Guidance

Get a UK EORI number to trade goods into and out of the UK

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal you'll need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB to trade goods into and out of the UK.

A UK EORI number starts with GB, followed by 12 digits. It will include your VAT registration number if you’re registered for VAT.

Who needs a UK EORI number

If you do not already have a UK EORI number you’ll need one from 11pm UK time on 31 October 2019 if the UK leaves the EU with no deal to:

  • trade goods into or out of the UK
  • submit declarations using software (or to give to your agent to make these declarations on your behalf)
  • apply to be authorised for customs simplifications and procedures

It could take 3 days to get a UK EORI number, so you should apply now.

Who does not need a UK EORI number

You do not need to apply for a UK EORI number if one of the following apply:

Before you apply

To apply you may need your:

  • VAT number and effective date of registration - these are on your VAT registration certificate
  • National Insurance number - if you’re an individual or a sole trader
  • 10-digit 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

If your business has a parent or holding company, they must apply for you.

How to apply

It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply for a UK EORI number.

You may need the Government Gateway user ID and password for either:

  • your organisation, if you’re applying for your company or partnership
  • you, if you’re applying as an individual or a sole trader

If you do not already have a user ID, you can create one when you apply.

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

Start now

After you’ve applied

Check the status of an application you have already made.

You may get the number immediately, but it could take up to 3 working days if HMRC needs to make more checks.

If you’ve not received the email you should check your spam folder.

It can take longer than 3 days if there are high volumes of applications, so please do not contact HMRC during this time. If HMRC has any queries, we’ll contact you.

When you get your UK EORI number

It can take 48 hours before you can use your UK EORI number to make declarations using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

Please always use it when contacting HMRC about customs.

If you need help

Forgotten or lost UK EORI number

You can contact the EORI team online.

Other problems getting a UK EORI number

You can contact the EORI team online or by phone.

Telephone: 0300 322 7067
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (closed bank holidays)
Find out about call charges

Further information

HMRC wants to make sure that traders have access to the right authorisations ahead of 31 October so that trade can keep flowing.

Sign up for EU Exit email alerts to find out when new guidance about this is published.

Read more about:

Published 4 December 2018
Last updated 8 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. If you have an EORI number that does not start with GB, you need to get one now if you’re going to trade goods into or out of the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
  2. Once you have your UK EORI number it can take 48 hours before you can use it to make declarations using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.
  3. This guidance has been updated to make it clear what the definition of a UK business is.
  4. If your EORI number starts with GB you don’t need to do anything. If you have an EORI number that does not start with GB, you can use it for a temporary period after the UK leaves the EU.
  5. The new online service to get an EORI number is now available.
  6. The new online service is temporarily unavailable but you can continue to get an EORI number using the online forms.
  7. Guidance updated with new online service to get an EORI number, and contact telephone number for EORI team.
  8. Guidance has been updated to clarify that Northern Ireland businesses should also apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number unless they only trade across the Northern Ireland–Ireland land border.
  9. Who this applies to has been amended to clarify that you do not need an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number if you’ll only import or export services that do not involve moving physical goods.
  10. First published.
  1. Step 1 Get a UK EORI number for your business

    Your business will already have a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number if you’ve traded with countries outside the EU. UK EORI numbers start with GB.

    1. You are currently viewing: Get a UK EORI number
  2. Step 2 Decide who will make the customs declarations

    Contact the organisation that brings your goods into the country to find out if they can make customs declarations for your goods.

    If they cannot, you can either hire an agent to make the declarations, or make the declarations yourself.

    1. Find out how to make customs declarations yourself
    2. Apply for funding if you decide to make declarations yourself
    3. Find out how to make customs declarations for goods in baggage or a small vehicle
  3. Step 3 Apply to make importing easier

  4. Step 4 Find out what you'll have to pay to import your goods

  5. Step 5 Check what you need to do for the type of goods you import

    Depending on what you're importing, there might be other things you'll need to do to get your business ready. For example, you might need to change the labelling on the packaging for your goods, or apply for licences.

    1. Check what you need to do for the type of goods you import