You need an EORI number to move goods between the UK and non-EU countries.

From 1 January 2021 you will need one to move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man, and the EU. You may also need a separate EORI number if you move goods to or from Northern Ireland.

If you do not have an EORI, you may have increased costs and delays. For example, if HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot clear your goods you may have to pay storage fees.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

If you already have an EORI

From 1 January 2021 you’ll need an EORI number that starts with GB to move goods between Great Britain and other countries.

Check your EORI number. Apply for a new one if yours does not start with GB.

If you move goods to or from the EU

From 1 January 2021 you’ll need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain and the EU.

Apply for an EORI number as soon as possible. It can take up to a week to get one.

You’ll not usually need an EORI number if you only:

  • provide services
  • move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland

If you use a post or parcel company they’ll tell you if you need an EORI number.

You’ll need an EORI number from an EU country if your business will be making declarations or getting a customs decision in the EU. Get this from the customs authority in the EU country where you submit your first declaration or request your first decision.

If you move goods to or from Northern Ireland

From 1 January 2021 you’ll need an EORI number that starts with XI to:

  • move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries
  • make a declaration in Northern Ireland
  • get a customs decision in Northern Ireland

If you already have an EORI number from an EU country, you do not need an EORI number starting with XI. You may still need an EORI number starting with GB to use some UK customs systems.

To get an EORI number that starts with XI, you must already have an EORI number that starts with GB.

If you already have an EORI number starting with GB

HMRC will automatically send you an EORI number that starts with XI if they think you need one. They’ll send this to you in the post by 11 December 2020.

If you’re not sent one automatically, you can apply online for an EORI number that starts with XI from 11 December 2020.

If you do not have an EORI number starting with GB

You can apply for an EORI number that starts with GB and one that starts with XI at the same time. You’ll get your EORI number that starts with XI within 4 working days.

Get advice if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Sign up for the Trader Support Service to get advice on EORI numbers and moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The service is free if you trade with Northern Ireland.

If you already have an EORI number starting with GB and you sign up for the Trader Support Service by 14 December 2020, HMRC will automatically send you an EORI number starting with XI.

If you move goods to or from the Channel Islands

From 1 January 2021, if you’re based in Great Britain you’ll need an EORI number that starts with GB to move goods between Great Britain and the Channel Islands. You do not need to give it to the customs authorities in the Channel Islands.

If you’re based in the Channel Islands, you only need an EORI number if you’re giving information to HMRC.

Before you apply

To apply you need your:

  • VAT number and effective date of registration (if you’re VAT registered) - these are on your VAT registration certificate
  • National Insurance number - if you’re an individual or a sole trader
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) - find your UTR if you do not know it
  • business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code - these are in the Companies House register
  • Government Gateway user ID and password

If you need a Government Gateway user ID, use either:

  • the one for your business or organisation
  • your own if you’re applying as an individual

If you do not already have a user ID, you’ll be able to create one when you apply.

Apply for an EORI number

Use this service to apply for an EORI number that starts with GB. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply. You’ll get it either:

  • straight away
  • within 5 working days (if HMRC needs to make more checks)

Start now

What you need to know

You can check the status of an application you have already made.

You may have to wait 48 hours to use your EORI number for customs declarations in the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

If you need help

Forgotten or lost EORI number

You can contact the EORI team online.

Other problems getting an EORI number

You can contact the EORI team online or by phone.

Telephone: 0300 322 9434
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (closed bank holidays)
Find out about call charges

Service issues

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.