21 August 2019
HMRC is to automatically enrol VAT-registered businesses in the UK to receive EORI number
More than 88,000 VAT-registered businesses across the UK will be allocated an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number from HMRC, so they can keep trading with customers and suppliers in the EU after the UK has left.
What is an EORI number and who needs one?
EORI numbers are a unique ID number allocated to businesses that enables them to be identified by customs authorities when doing business with other traders.
If businesses do not have an EORI number after the UK leaves the EU, they will be unable to continue to trade with the EU Member States.
If you do not get an EORI number, you may have increased costs and delays. For example, if HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot clear your goods you may have to pay storage fees.
If a business is not VAT-registered, it will still need to register for an EORI number. Information on how to register can be found here.
What to do after getting an EORI number
Getting an EORI number is one of the steps that businesses need to take to be prepared for the UK leaving the EU.
After getting an EORI number, businesses will need to decide whether to complete customs declarations themselves or employ a customs agent to do this.
Read more about exporting after Brexit: check what you need to do.
Traders also need to decide whether to apply for Transitional Simplified Procedures to make it easier to import goods from the EU.
When will businesses receive their EORI number?
Businesses will receive a letter containing their assigned EORI number.
If businesses have been issued a UK EORI number by HMRC and then apply online, they will receive a message to say that they already have one HMRC advises businesses to contact HMRC if they are unsure.
HMRC will be able to confirm whether a number has been assigned.
Forgotten or lost EORI number
You can contact the EORI team online.
Other problems getting an EORI number
You can contact the EORI team online or by phone.
Telephone: 0300 322 7067
Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 18:00 (closed bank holidays)
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