Trading with the EU – Do you have your EORI number?
From 1 January 2021, businesses which move goods between Great Britain and the EU will need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. This number will also be required for the movement of goods from Northern Ireland and other Non-EU countries.
Prior to 1 January 2021, you only needed an EORI number if you move goods between the UK and non-EU countries.
How to apply for an EORI number
Applications for an EORI number can be made online.
To make an application, you will need:
- your VAT number and the effective date of your registration (which can be found on your VAT registration certificate);
- your National Insurance number (if you are applying as an individual);
- your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR);
- the date that your business started and its Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (which can be found on the Companies House register for a company); and
- your Government Gateway User ID and password.
Making an application using the online service should only take 5—10 minutes. You will receive your EORI number straight away unless HMRC need to make further checks, in which case it may take up to five working days.
Once an application has been made, the status of the application can be checked online.
This EORI number will start with ‘GB’ and will allow you to move goods between Great Britain and other countries.
Moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Special rules relating to the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland come into effect from 1 January 2021 as a result of The Northern Ireland Protocol.
From that date, an EORI number that starts with ‘XI’ will be needed to:
- move goods between Northern Ireland and other countries;
- make a declaration in Northern Ireland; or
- get a customs decision in Northern Ireland.
To obtain a EORI number that starts with ‘XI’ it is necessary to have one starting with ‘GB’ – if you don’t, you will need to follow the steps above to obtain one.
Where you already have an EORI number that starts with ‘GB’ and HMRC have identified that you are likely to need one that starts with ‘XI’, they should send you one automatically.
Expect to receive this from mid-December 2020.
Trader Support Service
For help and support with moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you can sign up to the Trader Support Service (see www.gov.uk/guidance/trader-support-service).