September 1, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 254 Comments

EORI Number – Your Questions ANSWERED!

eori-numberEvery 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 –

  • 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 thisyou 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.

You can either print and complete the application form or fill it in online, via Word.

If you do it electronically, you then need to email the form to: eori@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

If you do it as a hard copy, you’ll need to post it to the HMRC EORI Team:

HM Revenue and Customs
EORI Team
13th Floor South
Government Buildings
Ty Glas
Llanishen
Cardiff
CR14 5FP

One useful tip to remember is that if you are not VAT registered; you should apply for your EORI number after your first shipment has been dispatched, as that way you’ll already have carrier and tracking information to hand – both of which are needed for the application.

When Do I Need To Use My EORI Number?

You’ll need your EORI number pretty much every time you deal with customs as it must be included on all pre-arrival and pre-departure information on goods entering or leaving a customs territory of the European Community.

If it’s a business shipment, then your EORI number will be needed, regardless of the value of the order.

So that’s it really! There is nothing complicated about this at all… all you have to do is apply and get your unique number and that’s it!

And also, please note that you only need to apply ONCE and can then use your EORI number on all future imports and exports – it isn’t only valid for one shipment as some people think.

Actually, there is one last thing that I want to point out:

There’s a site run by the European Commission that can be used by the general public to check the validity of an EORI number. This site will also contain some basic information about the holder of the number such as your name and address but this information is only shown if you previously agreed to that.

So it works something like this:

  1. You enter an EORI number and click validate.
  2. If the number is not valid, the answer is ‘No’ and no further information is shown.
  3. If the number is valid and the answer is ‘Yes’, your name and address will be given, ONLY IF you have previously agreed to this information being shown.
  4. If the number is valid but you have not consented to your information being disclosed, then it will still show as ‘Yes’ (so no need to worry about that).

Here is the site if you’d like to have a look for yourself:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/dds2/eos/eori_validation.jsp?Lang=en

Obviously it’s not hugely important either way, and it’s completely up to you whether you want your information to be shown on searches (it doesn’t make any practical difference) but I thought I’d mention it so you know to keep an eye out on the form for any boxes regarding disclosing your data.

I hope you have found this guide useful and it answers any questions you had about EORI numbers and whether you need one, but if anything is unclear or you want to clarify something, post below and I’ll do my best to help.

Otherwise, until next time!

All the best,
Andrew

254 Comments
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  1. Hi Andrew, Firstly you have really good website and helpful information. I hope you can help with my questions below, there 2 different subjects.

    A) Importing uncut diamonds from Africa. : I live in UK, have a recently registered UK company and have VAT number. I applied for EORI number today, so I been told it will be 3 working days before I get them.
    My questions, do I need any other licences to bring in the uncut diamonds into the UK. I have arranged Kimberley Certificate at the originating country of these diamonds. But not sure about what to do with UK customs? Ofcourse this wont be shipped, since I will carry the shipment myself. So what are the procedure I should follow here. Can you clarify please.

    B) I have buy some textile/clothing roughly worth £40k including shipment from India by end December. Can I use the same EORI number as above, secondly do I need any other licence to import textile from India?.

    In general, when I import any good, do I have to pay custom duty plus VAT? Basically what i’am asking what all cost I should be expecting to pay.

    I would appreciate you helpful information on these, I been researching but not seem to get a clear and simple answers.

    Thanks
    Bobby

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Bobby,

      Thanks for your comment.

      1) I don’t know really what documentation you’ll need for importing diamonds. You need to get in touch with Customs and find out.

      2) Yes, you can use same EORI number. No, you don’t need any special licence to import clothing or textile products from India (as far as I know).

      Yes, in most cases you pay VAT + import duty on products you import from outside the EU.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  2. Hi Andrew,

    Nice job of giving so many helpful advices!

    I’ve got such a case, sequence of events:
    1. I ordered a laptop from amazon.com (USA) for my Ltd.
    2. Amazon charged me with additional ‘customs fees deposit’ (+20% from which I can tell it was for UK’s VAT as there is duty of 0% for laptops).
    3. Upon customs clearance DHL emailed me with request to provide required details, an EORI among them.
    4. As I had been unaware of the EORI before I got the email from DHL, I replied back to DHL with all the other details plus an information that I’m applying for the EORI and will provide it as soon as it gets issued.
    5. Three days later I got the EORI and forwarded it to DHL.
    6. Now, a few months later it appears that my accountant can’t claim the VAT back for this purchase as I have no customs certificate for it.
    7. I asked DHL to provide me with such document and they say they can’t amend the document as the customs for this shipment has been cleared already and the EORI was not provided at the time.

    I’ve never received any reply from DHL during the clearance process itself as if there was anything wrong or missing (like the EORI for that instance) so I assumed all was ok.

    The laptop net price with shipment (after currency conversion by Amazon) was £1,274.61. The ‘customs fees deposit’ taken by Amazon was £254.92 (exactly +20%), which gives the total paid £1,529.53.
    Accountant now takes this amount as both nett and gross with 0 VAT into VAT calculations. Even if it gets expensed, it still means I will loose over a £200 on the VAT effectively. On the VAT which was charged in the customs process (wasn’t it?) despite what documents have or haven’t been issued.

    As I’m no accountant or customs duty agent, I’m hoping you could give me an advice – is there any chance to claim this VAT back on my Ltd or what would you suggest to do in such a circumstances to not waste the money.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tomasz,

      Unfortunately I’m not an accountant either…

      If your accountant says they can’t properly book the VAT part in, then they can’t.

      Your only option probably would be to call HMRC and ask for advice there.

      Andrew

      1. Allrighty, thanks!

        1. Andrew Minalto

          No probs!

  3. Hi Andrew

    Your website is super helpful

    I would like to import goods from Indonesia, can you confirm if I need any additional permits apart from EORI number? Is the EORI number only for the EU? Is there another registration I need for world wide?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Simone,

      EORI is for EU, yes.

      As for permits – depends what the product is? And where are you located?

      But usually, for everyday products, you don’t need any special permits.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  4. Thanks a lot for your response!
    It is a great relief!

  5. Shreya Mewara

    Hello Andrew,

    I read your posts on EORI registration on imports and exports , it is very helpful.
    I went through all the answers you had posted but I am still in a fix.
    I am of Indian Nationality and am importing goods(commercial shipment) in the UK for the first time.
    Could yo please guide me if I need any other document/registration apart from EORI?

    I appreciate your time and patience to go through each query and respond personally.

