News article

Brexit: Get a UK EORI number to trade within the EU

15 February 2019


UK businesses trading with the EU will need a UK EORI number to continue trading if the UK leaves the EU with no deal

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal many UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

Who needs an EORI number

You’ll need to have a UK issued Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number if you:

  • are a business established in the UK
  • will import or export goods with the EU after the UK leaves the EU

It could take three days to get a UK issued EORI number, so you should apply now. More than 88,000 VAT-registered businesses across the UK will be automatically 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. 

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.

Why you need an EORI number

Having an EORI number allows you to:

  • trade goods into or out of the UK
  • submit declarations using software (or to give to your agent to make these declarations on your behalf)
  • apply to be authorised for customs simplifications and procedures

Who does not need an EORI number

You do not need an EORI number if you’ll only import or export:

  • services that do not involve moving physical goods
  • goods with Ireland across the Northern Ireland–Ireland land border (businesses will receive a future update about the arrangements for trading with Ireland from HMRC)

Before you apply

You will need to provide some specific details related to your type of business when applying for an EORI number.

If you’re VAT-registered

You’ll need your VAT registration number and the name under which your business is registered for VAT.

If you’re not VAT-registered

You’ll need the following:

  • an address in the United Kingdom
  • an email address
  • your date of birth
  • your National Insurance number

If your businesses is a partnership

You’ll need the following information for each individual partner:

  • date of birth
  • your National Insurance number

If your business is registered as a company

You’ll need the following:

  • Company Registration Number
  • company incorporation date (the date your company came into being)
  • country of incorporation, for example, the United Kingdom

If you’re a registered charity

You’ll need the following:

  • your registered charity number
  • country of registration (for example, the United Kingdom)

If your business has a parent or holding company

Your parent or holding company must apply for you.

How to apply

There are different ways to apply depending on whether you’re:

What happens after you apply for an EORI number?

You’ll get your EORI number by email, usually within three working days. If you’ve not received the email you should check your spam folder.

It can take longer than three days if there are high volumes so please do not contact HMRC during this time. If HMRC has any query, HMRC will contact you.

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.

When you receive your EORI number, please always use it when contacting HMRC about customs.

Contact the EORI team at HMRC to get help.

Further information

HMRC wants to make sure that traders have access to the right authorisations so that trade can keep flowing.

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