Guidance

Register with the UK ID issuer if your business is involved in the supply of tobacco product

Create an account with the UK ID issuer for business or product IDs if you're involved in the supply of tobacco products in the UK.

All unit packets of cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco manufactured or imported in the UK must:

  • have unique identifiers (UIDs) on the packaging
  • have 5 specific security features on the packaging if they are manufactured or imported for the UK market
  • be scanned at certain points in the supply chain

Who should register

You need to register with the UK ID issuer if your business is involved in the supply of tobacco products in the UK by:

When you’ve registered with the UK ID issuer, you can get:

  • aggregate and unit UIDs for your tobacco products if you’re a manufacturer or importer
  • an economic operator ID
  • facility IDs for all premises where you manufacture, store or sell your products
  • machine IDs for all machines used in the manufacturing process

When to register

You need to register before you buy, store or transload cigarettes or hand rolling tobacco. You must:

  • be registered with the UK ID issuer
  • have an economic operator ID and facility IDs

It takes up to 2 working days to get your IDs.

What you’ll need

To register, you’ll need your:

  • business name and address
  • Global Location Number (if you have one)
  • VAT registration number or Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
  • System for the Exchange of Excise Data (SEED) ID number (if you have one)
  • billing address if you plan to request UIDs
  • economic operator ID if you’re registering on behalf of a first retailer - you’ll need to have registered your own business first

How to register

The ID issuer for the UK is De La Rue. You’ll need to create an account on their website to register.

Register now on the UK ID issuer website.

De La Rue’s issuing agency code is QCGDLR.

After you’ve registered

You’ll get your economic operator ID by email within 2 working days.

You’ll use the email address you registered with to sign in to your account on the UK ID issuer website and:

  • register your facility to get facility IDs
  • get machine IDs if you’re a manufacturer or importer
  • buy UIDs for your products if you’re a manufacturer or importer

You’ll need your economic operator and facility ID every time you buy, sell or move tobacco products.

When your economic operator ID may be deactivated

HMRC may deactivate your economic operator ID if you:

  • do not follow the rules in the tobacco product guidance
  • have not used it for 12 months
  • have an unspent conviction for an offence under customs and excise Acts
  • have been given penalties that exceed £10,000 under customs and excise Acts in the last 12 months
Published 1 May 2019
Last updated 31 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. This page has been updated because the Brexit transition period has ended.

  2. Information about when your economic operator ID may be deactivated has been added to the 'After you've registered' section.

  3. First published.