    Many thanks
    Shreya

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Shreya,

      No, you don’t need anything else really.

      Even if you don’t have a company registered for example, you can import goods as individual.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  6. Hi Andrew ,I am based in Ireland with a company registered in Ireland ,I am currently in the process of registering for VAT in the UK.
    I am importing goods into the UK from China ,I intend to sell the goods through Amazon my goods are due to be shipped within the next 3 weeks. My queries are 1 Should i wait to become VAT registerd and get my EORI number or should i get an eori number now so i dont have problems with customs in case my goods come in to the UK before I am VAT registered also should I have my supplier put the EORI number on my goods so customs can see it.
    Thank you for your help
    Kind Regards
    Adrian

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Adrian,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You should get the EORI number now, yes, so there are no delays at customs.

      EORI number will be needed for Customs Declaration process and your freight company will ask for that when time comes.

      Andrew

  7. Carmen Garces

    Good afternoon Andrew:
    Thanks so much for this information, but I have a problem. Yesterday I received my EORI number and they told me that today the EORI number should be working since noon, but it’s not valid yet. What is it the problem, please?. Maybe It’s because it’s Saturday. Thanks so much for your answer.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, most likely because data bases don’t update over the weekend.

      Check it on Monday.

  8. Hi Andrew,
    There are great tips and informations , thank you very much for all informations.
    I been reading your aswers and learned a lot but only one question I have if you can help me ?
    I m starting for Amazon FBA and my products ready in China and waiting for shipping .
    I looked to EORI form lots of details for shipping and company who going to make shipping .
    I ordered different products from different companies and I don’t know which one will arrive first.
    I don’t want to mixed up with wrong with formation .
    Can I apply for EORI number with out my shipping informations ?
    I just want to get my number and I can use on future for any shipment.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, you will need shipment information when you apply for EORI number.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  9. Hi. I am lubna.
    I am living in a rented house and want to work as a sole trader. I want to import from china. The goods worth more than 1000£ according to the hmrc uk I have to apply for EORI. But when I fill in the form there is a box where I must write down my company registration number. (I am renting and haven’t registered my company) so what happens if I can’t apply for registration. ( I Have read somewhere that it’s not a law to register company). But that doesn’t mean I won’t. I have full intentions to register but at the moment I haven’t earned a single penny 🙁 I can’t declare myself a trader when I haven’t earned anything? I need your advice. I am so confused

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Lubna,

      You can register for EORI being an individual.

      Just leave that company registration number blank.

      Andrew

  10. Hello Andrew,

    I am a trader registered in the KvK The Netherlands, i do not import or export i actually sell FOB Mexico or CIF in Europe, do i need to have an EORI number then?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Sorry, won’t have the answer for your specific situation.

      Contact Customs and ask them directly.

      Andrew

  11. Jesse Castaneda

    I sent a Fed ex package from the US to Italy. The package was small and contained cards and small gift for his birthday. He was sent an email from Fed ex asking him to send a copy of his passport and fill out and sign a statement that he “authorize” fed ex to obtain a Eori code on his behalf. The package is being held until this is resolved. I am not a commercial entity involved in import/export. I have replied to Fed ex’s email and contacted them to no avail. What do you recommend doing?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jesse,

      That is really weird as such small shipments to individuals usually do not require EORI number at all… This is first time I hear about such situation.

      Can’t really recommend anything apart from sorting this out directly with Fedex.

      Andrew

  12. Hi Andrew
    Thank you so much for helping out here!
    I’m Danish and going to import from China to Germany. Will it be sufficient to register a Danish EORI number and use that in Germany? Or will I need to register a German EORI number for the import?
    Thank you!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Angelie,

      As far as I know, you will have to get an EORI number in Germany.

      Andrew

  13. Hi I am a UK based eori number holder. Can I use the eori number to import goods from USA to Malta?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Peter,

      I don’t think you can, no.

      You would have to register for another EORI number in Malta.

      But I’m not 100% sure so best would be to contact HMRC and find out.

      Andrew

  14. Hello,

    I am based in the UK and am planning to ship some products from China to UK to sell via Amazons FBA programme. (cost of products + shipping = roughly £1000).

    It is being shipped by DPD’s express service and they have not asked for a EORI number. Am I required to register for an EORI number and enter the details of the shipment on the EORI system?

    The supplier advised that the courier will sort out any import VAT and customs duty. Does this sound correct? Or will we suddenly receive an invoice for an additional amount? What evidence will we have that we have complied with HMRC etc?

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your question.

      If courier company (DPD) is not asking for EORI number for you, then you don’t have to worry about it really. You’re not required to register for it.

      And yes – courier will do the customs clearance for you and invoice you for VAT and import duty plus small processing/service fee.

      That will be your evidence for HMRC and doing books (that tax invoice from courier).

      Hope this helps! 🙂

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. I’ve had a lot of issues with imports and EORI. I did exactly what you suggested above and used the VAT invoice DHL supplied to claim back the VAT. Long story short our VAT return a few submissions later was audited, unrelated to the import but they asked for the DHL invoice. Turns out it’s not as simple as using the invoice the courier provides to claim back the VAT. The courier needs to have your EORI number prior to import of the shipment as you need something called a C79 to claim back the vat on the import. The only way you can get a C79 is if the courier has this number beforehand so when the import is paid, HMRC are also notified/cc’d and then a few weeks after you pay the courier you get a C79 in the post which you can then use for VAT etc.

  15. We are a logistics provider in Australia and are have issues with exports to Australia using TNT. They now insist on the shipper providing a EORI to ship to Australia. However the shipper has never had to provide this before with UPS or DHL and in fact TNT have exported three shipments without EORI. TNT shipments are sent to Australia via Liege in Belgium.

    1. Does the shipper need to provide a EORI.
    2. If so is this because the shipment transits another EU country en-route to OZ.

    Kind regards

    Steve

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Steve,

      I’m sorry but I won’t be able to help with this…

      Andrew

  16. Iman Harfoush

    Hi Andrew! I have an Egyptian company, proprietor, and I am exporting educational books from UK to Dubai. It’s value is about 2400 gbp. I have applied for the EROI since a week and haven’t received the number yet. What is the quickest way to expedite getting the number. I’d appreciate receiving your advice soon.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’ll want to call HMRC help line and get someone there to help you with this matter.

