Generally, if you are in the business of import and export of goods into and out of the UK, you would need an EORI number. For your information, the EORI stands for Economic Operators Registration and Identification number.
Generally, you would need an EORI number to import and export goods between the UK and other countries outside the EU. From 01 January 2021, you must get an EORI number to import and export goods from the UK to the EU also.
EORI number starts with GB
You would need to apply for an EORI number starts with GB followed by a 12 digits unique number. This EORI number applies to import and export of goods only. If you only provides services such as accountancy, auditing, consultancy then you do not require one.
If you already have an EORI number that starts with GB, you may continue to use it.
However, you do not require an EORI number if you are moving goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
What you need to apply
You would require the following information to apply for your EORI number.
VAT number and VAT registration date. You may find the information on your VAT registration certificate issued by HMRC.
Your company’s Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), you can find this from HMRC correspondence about your company tax return.
Government Gateway ID
Government Gateway user ID and password. If you are applying under your company, do not use the Gateway ID for your personal tax return. If you do not already have a user ID, you can create one when you apply.
How long it takes
You can apply for your EORI number online. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Thereafter, you would either get your EORI number straight away or within 5 working days. Usually, this is because HMRC requires more information from you. You may have to wait for 48 hours before you can use your EORI number.