EORI number: What it is and how to check it

Selling online or planning to grow your business internationally? You might already to know about the EORI number. This article explains what it is, who it needs, how to apply, how long that takes where to find help and further information, etc. Actually, all you need to know. Enjoy!

What is an EORI number?

The EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification number) was introduced to identify economic operators within the EU in a uniform way, regarding their relation and interaction with the customs authorities and can be seen as a kind of “customs number”.

The main idea is to simplify the customs clearance which has become more and more automated. The EORI number is essential for all correspondence between the operator and the authorities, no matter if applications, declarations or other documents.

It consists of 17 characters and usually, there are a few exceptions, the first and the second character are the country code. As an economic operator in Europe you have to check the validity of the number for every dispatch into the customs territory of the European Union. However, private persons are not affected by this regulation.

Who needs an EORI number?

Everybody who is importing goods from outside the EU or exporting the other way round needs to have an EORI number. It’s also used by customs authorities to know what’s going on and for security, data analysing and statistic reasons.

When moving goods within the EU or importing products for private use no EORI number is required. However, individuals as well as businesses can get an EORI number. For imports and exports within the EU there is always an EORI number required.

Sometimes, companies that are located outside the EU but trade within Europe need to get an EORI number as well.

How to apply for an EORI number

If you want to apply for an EORI number, you need to fill and submit the registration application form for EORI number. This can be completed online and after the form is completed, submitted and sent back to you, you eed to sign it and send it to the customs by post.  

So, apply online, fill the form, hand it in, print and sign the application information you’ll receive and send it to the authorities by post.

How to apply – Quick Guide

  • Visit the EORI information page of the country you want to register in
  • Fill the correct form
  • Submit the form electronically
  • Receive the EORI number

As our team of local accountants offer a big range of accounting services, we can also take care of your EORI registrations

How long will does the EORI registration take?

After the registration process and all the paperwork is complete it shouldn’t take more than 3 days until you receive it via e-mail. Check your spam folder and keep in mind that this can differ from country to country.

Check the EORI number: EORI Validation

Before thinking about getting an EORI number, make sure to check that you are not already registered. Some companies get an EORI number automatically when registering for VAT.

You can check if your company has an EORI number with the EORI number validator that is provided by the authorities in many countries. The tax authorities in the UK, the HMRC, for example offers this EORI number validator.

Trading across Europe without an EORI number

Not having and EORI numbers means that the trading within the EU, the imports and exports, were not legally correct. You import? You export? You need an EORI number.

Contact & Help

If you have any issues you can contact the people responsible for your case via the contact form on the website of the authorities in the respective country. Mostly there is also a helpline you can call or ask your accountants. We are happy to help you with getting and EORI number.