      Andrew

  17. Hello,

    If I am not VAT registered and do not have EORI number in Bulgaria (only have for NL,SP,UK), can I accomplish import customs clearance in Bulgaria for shipments from Serbia?

    thank you

    Best Regards
    Kristinsa

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You should be able to get an EORI number in Bulgaria without being VAT registered. You don’t need VAT number for that.

  18. Hi, I’m non vat registered and this is the first Time importing from Turkey. I know I need an Eori number but the information needed( number of boxes/ costs etc) on the form I can’t supply until the goods are given to the freight company on the 5th Aug for them to tell me, the goods will depart turkey on the 9th Aug, my question really is at what stage do the freight company need the eori number? Before they arrive in the uk? Thx

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jane,

      Yes, the Customs (broker) will actually need the EORI number, for Customs Clearance procedure.

      So you await when you get the shipment details and then register for the EORI number straight away.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  19. Hi Andrew,

    First of all, thank you for all of your excellent advice!

    How do I actually pay my import VAT?

    I am about to place an order from a supplier in china with a value of £115, the goods will be sent via ePacket. Would I just ask my supplier to print my EORI number on the packaging? If so once the parcel arrives in the UK how do i pay HMRC the VAT?

    Apologies if this is a silly question but i just can get my head round this.

    Thank you in advance.
    Jo

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jo,

      You’ll pay VAT at the local post office branch, when you go to collect your package.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  20. Do I need an EORI number if I am using a broker to handle all my imports?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes.

  21. Hi Andrew,
    I’ve been importing goods for a few months via courier (DHL) and just been made aware by a fellow seller about this EORI number – I’ve never had a shipment held for no EORI number & DHL have never told me I need this number.

    The value of my goods are under £1,000 (closer to £300 – £500 each shipment)

    Do I still need to get one if I pay all the customs, duties, VAT due to DHL?
    Would th EORI number still need to be on the shipment if the value is under £1,000?

    Thanks,

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Luke,

      No, you don’t need to get an EORI number if courier company doesn’t ask for it AND if you pay all the import duty & VAT on all these shipments, on full/real value of the goods.

      I don’t remember the exact threshold but I think it was £700 or £800 when you’re required to provide an EORI number. But again, the courier company will ask you for this IF/WHEN it’s needed.

      You’re not breaching any laws right now.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  22. HI Andrew,
    I am a New Zealand based company, sending goods from NZ to a central warehouse in Antwerp, from where they will then be sold to new customers in Europe (but not in UK). Do i need an EORI? Thanks – Carla

  23. Hi Andrew,
    I am a US-based supplier that sells on Amazon UK. I have a VAT # and an EORI # but I haven’t yet figured out how I’m supposed to use my EORI number correctly. As a result, I have been double-paying VAT (once when Parcelforce holds my packages for payment of import taxes, and again when I file my VAT returns and have to show VAT paid by my customers and pass that on to HMRC). I write my EORI # all over my US form CP72 (customs declaration) but Parcelforce never seems to inform HMRC of the VAT I’ve paid associated with my EORI #. How can I provide this information for future shipments to avoid constantly paying double VAT?
    Thanks.
    – Judi

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Judi,

      VAT and EORI are two totally different things…

      EORI is basically a number used for statistics on importing/goods movement in/out of the European Union. It does directly affect your VAT payments in any way.

      The VAT you pay on imports you claim back in your tax return. I don’t know who does your accounting but they should know how to do this so you don’t pay VAT twice as you say.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Thanks for explaining this, Andrew.

        I do believe ParcelForce provides some sort of documentation on import taxes that I’ve paid, but the problem is that they’re passing that documentation on to “me” at Amazon ( the way Amazon is set up is that they don’t accept anything as Amazon – you have to send stuff to yourself at their address c/o them.) I believe Amazon in turn simply destroys the paperwork, and I end up with nothing in my hand proving that I’ve paid the import VAT. Do you have any suggestions?

        – Judi

        1. Andrew Minalto

          You should contact Parcel Force and see if they can send documentation (originals) via post to you?

          Not sure what else to recommend really apart from using a middle man/warehouse which can accept imports and then prepare the shipment for FBA.

          Andrew

  24. Christina Stephany

    Hello Andrew.

    You’re a life saver for doing this! Thank you!

    I am hoping you know as I’m really struggling to find an answer anywhere and HMRC had me on hold for an age…

    My parent company (with the same VAT number) has an EORI number but I know that when we split we kept the same VAT number and didn’t apply for a new EORI. Are we able to continue using the same EORI as our parent company because the VAT numbers are the same?

    Thanks so much.

    Christina

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Christina,

      Hmm, if the VAT number is same, I think you should be able to use same EORI number too.

      But I’m not 100% sure, so better call HMRC and ask them directly.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  25. Monika Sharma

    Hi Andrew,

    I am importing a small shipment from India for reselling. I am currently in India and planning to bring it as Merchandise in luggage since the value and quality is low.

    I know I need EORI number. I will be applying for it shortly. I am not yet registered as a business.

    Can I apply EORI as an individual now and register as a business once I am in UK (after custom clearance)?

    Also, will I be allowed to reclaim VAT if I register business for VAT after it is already paid?

    Many thanks,

    Monika

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Monika,

      I’m sorry but I don’t know how it works when you bring merchandise with you on the plane.

      I know only work with shipments and stuff.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  26. Hi Andrew,

    I just registered my company in the UK and just got my VAT registration number a few days ago.

    I will be importing goods from the UAE in to the UK.

    Should I wait till I get my EORI Number, then contact my supplier and tell them to send the first shipment over?

    I prefer to do it that way than tell them to dispatch it from the UAE and then apply for a EORI Number but the way I want to do it is that OK?

    Much Appreciated Andrew
    Tazzy Khan

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tazzy,

      Yes, that’s ok and even recommended way to to it.

      Because on the EORI application you’ll have to provide your shipment details.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  27. Daniel Jones

    Hi Andrew

    I am set up as a Limited company in the UK.

    I am importing products from China to the UK and Germany.

    I have applied for an EORI number via the German Zoll site.

    Will this number be valid for both UK and German customs? Or do I need to apply through HMRC?

    Thanks

    Daniel

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Daniel,

      For UK you’ll have to apply for a separate EORI number through HMRC, yes.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  28. Jean Jackson

    I am not a trader or business. I am a private collector of antique dolls. Occassionally I sell one via an Internet site and they almost always go to USA or Japan. Mostly they are valued at under £1000.00 and they go Parcelforce with no problem. This time I sold a valuable one for £5500.00 so had to send it DHL because they were the only company willing to insure it. I have never heard of EORI and DHL never mentioned it when I booked the pick up. I sent it 48 hours express and it has been sat in Heathrow now for four days waiting for an EORI. As I have never had this problem before is there a value limit were this ruling kicks in ?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jean,

      Yes, there’s a value limit on when EORI kicks in.

