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 on 12 April 2019, 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 12 April 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.
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.
HMRC wants to make sure that traders have access to the right authorisations ahead of 12 April so that trade can keep flowing.
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