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EORI – What is it and why is it important?

April 24th, 2019

Are you based in the EU and trading goods with countries outside the EU? If you’re not already EORI registered you may need to be in order to prevent customs delays and charges. As thought leaders in global distribution Flight Logistics Group want to keep on top of best practice within the industry and so through our “Best Practice” posts and articles, we want to share that knowledge with you. This blog helps you understand the main EORI facts.


What is an EORI number?

An EORI number is an EU registration and identification number that identifies individuals or organisations throughout the EU, for customs declarations when importing or exporting goods. In the UK this is assigned through HM Revenue & Customs.


Who needs an EORI number?

Individuals and organisations that are based in the EU and trading goods with countries outside the EU on a commercial basis. In January 2017 it became mandatory to be EORI registered in order to import goods into the EU from non-EU countries. It was already mandatory for exporting to non-EU countries. Conversely, if you’re shipping goods for non-commercial purposes, you shouldn’t need an EORI number.


What are the benefits of having an EORI number?

Providing a number to Customs authorities will allow them to quickly identify you or your company, which will help to get your goods through customs without delays due to time-consuming checks. Without it, Customs can and do take possession of a consignment until an EORI number is produced which creates a further hold-up in transit.


How is it actually used?

Either you or your shipping partner will use it when making Customs declarations to Customs authorities. They in turn will share it with other Customs authorities (at pre-arrival and pre-departure times if crossing multiple borders outside the EU to get to a final destination), and government departments and agencies.

In the UK, HM Revenue & Customs use it to make sure that people and organisations declare their sales and profits in a bid to clamp down on VAT fraud.


How do you check if you have already been assigned an EORI number?

If you’re based in the UK and you’re not sure whether you have already been assigned an EORI number, you can check via the HM Revenue & Customs website. (If you’re a client of Flight Logistics Group (or want to be), contact us.


How do you get an EORI number and how long does it take?

If you’re based in the UK, it may be that your business already has an EORI number assigned to it as it can be generated at the same time as you register for VAT. If you want to register for one in the UK, then you can apply on the HM Revenue & Customs website.

It usually takes around 3-5 working days to receive your number as long as all the information is submitted in the application.


How much does it cost?

There is no charge for an EORI number through the HM Revenue & Customs website.


Not VAT registered do you still need it?



VAT registered, do you still need it?