An EORI number is an identification number that businesses and traders must use when interacting with customs procedures. Previously, UK businesses did not necessarily need one to import and export inside the EU. However, this has changed since Brexit. Now UK businesses and traders simply musty have one if they wish to export or import goods with the EU. Failure to obtain one could result in fines or the detainment of goods. As you can probably tell, obtaining and understanding EORI numbers is vital for anyone wishing to trade with EU post-Brexit. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about EORI numbers. For our full guides on importing and exporting after Brexit, click here and here.

What Is An EORI Number?

  EORI stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification number and, as stated in the introduction, this an identification number that allows you to be identified by customs. Whilst this is not the same as a VAT number, it is similar as the EORI allows all your transactions to be identified as your own, making it easier for you calculate import VAT.   The number itself begins with the two-digit country code in which you are registered, followed by a unique 12-digit code. If you or your business traded with the EU before Brexit you may already have one. You can check if you do by using the HMRC’s checking system.  

Do You Need One?

  Everyone who moves goods between the UK and the EU for business purposes must obtain an EORI number. This includes sole-traders and those who are self-employed. These numbers are absolutely essential and failure to obtain one before trading could result in severe punishments.   If you are unsure as to whether you are obligated to get an EORI number, contact us today. We are able to help our clients acquire an EORI number in an extremely timely manner.  

Special XI Number For Northern Ireland

  Traders will need to use an XI number for moving goods between Northern Ireland and the EU, In order to differentiate them from standard GB transactions. This is because of the different tax rules for goods in Northern Ireland due to its post-Brexit dual status as both part of the UK and EU. For more information on trading with Northern Ireland post-Brexit, click here.   For UK traders, you simply have to change your country code at the beginning of your EORI number from GB to XI. Traders from elsewhere are also able to do this, but they must have a UK EORI number first. The HMRC should automatically issue XI numbers to Northern Ireland-based businesses, or those who they believe will have a lot of interaction with Northern Ireland.  

What Do You Need To Apply For An EORI Number?

  Assuming you are already VAT registered, you will need to provide information about yourself and your business. This information includes: –          Full name –          Contact details –          Occupation/position –          You or your company’s VAT registration number –          VAT address –          VAT registered name The HMRC runs the application process. In order to complete the process you will need to create a government gateway user ID if you don’t already have one. Some additional information may also be required, such as your Unique Taxpayer Reference.   The application process can be tricky, as the HMRC are extremely strict with applications and will reject an application immediately with any incorrect information. We at J&P do offer the obtainment of an EORI number as one of our services. When you register for VAT with us we also ensure we inform you about the EORI number and make sure you have fulfilled all the relevant obligations in order for you to begin trading!  

Need Help Applying For An EORI Number?

  If you are a business who participates in cross border e-commerce, or importing of any kind, we would be more than happy to help you register for an EU and UK EORI number. We can also help you register for UK VAT, the UK VAT deferral scheme, file your UK and EU VAT returns, and help you comply with VAT in case your account faces any issues.   At J&P, helping your business is our passion, and we understand that companies across the UK are at risk now more than ever. We are here to support you through this post-Brexit period, so please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0161 637 1080 or send an e-mail to