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Brexit. Do you trade with the EU? Do you need an EORI?

Deal or no deal, there are changes.

16 Nov 2020

In anticipation of a deal or no deal with the EU and with time running out, businesses must get ready as there will be changes from 1 January 2021 in either eventuality.

If you are involved in international trade it’s important to check your EORI number status.

EORI stands for ‘Economic Operators Registration and Identification number’ and it is an EU requirement.

When do you need an EORI number?

If your business currently exports or imports goods between UK and non-EU countries, you normally need EORI number. It is not possible for businesses to move goods into or out of the EU single market without an EORI number.

From 1 January 2021 businesses moving goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the EU, will need an EORI number. Businesses may also be need one if moving goods to or from Northern Ireland.

Have you checked your EORI number?

Your business may already have an EORI number.  However from 1 January 2021, importers/exporters will need an EORI number (starting with GB) to move goods between Great Britain and other countries. If you already have an EORI number it is important to check that it starts with GB.  If it does not you will need to apply for one in the correct format.

Do you make declarations in the UK only?

If your business deals solely with import or export declarations in the UK, with a customer/client completing the corresponding declaration on the EU side, then you will only require a UK EORI number.

Do you import into EU countries?

If your business imports goods into the EU, therefore completing the export declaration as goods leave the UK and import declaration when the goods enter the EU, you will also need an EORI number from the EU country where the declaration will be made.

To obtain this, you have to apply to the customs authority of the EU country where you submit your declaration.

Any delays in getting the EORI number could result in increased costs and delays.

Do you only import or export services

An EORI number is not required if your business imports or export services and does not move physical goods across borders.

Currently business can apply for an EORI number at HMRC website and you will need your Government Gateway user ID and password, VAT number, NI number for sole traders, Unique Tax Reference (UTR) and business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. You will find these are in the Companies House register.

For more information and how to apply, please go to

Our specialist Brexit advisory team will be publishing updates on any changes affecting businesses and individuals. Please check our website regularly for further information.

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