Who Needs to Get an EORI Number in UK?
Because the EORI system identifies traders for customs declarations, you will need the number to move goods between (any):
- Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) or the Isle of Man and any other country (includes the European Union).
- Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- Great Britain and the Channel Islands.
- Northern Ireland and countries outside of the EU.
Note: A help guide explaining how to apply to get a valid EORI number is also available in Welsh language (cael rhif EORI).
The location you are moving goods from, and its destination, will determine which type you need (and how to get it).
In fact, many of the companies that are exporting products and services from the United Kingdom need to have more than one valid number.
In case you were wondering:
What happens if you have the wrong EORI number? If so, you may experience delayed services at the customs department. Furthermore, needing to have your goods stored while you get it corrected is likely to increase the costs.
Checking EORI Numbers for Validity
Anyone based in the United Kingdom would need to apply to get a GB EORI number (e.g. beginning with letters ‘GB’).
Furthermore, anyone moving commercial products to or from Northern Ireland may also need a number starting with the letters ‘XI’.
You may need one from a relevant EU country if your business makes certain declarations or it gets the customs decision in the European Union (unless you already have an XI EORI number).
EORI numbers would be required to make customs declarations, to apply for a customs decision, or any time you (either):
- Get someone to deal with customs declarations for you (e.g. a freight forwarder).
- Use an HMRC customs system (e.g. the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight system or the Import Control System Northern Ireland).
Important: Any business based in the Channel Islands does not need a number to move goods to or from the United Kingdom unless it uses an HMRC customs system (e.g. CHIEF).
Businesses need to have a valid EORI number to move goods between Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland, and Wales) and another country. Furthermore, they would also need one to move goods from Northern Ireland to any of the non-EU countries.
You can check an EORI number online (the letters ‘GB’ means it was issued by the United Kingdom). It may also show the name and address of the business.
Note: The online service to check an EORI number is also available in Welsh language (gwirio rhif EORI) on the GOV.UK website.
Moving Goods to or from Northern Ireland
Your Economic Operators Registration and Identification number must begin with the letters ‘XI’ any time you are:
- Moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
- Moving goods from Northern Ireland to any of the other non-EU countries.
- Applying for a customs decision, or making a declaration, in Northern Ireland.
You only need to declare certain goods that you move from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. Check if you need to make an export declaration and will need an XI EORI number.
Another section explains how to check if you need to declare goods that you are bringing into, or taking out of, the United Kingdom.
An EORI number is not required to move goods on the island of Ireland or between one of the EU countries and Northern Ireland.
Note: You must be based in Northern Ireland or the EU to be the person or organisation named as a ‘declarant’ on import and export declarations made in Northern Ireland.
Moving Goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The Trader Support Service provides guidance about any changes taking place because of the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Note: The Cabinet Office has further details and guidance about moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland.
How to Apply for an EORI Number
Numbers Starting with GB
Applicants of a Great Britain Economic Operators Registration and Identification number are going to need (all):
- Business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (you can get free information about a company).
- Government Gateway (including your user ID and password).
- National Insurance number (for individuals and sole traders).
- VAT number and effective date of registration (for VAT registered businesses).
- Unique Taxpayer Reference (another section explains how to find a lost UTR number).
You can set up a Government Gateway user ID when you apply for a GB EORI number on the GOV.UK website. It may take up to five (5) working days to complete if HMRC needs to make any checks on the application.
Numbers Starting with XI
After applying for a GB EORI number you will be able to make an application for an XI number by filling in the enquiry form. Remember to tick the box that:
- Confirms you will be trading with Northern Ireland (or you are based there).
- States the enquiry is a “Query regarding a current EORI number application”.
Where to Get Expert Help
You will be able to use your Government gateway to check the current status of your application once you have made it.
Related Help Guides
- Exporting Products and Doing Business Abroad.
- Take goods with you to sell abroad (inside baggage or a vehicle).
- Taking goods temporarily out of the United Kingdom.
Note: This short video presented by HMRC explains more about the new customs and tax rules when exporting goods from Great Britain to Europe.