      I don’t know the exact figure but it is around £1k mark.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  29. Hi, i am a business in the uk wanting to bring in branded footwear from a usa wholesaler… Do i need an EORI number to receive the stock.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Simon,

      Yes, most likely you’ll need it if the order is worth more than $1k or so.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  30. hello
    i am an resident american citizen with a usa established company. I plan to purchase products from Spanish companies for shipment to the usa. I am a ‘middleman’ operation. I find a usa customer organize an order with the spanish company , I pay the spanish company from my usa bank account.
    Do I require a ‘EOR’ number?

    appreciate your response as soon as possible as I have orders soon to leave the port of cartagena to the usa.

    Sorry for the rush

    regards
    robert

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Robert,

      No, if you’re based in the USA and import from Spain, you don’t need EORI number.

      EORI numbers are only used within EU.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  31. Tina Vaughan

    Hi thanks for posting this however i am not sure if i need or can get a number. I am transporting building materials from uk to nz. My daughter wants me to build a house for her. I am not vat registered or transporting goods for resale. Please could you advise.
    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tina,

      The freight company will inform you if you need an EORI number for this export or not.

      So ask them about this.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  32. lynden pickard

    Hi andrew,

    I checked this link you sent, thank you, there is one for importing and one for exporting , i also ship products to the eu through amazons EFN, and order stock from china sometimes, so do i need to apply for both of them?

    Thanks!

    https://www.gov.uk/eori

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, sending goods to EU is NOT exporting.

  33. lynden pickard

    Hi Andrew,

    All of your posts always stop my worrying 🙂

    But i clicked the link for the c220a, but the document is stamped ‘WITHDRAWN – DO NOT USE’ Do we still need to apply?

    Also, ive purchased from china a few times and have never been asked or even heard of an eori number before…

    Thanks again

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You can find latest application forms here:

      https://www.gov.uk/eori

      It doesn’t really hurt getting EORI number as you never really know when courier/customs will ask for it.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  34. I am a sole trader and I want to deregister for VAT as I will not be meeting the VAT threshold.

    I got my EORI number when I was applying for my VAT online. So if I deregister from VAT, does my EORI number change? do I need a new EORI number

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, your EORI number still stays same and you can use it even after de-registering from VAT.

  35. Hi.i applied for an eori number this Tuesday and still haven’t received it.isnt it suppose to take 3 days to get one??.my delivery is arriving in UK this Monday and my agent I asking for the number which I haven’t got.im worried about the storage charges I will have to pay.cant contact hmrc no direct number.plz advise

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You should get it within 3-4 days, yes.

      You can send an email to HMRC and ask for an update on your application or call them on this number: 0300 200 3600

      Andrew

  36. Hi Andrew,

    Do I need an EORI number if I import from China for commercial purposes, but the value is £5? And where would I ask my supplier to write it? They only have a place for “HS Tariff Code” on the CN22 form, not for EORI. Thanks!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, you won’t need EORI number for such £5 shipment.

  37. Andrew,

    Thank you for the notes on EORI, especially on the web address where to check their validity. I was checking an Irish EORI number and it worked fine.
    Thank you Sean

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Sean! 🙂

  38. Hi
    I sell on Amazon and my products are sold across EU ( not big shipment but just normal sales to customer) but my shipment are received in UK for which i Pre-Pay all customs to my courier hence no hold ups and amazon receives it without any problem

    I am not VAT registered at the moment so do i still need EORI ? or if I am VAT registered ,does it mean i must have EORI number ?

    Please let me know your thoughts

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sedan,

      If courier is not asking you for EORI number, probably you don’t need it.

      But you can register for it anyway, even if you’re not VAT registered. It’s free so no harm on getting the number.

      Andrew

  39. Hi Andrew !
    I just wrote u something, but I forgot to tell you about my application for the eori , I tried to do it, but they asked me to put the full name of the agent , honestly I don’t have one. And on the request they , in the section about agent they wrote , if you don’t have one , leave this part blank, that’s what I did , what should I do for my next application? Thanks again for your help

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Francesco,

      This is why you want to apply for EORI number when your first shipment has been dispatched so you can provide carrier, tracking info in the application form.

      Andrew

      1. Thanks Andrew ! Let’s see, can I ask u another question , I moved from uk , I’m in Poland now , for personal reasons, can I use the eori to import and export here , even if my company is in London ?
        Thanks

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Not sure on that – you will need to ask your local Customs office about this.

          1. Francesco t

            Thanks Andrew ! Ok I’ll check here in Poland ! Thanks again have a good day

          2. Andrew Minalto

            You’re welcome! 🙂

  40. Do I need an EORI number if I am a US Company exporting goods and services to the EU? I have shipped in the past through FedEx and had no need. Now, I have a up shipment held up in German customs and they are asking for an EORI number.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tom,

      Your customer, receiving the shipment, will need EORI number.

      Andrew

  41. Hi, Andrew
    Do I need an EORI number for sending a gift to my parents from UK to South Africa? It is for 70th birthday.
    Thanx for your time and help

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, you don’t need an EORI number for that.

  42. I’ve got a question that I can’t find the answer to. I am exporting to the UK from outside the EU. I applied and received an EORI number from the German ZOLL website. It is a German number, but I have checked that it is valid. However, can I use this number for the UK, or do I need to apply again through the UK HMRC site?

    Thanks.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      The buyer in the UK will have to provide his EORI number to when processing goods through Customs.

      Andrew

  43. sunetra zaveri

    Hello Andrew,

    Thanks for the article. I am planning to import goods from China. Do i still need EORI number if i am importing from outside EU to the UK.

    Thanks
    Sunetra

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, EORI number is specifically used for imports/exports to and from EU.

      Andrew

  44. Patrick Morton

    Hi Andrew

    Thankyou for you guide. Our company has held an EORI for a number of years but we have recently transferred trade to unify with our sister company under the same VAT number. We will continue to operate as separate trading divisions and will operate separate DAN accounts, will our EORI numbers remain the same? or must we both use the EORI that matches our VAT number?

    Thanks in advance

    Patrick

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Patrick,

      I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for this as it’s quite a specific situation.

