Important: From 1 January 2021, you’ll need an EORI number that starts with GB to move goods in or out of the UK.
The Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) Scheme is a European Union (EU) initiative that helps traders communicate with customs officials when they are importing and exporting goods.
Importers and exporters are able to register for an EORI number which is valid throughout the EU. They can use this number in communications with any customs authorities in the EU, for example in customs declarations where a customs identifier is required.
Traders wishing to register, or who are already registered as an Authorised Economic Operator, also need an EORI number.
What is the format of the EORI number?
UK EORI numbers start with the letters ‘GB’. Most are then followed by a 12-digit number based on the trader’s VAT number (eg GB123456789000).
If you have an EORI number that does not start with GB, you need to get one now if you are going to trade goods into or out of the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
How to check for EORI status
You can check for EORI status If you have a UK VAT number. Please prefix your nine digit VAT number with ‘GB’ and suffix with ‘000’, eg GB123456789000 (do not put any spaces between the digits).
How to apply for an EORI number
To apply for a UK EORI number, you will need to set up a Government Gateway user ID and password for either:
- your organisation, if you’re applying for your company or partnership
- you, if you’re applying as an individual or a sole trader
If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you start.
Once you have your UK EORI number it can take 48 hours before you can use it to make declarations using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.
It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply. You’ll get it either:
- straight away
- within 5 working days (if HMRC needs to make more checks)
If you are not VAT registered but need to get an EORI number for another customs procedure or system you should complete this form and include why you need an EORI number in the additional information box.
For further information you can contact HMRC on: 0300 322 9434