EORI Numbers: What Are They and Do I Need One?


‘EORI’ stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification, and it is a form of identification held both nationally and by the European Commission. 
An EORI number is required to trade goods between the UK and countries outside the EU and is necessary in all dealings with Customs officials. 
Examples of when you will need an EORI number include:
  • If you move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) or the Isle of Man and any other country (including the EU).
  • If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 
  • If you move goods between Great Britain and the Channel Islands.
  • If you move goods between Northern Ireland and countries outside the EU.
You will also need an EORI number for making Customs declarations, applying for a decision from Customs, appointing someone else to handle Customs for you, and for using Customs systems such as CHIEF and ICS NI.  
Please note, if you require an EORI number to trade, then we must have fully validated your EORI number before we can dispatch orders. If we are unable to validate your EORI number, we may restrict your Henbrandt web account access until we have been able to validate your EORI number. 
Furthermore, not having the correct EORI number when one is required can lead to delays at Customs and potential charges, such as storage fees in the event that your goods need to be held and stored while you wait for an EORI number.  
We suggest you allow your EORI number to be available to the general public through the EORI number validation checker, as this will link your name and/or trading address to your EORI number and eliminate referencing and validation delays. Data shared publicly through the validation checker is limited and will only be published with your consent. 
If you are based in the UK and your GB EORI number is currently not publicly linked to your name or trading address, you can change this by logging into your Government Gateway portal and consenting for this information to be shared. Alternatively, you can log into your Government Gateway portal and download your EORI certificate and send this to our Accounts Team for them to process; however, this method is unavoidably slower.
If you require an EORI number, we suggest that your first step is to check whether you have already been assigned one. 
If your company is VAT-registered, you may have been assigned an EORI number automatically, and you can check whether your UK VAT number already has EORI status by prefixing ‘GB’ at the start and the suffix ‘000’ at the end. For example, if your nine-digit VAT number is 123456789, your GB EORI number would be GB123456789000.
Make sure to check which type of EORI number you require. If you are based in the UK, then you require an EORI number that begins with GB. If you are based in or moving goods to/from Northern Ireland, you require an EORI number that begins with XI
You may also require an EU EORI number if your business is getting Customs decisions or declarations from an EU country. To get an EU EORI number, you must contact the correct Customs Authority in the relevant EU country. However, you do not require an EU EORI number if you already hold an XI EORI number. 
To begin the application process for a GB EORI number, you must have a Government Gateway user ID. You will also require: 
  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). Here is how to find your UTR if you do not know it. 
  • The business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. These can be found in the Companies House register.
  • If you are VAT registered, your VAT number and effective date of registration. These can be found on your VAT registration certificate. 
  • If you are an individual or sole trader, your National Insurance number.
Once you have submitted your application for a GB EORI number, you should receive it via email in 3-5 working days. 
To apply for an XI EORI number, you must have already applied for and received a GB EORI number, then fill in and submit the EORI enquiry formMake sure you select the box confirming you are based in or will be trading with Northern Ireland, and that the enquiry is a ‘Query regarding a current EORI number application’.
You can check the status of an application online or call the HMRC EORI Helpline at 0300 322 7067 for further assistance regarding EORI numbers.