      Contact HMRC and ask them directly about this or ask your accountant to get this sorted.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  45. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks a lot for the helpful info. We are a new Uk business (non-vat registered) looking to import for e-commerce purposes into the german market. It’ll be the first shipment (and going to germany) but I have been told it is still part of EU, and is still okay to apply for EORI thru gov.uk. I noted on the form that it request a “port of entry ” (which’ll be germany in this instance) and “arrival date”. The arrival date is not certain and the shipment is not yet on the way, but is it okay to put a speculative date, for the purposes of generating the EORI number, or must this date be definite?

    I look forward to hearing from you. thank you

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, you can put a “speculative” date there (ETA).

      It’s not that important.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  46. We are a United States company that purchased items at an Auction in the UK. Do we need to apply for an EORI number to have them exported ? A packaging company is picking them up for us and crating them so should we use their EORI number if they have one ?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Josh,

      No, I don’t think you need to apply for an EORI number in this case.

      But I may be wrong so better contact UK Customs (phone/email) and confirm this with them.

      Andrew

  47. hi andrew,
    i am an individual and i dont have a company and obviously not VAT registered in any way. i am waiting on delivery of a laser cutting machine coming by sea freight to the UK from China in the next 2 weeks and hopefully when delivered i can start a small laser cutting business. i have been told by the freight handling agent that i need an EORI number from HMRC and they directed me to the HMRC website. however the HMRC is asking for my business details, NI number and passport details. i dont have business details – what should my approach be? thanks.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Stephen,

      You don’t have to be a business to get an EORI number.

      So just give your personal details on the application, as an individual.

      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        Great article as always. I can’t see how to register for EORI as an individual. Section 2 of the form requires you to state legal standing of the business – there is no option for an individual? Should this just be left blank in this instance?

        Thanks for your help and great article as always

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Liam,

          EORI in general is for businesses so usually you’ll be at least Sole Trader/Sole Proprietor when you register for it.

          If it’s something you import for personal use, you don’t need an EORI number (as far as I’m aware).

          Andrew

          1. Kacper Serafin

            Hi. You need it and I have this problem and I can’t find answer anywhere. I don’t have any bussines at all. No registred anywhere, but TNT expect that I provide this EOIR number. I don’t have any busines, never have problems with shipping this time they held my parcel and ask for EORI. Ok I can get one but I can’t fill point 2 once I don’t have any busines. I have all other details but how I can apply for EORI for business once I don’t have one, and I’m facing problem to get this. You seid in Your article I can easy apply for EOIR nr as individual, goint through gov page I don’t find it as so easy that’s fors t bacause tere is no piece of information anywhere what to do when You don’t have busines and You need to have EORI because courier held Your parcel on depot and asking for it. It’s not perblem to pay clerance it’s problem to et this number. How???

          2. Andrew Minalto

            Can you leave that blank or just write in individual?

            Have you called HMRC and asked about this?

  48. Hi Andrew,
    Interesting and usefull article.I have an online clothing shop in Cyprus and i have one question regarding eori number.I have found an online french clothing supplier which they want a VAT number in order to make a purchase.Will they accept my EORI number instead of VAT number(because i don’t have one)? Or should i register to VAT before i can do bussiness with them?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kyriakos,

      No, you can’t use EORI number in place of VAT number. It does not work that way.

      You should contact that supplier and ask if they can supply you without a VAT number.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  49. Hi Andrew,
    I have discovered your website and found a lot of interesting advices. I have a question regarding EORI and I am a bit lost.
    I have a UK company manufacturing shoes in Spain. I use to ship the shoes from Spain to Uk and then export to our clients inside as well as outside EU.
    This year I changed this setup and created a Spanish company that is handling packing and shipping of the shoes. However this company does not own the products. I tried to export a shipment to outside EU in the name of the UK company with the UK EORI. DHL does not agree and requires a Spanish registered EORI.
    So… Am I required to ask for an EORI to Spanish authorities for my UK company? Is it possible? Or do I export with the Spanish Company and its Spanish EORI even if it acts only as a packing/shipping agent?

    I hope you could help me on this.
    Regards,
    Stephane

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Stephanie,

      Unfortunately I’m not qualified to give advice in such complicated situations. You should consult with your accountant probably to find best way to set this up.

      Andrew

  50. Hi. nice article.
    How about different type of products? every time I want to export a different product should I apply to get new EORI number related to that?

    Thanks.
    Sara

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sara,

      No, there’s just one EORI number issued for a company.

      So you use the same number all the time.

      Andrew

  51. The EORI number must also be included on the customs declaration when you import your goods from or export goods to countries outside the EU.

    I’m located outside the EU and import from the UK, customs requires my suppliers to provide the EORI number to fulfill the trade agreement requirements.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/economic-operator-registration-and-identification-scheme-supporting-guidance#check-if-you-need-an-eori-number

  52. Hi Andrew
    The links above are not valid anymore and Importer/exporter has to fill an online application :
    https://www.gov.uk/economic-operator-registration-and-identification-eori-scheme
    https://www.gov.uk/eori-supporting-guidance

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thank you!

  53. Hi Andrew,
    Thank you for sharing your precious experience about importing.
    I have applied for EORI number, but what about CHIEF system? On the gov.uk website you’ve directed to in the article there is no mention about EORI scheme registration but about the need for registering in CHIEF system (https://www.gov.uk/starting-to-import)? Has something changed from when you were writing this article or did I missed something? Hope that you’ll be able to clarify that for the benefit of other possibly confused article readers.
    Cheers
    Chris

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Chris,

      No, you don’t have to do that. Courier company or freight forwarder will do the Customs clearance procedure for you (create declaration etc.) so you don’t have to register to CHIEF system on your own.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  54. Hi Andrew, Thanks for the posts they are incredibly informative. I am about to organise 500 units of products to be delivered from China to the UK and my supplier has said that express will only be $310 so that seems the best way to proceed. What is the best way to proceed in getting this number when dealing with express deliverys? I have seen somebody suggest the express delivery company will request this number before organising is this the case? The 3 day delay may also cause problems with an express delivery. Any information will be appreciated.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Andy,

      EORI number should be needed/asked for only when goods arrive in the UK. I have heard mixed opinions on this though – as sometimes supplier asks for EORI before picking up goods. But as you can’t register for EORI BEFORE you have shipment information on hand, I don’t understand how it can be done.

