How To Get An EORI Number (For Exporting Goods Into The EU)

By Harriet Simonis

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.)

  • Those registered for VAT can apply here
  • Those who are non-VAT registered can apply here
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.

how to get an eori number

2. Enter your contact details

3. If you’re a Sole Trader then enter details here:

how to get an eori number 1

4. If you’re in a Partnership then enter the details here:

how to get an eori number 2

5. If you have a Ltd Company then enter the details here:

how to get an eori number ltd

6. If you’re a Registered Charity, Non-Profit Organisation or Other then enter the details here:

how to get an eori number charity

7. Enter details about your goods and their total value, to include freight & insurance costs:

how to get an eori number 3

8. If you are using a freight forwarder enter their details here:

how to get an eori number freight

9. Enter your supplier’s details here:

how to get eori number supplier

10. Enter the details of where the goods are being delivered to:

how to get eori number address

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.

how to get eori number importing

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)

how to get eori number merchandise

15. This section is similar to being in the phone book or being ex-directory

how to get an eori number validation

16. Fill in the relevant details and click ‘Next’ to see a summary before sending off to be processed.

how to get an eori number final

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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!

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