EU EORIs are no longer valid in the UK and now a UK one must be received from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), however such numbers will not be valid in the EU.

This means that an EU-based business or trader must obtain a UK identification number in order to import goods into the UK and vice versa for UK-based ones. 

There are tools to help check an EORI code in the UK, which can be easily found online, for example EORI number validation (europa.eu) and Check an EORI number – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

How to apply for an EORI number

In order to get such a number, the business needs to have an establishment in the country it wishes to import to or export from. This includes a registered office and a central headquarters.

Once this has been settled, next up is an online form that is submitted to HMRC using one’s Government Gateway account. The application form can be found at Get an EORI number: Who needs an EORI – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

It takes up to 5 minutes to acquire the number, as there are no required details of the import. It should be allocated within a few working days, so it is ideal to apply a week prior to when the shipment is due.

Conclusion

To sum up, the EORI is a trader’s or trading business’ way to import to and export from the UK and other countries mentioned above. It is not only mandatory to acquire it, but it certainly comes in handy when customs matters must be settled when freight is being moved.

Thanks to such recent policies, transporting cargo is easier than ever and allows countries to experience foreign markets along their local.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the contents of this article and the myPOS Blog, in general, should not be interpreted as legal, monetary, tax, or any other kind of professional advice. You should always seek to consult with a professional before taking action, since the particulars of your situation may materially differ from other cases.

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