      So – register for EORI once goods are picked up and you have tracking number on hands. If courier asks for EORI BEFORE pick-up, explain them that you don’t have the number yet and can only get it once goods are picked up.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  55. HI Andrew
    What a very helpful person you seem to be and a very helpful article
    I think uv answered my question somehere below , but just to double check , am I right in thinking as a first time importer , its not possible to get the EORI number until I have full details of the shipment –
    ( In my case it will be a container coming out of Ningbo , into UK more than likely Felixstowe )

    and that my shipping agent , only needs the EORI number on arrival to UK to clear through , not in advance before the shipment leaves China ?

    Any reply would be grateful
    Many thanks
    Daniel

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Daniel,

      Yes, that’s correct.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  56. Hello There Andrew,
    I hope you can possibly help as I am really confused with something?
    I am VAT registered in the UK and have an EORI number for a couple of months now. I don’t import from Europe only Asia.
    When I was on the flat rate scheme I didn’t need to reclaim any customs/import duty paid to HMRC but now I do and would like to reclaim all future customs payments.
    I think I understand correctly that to reclaim this I MUST have a C79 document that is issued from HMRC once a month.
    In order to get this, I am assuming this means my EORI number must be view-able on any shipments/parcels I receive.
    The majority are small parcels but unfortunately the sellers in China are just putting my name & address on the parcel and NOT my EORI number.
    Even though my name/address is linked with my company, does this mean I cannot claim the customs paid to HMRC because customs are not putting it through my EORI number and just by my name.
    Hope this makes sense and sincerely hope you will know the answer.
    Best Regards
    Jayne

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jayne,

      You can still do it – you just need to contact HMRC and ask them for a special form to fill out, to process these shippments as usual – pay taxes etc.

      Ideally, always remind suppliers to put full info on packages, full value/invoice.

      And to be safe, you can always contact courier, once package is dispatched in China and tell them that you need to clear that package through Customs. (you contact them while parcel is in transit and you have a tracking number).

      Andrew

  57. Hi Andrew, – Love your posts, helpful insights have assisted me enormously over the years.
    – So a big thank you there.
    Just a quick question if you could please hepl me with, – In that, you mention if you’re not VAT registered then “you should apply for your EORI number after your first shipment has been dispatched”.
    I just want to make sure that this is the case, because as I am going China in person for the first time, I don’t want to be stranded there without an EORI num – or be in a position having to wait for it to come through if the carrier / shipping agent says they need it then for my goods to Leave China.

    If you have any experience here, your thoughts will give me confidence to go ahead without it.

    Also, one more thing, – So if I understand this correctly, as soon as I Ship the Goods via an Agent there in China – I just need the Carrier name (ie. Shipping Comapny name) & the Container Number & that I should then give to a Freight Forwarder in the UK.

    And on the topic of Frieght Forwarder , do you know any good one”s ? I presume my goods will arrive at Felixstowe / & I’d like them sent to me in outer London. – Is it expensive to use a Freight Forwarder, .. . never doen this before, any help would again be priceless here.

    Thx Andrew . . … .And how that UK to Leave E.U . . . – Wish I’d bought sterling last night at $1.5 !!!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi AJ,

      Thanks for your comment.

      When you apply for an EORI number, on the form you must provide your shipment details. So without order/shipment in place, you can’t get that EORI number.

      I recommend using WG for freight forwarding:

      http://www.woodland-group.com/division/woodland-global

      They have very good prices and quick service. You’ll want to contact them directly to get exact quotes.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  58. Our Australian company exports Chiropractic Educational Material (Posters, charts, report folders, fact sheets, etc.) to chiropractors including the UK and other European countries.
    Do we need an EORI number?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi John,

      No, you don’t need EORI number if you sell from Australia to customers in EU.

      You’re simply exporting products to EU.

      Andrew

  59. If an english company has no VAT number ,only EORI number, does they have to pay tax when buying goods to a spanish company or not?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, if they’re not VAT registered, they will have to pay VAT on this order.

      Andrew

  60. Hi Andrew,
    Really Really helpful blog.
    I have just a simple question. Is this EORI number have to do anything with taxes. If i am importing goods to germany and i have to apply for EORI after that am i getting taxes on imported items by the government or custom duties.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, it’s not drectly related to taxes, no.

      People with no EORI number still import and pay import duty & VAT.

      Andrew

  61. Peter Bauman

    HI Andrew,

    This is a very real, concise and useful article.

    Thank you.

    Peter

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Peter!

  62. Hi Andrew, information was very helpfull, thanks. Just wanted to make it clear, I’am individual and I need EORI for none eu imports, wich form I need to fill in? none VAT(C220A)? On the website it says that the form has been withdrawn? HMRC are asking for bussines name and information (I understand they need companies information?) even if I choose none VAT registred on their website…Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sergej,

      Please call HMRC and ask which form needs to be filled in your specific situation.

      I can’t really provide support for specific situations.

      Andrew

    2. Peter Roberts

      Hello
      Have you solved this problem? I have an item just delivered to UK from India. I am not a trader simply buying an item for my own use. The freight agent has just informed me that I need an EORI no. to process customs. I have all the other necessary documentation. Form C220A has been withdrawn and HMRC are no longer taking telephone enquiries. Email enquiries are possible but could take time. Meanwhile my goods are sitting in HMRC warehouse which will start charging £45.00 per day. There seems to be no quick solution. Any help would appreciated. Thanks

  63. Hi Andrew, thank you for your amazing blog and continuous support !

    Can HMRC use the EORI information for checking what we are selling / what is our estimated turnover, etc ?

    I’ve imported 50 branded cordless power tools from Canada to sell in UK on ebay. They don’t have UK warranty support and they are not CE marked, as they are purposed for USA / Canada market.

    Do you think the HMRC can question the resale?

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Michael,

      No, EORI is used for statistical purposes, not for tax information etc.

      That doesn’t mean you should sell non-CE products though…

      Andrew

  64. Hi Andrew,

    I am based out of India and intend to sell items on amazon.co.uk and amazon.de via FBA programme. The first shipment that I sent across has got stuck at customs. While I got in touch with Amazon they say that I need to have an EORI number.

    Can I get the relevant number when I have no business registered in UK, I don’t know anybody living in UK too.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sunil,

      I don’t know, I have no experience with a situation like this.

      As far as I know, you should use some middle man in the UK with EORI number for customs clearance purpose. I don’t think you can get an EORI number being in India.

      Andrew

    2. Stephen Pope

      Hi Andrew / Sunil,

      Usually Amazon do not handle the VAT for the sale of the goods through their fulfilment centres therefore it is up to you as a non-EU company to account for this. This is why they want you to clear the goods into the UK using your own EORI number.

