Bluestone International, Haulage to Europe. Specialist in shipping to Europe.

EORI – What it is and how to apply

EORI is an acronym for Economic Operator Registration and Identification.

Bluestone International are here to help, the EORI system started on 1st July 2009. In the UK, an EORI number is assigned to importers and exporters by HMRC, and is used in the process of customs entry declarations and customs clearance for both import and export shipments travelling to or from the EU and countries outside the EU.

You need an EORI number to move goods into or out of the EU (including the UK).

If you do not get one, you may have increased costs and delays. For example, if HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot clear your goods you may have to pay storage fees.

If there’s a no-deal Brexit

You’ll need an EORI number that starts with GB to move goods in or out of the UK if there’s no Brexit deal.

If you already have an EORI number that starts with GB, you can continue to use it. It will be 12 digits long. If you’re registered for VAT it will include your VAT registration number.

You do not need an EORI number if you’ll only move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

If you’ll be dealing with EU customs then you’ll need an EU EORI number. Get this from the customs authority in the EU country you first conduct trade with or that you request a customs decision from.

Before you apply for an EORI

To apply you may need your:

  • VAT number and effective date of registration – these are on your VAT registration certificate
  • National Insurance number – if you’re an individual or a sole trader
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – find your UTR if you do not know it
  • business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code – these are in the Companies House register
  • Government Gateway user ID and password

If you need a Government Gateway user ID, use either:

  • the one for your business or organisation
  • your own if you’re applying as an individual

If you do not already have a user ID, you’ll be able to create one when you apply.

Apply for an EORI number

It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply for an EORI number. You’ll get it either:

  • straight away
  • within 5 working days (if HMRC needs to make more checks)


Where can I get help and advice about my EORI number?

HMRC operate a helpline for EORI queries, they can be contacted on 0845 010 9000 or you can email – eoriqueries@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

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