EORI number

Does your business need an EORI number to trade in Europe after Brexit?

If you move goods between the EU and the UK, you will need an Economic Operation Registration Identification (EORI) number to continue trading with the European Union if the UK leaves without a deal. This is irrespective of the mode of transport being used to move your goods from one place to another.

Will there be temporary arrangements?

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there will be no temporary arrangements, so if this affects you then make sure that you have been issued with your EORI number well before the deadline of 31 October 2019. After this date (assuming there is no delay and Brexit goes ahead with no-deal) you will not be able to clear goods through customs without an EORI number.

Are there any exemptions?

EORI numbers are only required for moving goods between the EU and the UK with the exception of moving goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

It does not apply (and you do not need an EORI number) if you trade services (including only digital services*) with other EU countries. However, if you import services then you need to be aware of and apply reverse charge rules.

In addition, you do not need an EORI number if you’re only moving goods:

  • within the EU (and not the UK), or
  • importing goods for your own private use.

In all other cases where you trade goods between the EU and the UK, you will need an EORI number.

* Businesses that only trade digital services as defined under the Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS) rules for VAT, do not require an EORI.

Why are EORI numbers required?

EORI numbers are used to track the movement of goods. Each EORI number is unique, so that the origins of shipments can easily be identified by customs, and governments can share information for statistical and security purposes.

What is the Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP)?

The import procedure known as Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) is simpler to apply for. If you’re new to customs processes, then this is the best option for you.

How to get an EORI number

You can apply online but if you already trade with EU countries and are VAT registered, then you will automatically be issued with an EORI number by HMRC. If you have not received a letter in the post, then contact the EORI team online.

Further information on importing, exporting and transporting goods

Check out the government website for step-by-step guides on importing goods from the EU, exporting goods to the EU and transporting goods out of the UK.

IT & accountancy help to use EORI numbers and apply VAT and reverse charges

It can be tricky implementing new regulations, so if you need help or just want to sense check what you are doing is right, then give us a call or send us a message.

We’re here to guide you through the changes, map out best practice, implement new business and IT processes where needed, and to help you understand and apply VAT and reverse charges correctly. If you’d like to meet our team, you’re welcome to call by our office or give us a call and we’ll visit you.


  Delia Porter, Founder & MD

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