How To Get An EORI Number (For Importing To The EU)
Find out what an EORI number is and follow this step-by-step guide to fill out an online application form so you can seamlessly ship stock around Europe.
An EORI (Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification) number is issued to an individual legal entity i.e. sole trader, ltd company etc. and tracks the movement of your goods across the EU. You only need to apply for it once but it is essential to complete the Entry or Exit Summary Declaration.
While express couriers like DHL or Fedex do not require an EORI number, you’ll need it if you transport using air or sea freight. If you don’t apply for an EORI number, you risk your stock getting held up as it crosses borders in the EU… So here’s the simple process to get an EORI number!
(It’s worth mentioning that you will need to wait until the goods are either in the air or on the water as you will need the Air Waybill (similar to Bill of Lading) number or Container number depending on the method of shipping.)
The process to get an EORI number for a non-VAT registered application is as follows:
1. Fill in the required & relevant text boxes for the legal entity
For the address, you can use either the Business address or the Registered address. The registered address is particularly useful if you live abroad but have set up a UK ltd company.
2. Enter your contact details
3. If you’re a Sole Trader then enter details here:
4. If you’re in a Partnership then enter the details here:
5. If you have a Ltd Company then enter the details here:
6. If you’re a Registered Charity, Non-Profit Organisation or Other then enter the details here:
7. Enter details about your goods and their total value, to include freight & insurance costs:
8. If you are using a freight forwarder enter their details here:
9. Enter your supplier’s details here:
10. Enter the details of where the goods are being delivered to:
11. Enter the seaport or airport where the goods will enter the EU and the estimated date of arrival. If you don’t know this instantly, make sure you keep an eye out on your tracking link because you’ll need an EORI number to ensure that it doesn’t get held up in customs.
12. If you’re using Air Freight then you will need your Air Waybill number, typically this number will be available once the goods are on route
13. If you’re using Sea Freight then you will need a Container number, typically this number will be available once the goods are on route
14. This section is only relevant if your goods are being carried as merchandise in baggage (you can ignore it if you’re not carrying in baggage)
15. This section is similar to being in the phone book or being ex-directory
16. Fill in the relevant details and click ‘Next’ to see a summary before sending off to be processed.
HMRC states that it can take up to 3 working days to receive your EORI number, although in practice it is usually sooner.
Having said that, if you are using air freight it is worth applying for it as soon as you receive notice that the goods are shipped and the Air Waybill is available. Failure to have it when the goods land with result in a delay releasing the goods through customs resulting in your goods being held in storage at a cost to you.
Good luck with your exporting!