      As you are a non-EU business selling goods in the UK, and the VAT registration limit for non-resident companies in the UK is nil, you will need to apply for a VAT account in the country immediately in order to sell your goods. This will then also mean that you will have to charge VAT on the sales to your customers.

      Once you have VAT registered you will then be able to get an EORI number that links to your VAT account and this will allow you to clear the goods.

      Also why you wait for your VAT account, as a non-resident non-EU company, you can apply for a temporary EORI number to clear your goods.

      Hope this helps.

      Stephen

  65. Hi Andrew
    We are a very small company shipping customers items bought at auction to them. We mostly deal within just the UK but have had a few things go abroad to America and have never been asked for a Eori number. We have 3 boxes, now stuck in UK customs due to be in New York and they are asking for a VAT number or EORI number. We are not registered for either, do we need to be registered for EORI, if so, how long does it take and does it cost?

    Kind regards

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Who is asking you for VAT & EORI number?

  66. Do you need EORI number if you are importing goods from China once only for a restaurant refurbishment and not to sell on?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, you would still need an EORI number.

  67. Giuseppe carbone

    Hello Andrew

    Very good Guide, thank you very much!

    Is it legal to bring goods from outside the EU and re-selling them in the Uk or Europe (having a EORI number and being VAT registred)?

    Thank you

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, of course! Why it wouldn’t be legal?

      It’s called importing!

      1. Giuseppe carbone

        I am referring to second hand goods, such as antiques and old jewellery.

        Once got them in the uk and after have claimed the vat back on them (which can be a lot , few thousands) , Can I just put them in my stock?

        Thanks for you quick reply

        1. Andrew Minalto

          sorry, I don’t understand what you mean…

          1. Giuseppe carbone

            My main purpose is to resell the items, if with the EORI number I can claim the vat back do, I have to charge it again once I resell them?

          2. Andrew Minalto

            EORI number has nothing to do with VAT.

            If you’re VAT registered, you will charge VAT when selling these items and claim back difference you paid when importing these goods.

            Andrew

  68. Hello Andrew,

    I have a VAT registered UK LTD. Also I have got an EORI and I am a first time importer.
    I imported some products from china into UK using a freight forwarder.
    I have paid around £1100 VAT on the import on the 16th of February 2016.

    My question is , how will I re-claim this VAT ?
    Should HMRC send me a C79 invoice ? If so when do they send this to us?

    Thanks a lot
    Norbert

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Norbert,

      yes, you should receive the c79 form via post by 24th March.

      Then you can properly book this into accounts.

      Andrew

      1. Thanks Andrew!

        1. Andrew Minalto

          You’re welcome Norbert!

  69. Hi Andrew,

    We have been shipping to UK and we do have our UK EORI and now we want to ship to FBA Germany and France do i need to have an EORI for each country or the UK one is enough

    Thanks
    Ely

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Ely,

      I’m not sure, this is something you need to find out.

      If it’s same company/importer, it should be that you can use one number in all EU countries but I’m not 100% sure.

      Andrew

  70. Hi Andrew,
    Great article, Thanks.

    Tell me please, I have a number EORI Polish , I need a new number English (self employed no vat) ?? Products imported from China (DHL courier) once a month max £150/ I live in England and I have a self employed here.

    Thanks for your time,
    Dam

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Dam,

      I don’t think you’ll need EORI number at all for such small value shipment.

      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew

        Thanks for the great article

        I was planning on applying for EORI, but just seen your comment above regarding not needing EORI for small value shipment. Why is this? Is there a limit? I’m thinking of initially importing about £150/£200 a month too.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Kerry,

          Yes, there’s a limit but I don’t know exactly how big it is (I always get mixed views on this when trying to find out).

          £150/£200 should be fine without EORI number.

          Andrew

          1. Hi Andrew

            I imported some goods worth about £200. I received an email from DHL asking me to pay £4.50 import duty. I did this online and shipment is being delivered tomorrow. I have never been asked for an EORI. I’m assuming this is because it’s a small shipment? What are the consequences of not having an EORI for larger shipments? Will it mean your goods won’t be delivered? I’m a little confused.

          2. Andrew Minalto

            Hi Kerry,

            No one asks for an EORI number for small value shipments.

            And you can’t really get into trouble anyways – if Customs will ask for your EORI number, courier/shipping company will inform you about that.

            Thanks,
            Andrew

  71. Hi Andrew,

    Great article, Thanks.

    Just a quick question… I am not VAT registered and I am going to be exporting to the EU and US however my courier is asking for my EORI no (required field). So I tried to fill in the EORI application form with HMRC but it wants me to state when the parcel will be dispatched? this seems like a bit of a catch 22?

    I can’t get a dispatch date from the courier without the EORI no.

    Also once the application form is completed, how long until you receive the EORI number?

    Or can I just put in a random dispatch date on the application form so that I can get my EORI number for future shipments?

    Thanks for your time,

    Rachel

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for your comment.

      No, you can’t put a random number there.

      BY exporting to EU, what you mean? As sending goods to other EU countries doesn’t really mean exporting, you don’t need EORI number for that.

      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        Thank you for your reply.

        I am starting a business and I will be sending orders to other businesses in countries all over the world so I want to get an EORI number so that I am ready to go when my first US order comes in.

        However the HMRC application form asks for the Dispatch date which I won’t know until my first order comes in.

        Rachel

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Rachel,

          You should wait for your first import shipment to be dispatched and then apply for EORI number.

          Andrew

  72. Hello, Andrew, thank you for such an informative post!

    I am looking to Kickstart a project soon and this article has answered so many of my questions as far as what, and when, an EORI number is.

    Your responses to comments too have been very educational as well, I am looking forward to reading the rest of them soon.

    Wish you the best and thank you again for sharing your knowledge!
    Ben

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Ben! 🙂

  73. mohammed ajaib

    Hi Andrew

    i order clothing from india quite often as part of my business which amounts to £400-£500 normally my courier company releases the order for me and delivers to me i have to pay them for releasing the goods. however somebody has recently advised me i should get an EORI please could you advise how i obtain an EORI number

    thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You can apply for the EORI number online:

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eori-supporting-guidance

  74. Hi Andrew,

    is there a cost to obtaining an EORI number for non-vat? If there is, how do I determine the amount? I am looking to import some porcelain dinner plates for sale and putting together an initial costings report.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, EORI number is free to get, there are no fees to pay.

