An EORI number, “Economic Operators Registration and Identification,” is used to identify businesses that want to bring goods into or out of another country. HMRC registration is required to get a VAT number.
Small businesses that currently do business outside of the EU may be familiar with the concept. But as of January 1, 2021, you need an EORI number to trade between the UK and the EU. The 12-digit number starts with the two-letter code of the nation, GB123456789000. Your VAT number, followed by a “000,” is the most common format.
When you hire a freight forwarder to ship your goods, one of the things they will ask you for is your EORI number. Here’s what it is, how to get one, and why it’s so important:
What does it do?
It is mainly used at customs to track what is being imported and exported, where goods are coming from and going to, and who is doing the importing and exporting. When making the necessary customs declarations, your freight forwarder will give this number to you.
But what if I don’t have one?
Goods that come to the UK without an EORI number will not get through customs. Your goods will be held until you give the proper paperwork. If you lack it, you may be required to pay a hefty cost for storage. This wouldn’t be allowed to happen by a good freight forwarder. If an EORI number is needed, they will always ask for it and won’t try to set up shipping without one.
How do I obtain one?
The process of applying for an EORI number is relatively straightforward. At www.gov.uk/eori, you can find and fill out a simple form. Whether or not you are registered for VAT and whether or not you’re importing or exporting will determine which form you need to fill out. After applying, you should get your number by email within three working days, so if you don’t have it yet, it shouldn’t stop you from shipping.
Why do people need EORI numbers?
People and businesses in the EU trade goods with countries outside the EU for business reasons. In January 2017, you had to be registered with EORI to bring goods from outside the EU into the EU. It was already required for countries outside of the EU. On the other hand, you shouldn’t need an EORI number if you’re shipping goods for reasons other than business.
Why is having an EORI number beneficial?
Customs officials can quickly find you or your company if you give them a number. This will help your goods get through customs without being held up for time-consuming checks. Without it, Customs can and will hold on to a shipment until an EORI number is given, slowing shipping even more.
How does it work?
You or your shipping partner will utilize it to inform Customs authorities of the shipment’s contents. They will then share information with other Customs authorities (before arrival and before departure) and government departments and agencies (if crossing numerous crossings outside the EU to reach a final destination).
HM Revenue & Customs utilizes it to prevent VAT fraud in the United Kingdom by ensuring that individuals and companies record their sales and earnings.
How can you determine whether an EORI number has been assigned to you?
If you live in the UK and aren’t sure if you already have an EORI number, you can use the HM Revenue & Customs website to find out. (If you are or want to be a client of Flight Logistics Group, please get in touch with us.
Obtaining an EORI number is simple, but how long does it take?
If you run a business in the UK, you might already have an EORI number because it can be made at the same time you sign up for VAT. If you live in the UK and want to sign up for one, you can do so on the HM Revenue & Customs website.
Getting your number usually takes three to five working days if all the information is included in the application.
What is the price?
On the HM Revenue & Customs website, you can get an EORI number for free.
If you’re unsure if you need an EORI number or help to apply for one, you can call VSL Logistics Ltd and talk to one of our helpful agents.
We are a logistics company that knows how to move things by road, air, and sea. We go above and beyond to ensure that our clients’ products, goods, and cargo are moved safely and successfully worldwide.