You need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man, and other countries. 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.

If you already have an EORI number and it does not start with GB you will need to apply for a new one.

If you move goods to or from the EU

You need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain and the EU.

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

You need an EORI number that starts with XI to:

  • move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries (including Great Britain)
  • make a declaration in Northern Ireland
  • get a customs decision in Northern Ireland

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 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.

If you’re established in Northern Ireland, you should use an EORI number starting with XI instead of an EORI number from an EU country.

If you already have an EORI number starting with GB

You need to apply for an EORI number that starts with XI if you have not already received one from HMRC in the post. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply.

You’ll get your EORI number that starts with XI within 4 working days.

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 move goods to or from the Channel Islands

If you’re based in Great Britain you need an EORI number that starts with GB to move goods between Great Britain and 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.

Start now

What you need to know

You’ll get your EORI number:

  • straight away
  • within 4 working days if you’ve applied for an EORI number starting with XI
  • within 5 working days if HMRC needs to make more checks

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 either:

  • customs declarations in the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system
  • entry summary declarations in the Import Control System Northern Ireland (ICS NI)

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.