Every day I receive countless questions about shipping and customs, and I’ve noticed a lot of these questions refer specifically to the EORI scheme… so I’ve decided to create an article on that specifically – to clarify all the confusion once and for all.
Let’s get to it!
The Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) scheme was introduced on 1st July 2009 (replacing the Trader Unique Reference Number system previously used in the UK) and it’s basically a method for tracking imports and exports within the EU.
An EORI number is assigned to an individual legal identity (i.e. sole trader, partnership, company or individual) by your local member state (so if you’re in the UK – by HMRC) and that EORI number is then used to identify you and your shipments across all EU countries.
And really it’s as simple as that – it is just a number given to importers and exporters throughout Europe that can be easily and consistently identified by customs.
Do I Need An EORI Number?
Although the official explanations are slightly more complicated, to keep things simple and easy to understand – if you are involved with imports OR exports to or from the EU, then you do need an EORI number, as without it you won’t be able to complete the Entry Summary Declaration or Exit Summary Declaration.
How Do I Get An EORI Number?
To get an EORI number, you simply fill in the application form and send it to HMRC.
Which form you need to complete depends on whether or not you’re VAT registered –
- Form C220 is for VAT registered applicants and can be downloaded here.
- And if you are not VAT registered, then you need form C220A, which can be downloaded here.
And just to make it clear as there seems to be a lot of confusion about this – you don’t have to be a company to get an EORI number and can get one in the exact same way as an individual or sole trader. [Read more…]