Guidance

Get a UK EORI number to trade within the EU

Your UK business may need a UK EORI number if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. You do not need a new EORI number if you already have one that starts with GB.

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal many UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

A UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number starts with GB, followed by 12 digits.

It allows you 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

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:

  • you already have one, because you’ve traded with countries outside of the EU
  • you’ll only import or export goods with Ireland across the Northern Ireland and Ireland border (HMRC will provide further guidance about the arrangements for trading with Ireland as soon as we can)
  • you’ll only import or export services that do not involve moving physical goods

Who needs a UK EORI number

If you do not already have a UK EORI number, you’ll need one if you’re going to import or export goods with the EU from 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019, and either:

  • you’re a sole trader who is resident in the UK
  • your company or partnership has a registered office in the UK
  • your company or partnership has a permanent place of business in the UK where they carry out their business activities

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

If your EORI number does not start with GB

You can continue to use it to import and export goods with the EU after the UK leaves the EU for a temporary period.

HMRC will provide further guidance shortly after the UK leaves the EU to tell you when you’ll need to apply for a UK EORI number.

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

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.

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.

Contact the EORI team

You can contact the team if you have problems with getting a UK EORI number.

EORI team
Telephone: 0300 322 7067
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (closed bank holidays)
Find out about call charges
Contact the team using the online form

Further information

HMRC wants to make sure that traders have access to the right authorisations ahead of 29 March so that trade can keep flowing.

Read more about:

Published 4 December 2018
Last updated 20 March 2019 + show all updates
  1. 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.
  2. This guidance has been updated to make it clear what the definition of a UK business is.
  3. 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.
  4. The new online service to get an EORI number is now available.
  5. The new online service is temporarily unavailable but you can continue to get an EORI number using the online forms.
  6. Guidance updated with new online service to get an EORI number, and contact telephone number for EORI team.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. First published.