Understanding EORI Numbers in International Trade
The Blue dot Team
The Blue dot Team
An EORI number is essential for you to do business with companies outside the UK (England, Scotland and Wales). Your Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number allows you to transport items across borders.
Without an EORI number, you can’t transport items between the UK and the European Union, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, or countries outside of the EU. However, if you’re moving items that are not controlled or for personal use, you won’t need an EORI number. This is just for companies exporting or importing products between the UK and other countries.
Your EORI number is valid throughout the EU and with other countries and is used as a reference point for your business and transactions by customs authorities. When it comes to your EORI number, there are four key things you need to know:
Your EORI number and the EORI numbers used by other companies importing and exporting goods from the UK comprise your country code (GB) followed by a unique number. As it is used to identify companies and the goods moving in and out of the country, a valid EORI number is absolutely essential. It not only ensures that any company you’re doing business with is valid and correctly registered within their country but that your business is a valid and registered resource for other companies wanting to do business with you.
Your EORI number keeps you in line with customs and compliant with regulations. There are some important facts you need to consider when it comes to your EORI number:
Understanding all the factors that influence EORI number management and planning is also important. If you don’t have a proper EORI number, or if you don’t write it down on your invoices or shipping labels correctly, or if you don’t check the EORI number of the companies you deal with, then you can potentially suffer shipment delays and experience legal complications.
If you don’t have an EORI number, your goods may be stored by customs at your cost until you get one and you may also be fined for shipping without one.
You must include your EORI number on all of your shipping documentation so that it’s easy for authorities to evaluate your shipping status and business identity.
When verifying an EORI number for the UK, you can go to the HMRC website, which will walk you through the process and the requirements you need to fulfil to receive one, use one and assess one. You can also visit the European Union (EU) customs site to verify an EU EORI number.
A valid UK EORI number will start with GB followed by 12 digits and end with three zeros. For example: GB123456789000. A valid EU EORI number starts with XI, as does a Northern Ireland EORI number. Exporters from Madagascar, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe use the REX number when trading with the EU.
Now that you’ve got a good idea as to what your EORI number is and how to check it using the HMRC and EU EORI verification checkers, here are some additional considerations for your business and managing your EORI number:
An EORI number makes customs easier for legitimate businesses and harder for illegal trade, so being verified and up-to-date benefits your business in several important ways:
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