What Is An EORI Number? [Find Out Everything]

An EORI number is required for everyone who transfers goods over European borders, whether within the European Union or through import and export activity.


What is an EORI number?

Importantly, it’s worth noting that since January 1st, 2021, two types of EORI number have been introduced these include an EU EORI number as well as a UK EORI number.

An EU EORI number is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses that seek to import or export goods into or out of the EU. Your EORI number is assigned by the member state where your firm is located. Once the EORI number has been obtained, it’ll be valid in all EU member states.

An EORI number issued by the British Customs Authority (HMRC) is comparable to an EU EORI number, however it is important to note they are only valid in the United Kingdom.

Who needs an EORI number?

To summarize, if you move any commodities, goods, parcels, you’ll require an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number).

  • between Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) or the Isle of Man and any other country (including the EU)
  • between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • between Great Britain and the Channel Islands
  • between Northern Ireland and countries outside the EU

You’ll also need one if:

  • make customs declarations
  • use customs systems, such as the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system and the Import Control System Northern Ireland (ICS NI)
  • apply for a customs decision


How can you recognise an EORI number?

Importantly there are two types of EORI number.

The EU version and the non-EU version.

The EU EORI number is bracketed into two parts: the country code of the issuing Member State, followed by a code or number that is unique in the Member State. A French EORI number is made up of the letters FR followed by 9 digits. The 9 digits are your company’s fiscal code.

The UK EORI number is like the EU EORI number. It is the letters GB followed by a 12-digit number, which is based on your company’s VAT number. If you have a UK VAT number, then HMRC should have issued you an EORI number already.


Where and how can you request an EORI number?

  • Persons established in the customs territory of the Union should request the assignment of the EORI number to the customs authorities of the EU country in which they are established.
  • Persons not established in the customs territory of the Community should request the assignment of the EORI number to the customs authorities of the EU country responsible for the place where they first lodge a declaration or apply for a decision.


Related content

Find out how to calculate VAT and why its important in our blog

Customs duty rates are dependent upon two things: the type of goods being shipped, and the country of origin they are being imported from. Should you need to confirm the correct rate of duty the correct commodity code can be found through HMRC.

Should you need to check any EORI numbers this can be done via the European Commission.

One thing that can be done to help with understanding EORI numbers, is by using a shipping agent or reputable freight forwarder when importing, they will be able to assist you in understanding the topic in detail.