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HMRC internal manual

Export Procedures

International trade developments: what is an Economic Operator Reference and Information (EORI) number?

An EORI number is recognised and verifiable throughout the EU.

The use of a trader’s EORI is mandatory for all export declarations. The EORI consists of up to a 15 digit registration number (without spaces) including a suffix of three zeros, and prefixed with a country code eg GB123456789123000 except as follows: exporters currently using an EORI for imports for one or more addresses should use the same EORI suffix for exports providing those exports are made from the same address

Economic Operator Registration and Identification Scheme (EORI)

The European Commission introduced the EORI scheme to enable the security measures introduced by The Security Amendment (Council Regulation 648/2005) and its Implementing Provisions to be more effective.

This unique number is used by Economic Operators (EOs), for example, on the provision to the customs authorities of pre arrival and pre departure information on all goods entering and leaving the customs territory of the community and for the import, export and transit of third country goods. In addition it is used for the exchange of information between the customs authorities as well as between other authorities for example other government departments but only in respect of the movement of goods involving a customs procedure.

Are all Economic Operators (EOs) eligible for an EORI number?

The legislation restricts the issue of an EORI number to a legal entity - sole proprietor, partnership, company or individual. It therefore cannot be allocated to individual branches or divisions within a legal entity. Only one number can be issued per legal entity.

Economic Operators (EOs) involved in customs activities who are established in the customs territory of the Community, shall be registered by the customs authority of the Member State in which the EO is established.

EOs not established in the customs territory of the community shall be registered by the customs authority of the Member State where the EO first lodges a declaration or applies for a decision other than:

  • lodges in the community
  • a customs declaration made for the temporary import procedure.

How the EORI number is structured

All UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers will start with the letters GB. Most will then be followed by a 12 digit, in some cases a 15 digit, number based on the Economic Operator (EO’s) VAT number for example GB 123 4567 89 000. This will mean that over 98% of existing TURN holders will have EORI which are exactly the same as their current TURN.

The structure of the UK EORI number will also be the same for EOs who are not registered for VAT in the UK or are not established in the customs territory of the community.