Why you need the EORI number

Generally, if your business involves imports and exports then you would definitely require an EORI number. The EORI stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification. The EORI number is important when comes to customs declaration.

Previously, if you import and export between the UK and the EU no EORI number is necessary. However, from 1 January 2021, you need to have an EORI number starts with GB to continue to import and export goods between the UK and the EU countries.

For this purpose, you also have the option to use custom agents to take care of your customs declaration. Basically, the import and export rules apply importers and exporters from the rest of the world would also apply to the EU importers and exporters beginning on 1 January 2021.

The EORI number as imports control

Primarily, the UK government announced that all imports and exports will be treated equally. Hence, the importers and exporters in the EU and in the UK must submit customs declaration and have their goods check. Therefore, it is vital all importers and exporters apply for an EORI number before 1 January 2021. For this, you would require your company’s UTR number, company start date and your SIC code. You may find your company start date and SIC code from your confirmation statement already filed with Companies House. Alternatively, you may get the information from the Companies House website.

The UK government introduced the imports control the following objectives:

  • To keep the UK’s borders safe and secure so the UK know who’s coming in and how often, what they are bringing in, and why.
  • Ensure the UK treat all partners equally as the UK begins to negotiate own trading arrangements with countries around the world.
  • To collect the right customs, VAT and excise duties.
  • The EU has said it will enforce checks on the UK goods entering the Eurozone. The UK will likewise enforce own rules for goods entering the UK.

EORI number to import and export goods

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 information

VAT number and VAT registration date. You may find the information on your VAT registration certificate issued by HMRC.

Company information

Your company’s Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), you can find this from HMRC correspondence about your company tax return.

Your company incorporation date and your SIC code, you may find this information from your confirmation statement or Companies House website.

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.

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