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What every import/export business needs to know about EORI

business-articlesWhat every import/export business needs to know about EORI
If you import or export goods in the EU from an outside country you need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. The EORI is a standard identification used by customs authorities across the European Union to monitor and track shipments.

Without an EORI a business can face increased costs and delays as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) typically impose storage fees on any item they need to hold.

Who needs an EORI

If you move goods into or out of the EU from a location outside the region you’ll need an EORI and you’ll need one for each country you intend to trade with. Each EORI number is issued from the customs authority in the country where you’ll be conducting trade.

In the case of UK businesses: while the UK remains in the customs union you won’t need an EORI to ship to another EU member state, but after Brexit you’ll need an EORI prefixed with the code GB. However, this is based on a no-deal Brexit so could be subject to change depending on how things develop.

If you only provide a service or move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, you don’t need an EORI, though this could also change post-Brexit.

If you use a postal service to transport your goods, they can tell you if you need an EORI number.

Where to get an EORI

After Britain leaves the European Union you should go to the HMRC website and register online. For importing or exporting into any EU country, use that country’s customs website.

The process usually takes about three days so you should ensure you apply well before shipping any goods. In some cases a decision can be made straight away, but if the customs authority need to make further checks you may need to wait up to a week.

How to use an EORI

You’ll need to include your EORI number on any commercial invoice, the packaged goods and any documentation accompanying the shipment. You’ll also need to enter the number into the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

What you’ll need

In the UK you’ll need:
  • A VAT number and date of registration (which can be found on your VAT registration certificate)
  • A National Insurance number (if you’re an individual or sole trader).
  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR),
  • Your business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, which can be found in the Companies House Register.
  • Your Government Gateway ID and password.
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Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.

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