You need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number to trade goods with countries outside the EU.
Important: UK businesses that import or export (physical goods) with the EU will need a UK EORI number to continue trading if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. Businesses that are VAT registered will automatically be issued an EORI number, but micro businesses still need to register themselves.
Read the latest UK government guidance on whether you will need a UK EORI number to trade within the EU and how to get one.
You must declare your goods arriving or leaving the European Union within set time limits. If you supply normal import or export declarations, you will be covered, but if you're not declaring them in the usual way, you will need an EORI number to complete an Entry Summary Declaration or an Exit Summary Declaration.
- for imports or arrivals, see Import Control System.
- for dispatches or exports, see customs export procedures.
Traders wishing to register or who are already registered as an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) will need an EORI number.
What is an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certificate?
The AEO certificate is an internationally recognised quality mark that proves your role in the international supply chain is secure and that your customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.
For more information and to find out whether AEO status is available to you, see Authorised Economic Operators.
What is the format of the EORI number?
UK EORI numbers start with the letters 'GB'. Most are then followed by a 12-digit number based on the trader's VAT number (eg GB123456789000).
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.
How to check for EORI status
If you have a UK VAT number, you can check to see if it has EORI status. Please prefix your nine digit VAT number with 'GB' and suffix with '000', eg GB123456789000 (do not put any spaces between the digits).