      Andrew

  75. Tanya Louise

    Hi Andrew,

    I came across my EORI number while searching through my emails for something else. Didn’t really know what it was so I decided to do some research on the Web and came across your article. My accountant would have applied for it and I hadn’t been aware it had been sent through. I have imported stock from China and America on quite a few occasions now and this number has never been requested from any of the couriers. Is this going to cause me any issues with regards to my accounts/ HMRC?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tanya,

      No, it won’t cause you any problems.

      Courier would ask you for EORI number, if they needed it. If they haven’t asked for it, you haven’t breached any rules/laws.

      Andrew

  76. Hi Andrew – Thankyou for such a comprehensive explanation!
    I have one question, I’m coming back from India with £600 worth of Indian silver jewellery in my hand luggage. I’m self employed/ sole trader and want to sell the jewellery in the UK.
    I want to declare it all at customs at the airport and pay VAT and duty.
    Do you know if I need an EORI for my arrival at the airport customs?
    Thankyou.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Natalia,

      No, you shouldn’t need EORI number in this case.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  77. Dear Andrew,
    Very helpful thank you. I am about to ship some products from china to UK. If I cant gain the EORI number until its in transit how does HMRC identify the shipment on arrival if the number is not printed on the paperwork? I thought that the commercial invoice needed to state the number?

    Thank you in advance

    Helen Davies

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Helen,

      No, that’s fine.

      You need EORI number only when goods arrive – at customs clearance procedure.

      Andrew

  78. Shampa Parvin

    Hello,
    I am not VAT registered but I have imported some bags from India and to clear the customs, I needed an EORI number. When I applied for the EORI number, I filled the form that was not VAT registered. Am I VAT registered after getting the EORI number? Please give this information.
    Thank you

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Shampa,

      No, you’re not VAT registered now only because you got EORI number.

      These two things are separate.

      Andrew

  79. Hi Andrew,

    Yes, your article is a very good one.

    I have 1 container of furniture and lighting for new home (my house and my friends’) decoration, not for sell. Will ship fr India to UK.
    We registered a company years ago (shell company), no VAT member.
    My freight forwarder tell me only have to apply a EORI, no need a VAT number. So how can i pay tax? Do i have to pay VAT and Import duty, it is for personal use!

    Also i have another container, it is some office furniture, India to Germany, we are about to start an office in Germany, still no registered, can i use UK company name to do the Customs clearance this time? How can i pay tax?

    Thank you so much.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Liz,

      When goods will enter UK, freight forwarder will inform you about next steps on custom clearance on which you pay VAT and import duty. Yes, you have to pay these even if goods are for personal use only.

      You def. DON’T have to register for VAT.

      Not sure on the 2nd issue – your freight forwarder should be able to handle that.

      Andrew

  80. Thanks, that’s interesting. When the company was first VAT registered we had to list what we were claiming VAT back on and HMRC said we couldn’t claim some import VAT we had paid because they had no record of a c79 certificate, but a c79 certificate is only issued if an EORI number is supplied.

    Sue

    1. Andrew Minalto

      IF you’re VAT registered, then of course you want to get EORI number, yes.

      You didn’t say you’re VAT registered.

      Andrew

  81. Thanks Andrew,
    The items that we’ve imported are only small and have come through postal customs and parcelforce have told me there is a different procedure for these. So do you know if I still need an EORI number, as they don’t seem to know what I’m talking about?

    Thanks
    Sue

    1. Andrew Minalto

      If they don’t ask for EORI, you don’t need it!

      As simple as that 🙂

      Andrew

  82. Hi Andrew,

    We import goods from outside the EU to the UK. We have an EORI number, what I don’t know is how it becomes linked to the goods we import. Is it something the sender needs to enter?

    Thanks

    Sue

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sue,

      It gets “linked” when goods are cleared via customs – then freight forwarder/courier will ask you for the EORI number to put it into customs declaration.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  83. Hi Andrew,

    We are a US based company with no presence in EU. However, we have shipped some network equipment (4 boxes, less than 68kg each) to a telecom data center (run by Interxion) in London, UK for them to install for us. Nothing is being bought or sold. We are simply shipping our own equipment from US to London for use there.

    We shipped via FedEx and now FedEx is saying the shipment is stuck in customs and needs an EORI number. However, we do not have any legal entity in EU and, again, are not buying or selling the equipment.

    Should an EORI number be required or do you think we filled out the paperwork incorrectly which is causing the problem (FedEx/Customs to ask for the EORI number)? FedEx is saying the shipment will be returned if they do not have EORI for the recipient (which is the Interxion data center c/o our company) within 7 days.

    Thanks for the helpful article.

    CARTER

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Carter,

      To be honest – I’m not sure how this works in such a specific situation… The only thing I know that recipient is responsible for clearing goods though customs.

      FedEx should be able to help you more with this? Give them a call and explain your situation.

      Andrew

  84. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the very useful article.

    I have a few questions. I hope you may help.
    We have just incorporated a company in the U.K. that sells natural oil imported from Morocco.
    At the beginning most of our activity will be in Spain and Italy.
    We have contracted 2 agents that will support us in selling and promoting our products in these 2 countries.
    The goods will arrive to the port of Algeciras (Spain) already with our labels and ready to be sold.
    The questions are the following:
    1) being a Uk company and having a Uk vat number once we get an EORi number we cannot clear goods in Spain unless we use a third party (Spanish resident), can we?
    2) once goods will be cleared can we use our EORI number to export from Spain to other UE countries or outside EU or we can use such code only if the departure port of our goods is in the UK
    Thanks in advance for your help
    Regards

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately this is a specific situation I haven’t been in so I don’t know really how it works… But I think that yes, you would need a Spanish resident/company to clear such goods in Spain or at least some kind of YOUR company presence in Spain to do this via your company.

      But I don’t really know, sorry.

      Andrew

  85. Hi Andrew, I have leather bags company based out of India and I regularly ship to FBA USA and FBA UK. However, our FBA packages to Germany are getting rejected every time. We ship via DHL and Fedex and both have failed to get the shipment accepted by customs. As suggested by DHL recently, we got an EORI number registered as well but even then the customs is asking for a “power of attorney and postal address of importer of record”. Can you suggest if anyone you know faced something like this and if you can suggest some customs broker who can help us get past this problem. Thanks for all the advice and help.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      I’m sorry but I don’t have any experience with situations like these so can’t really help…

      Andrew

  86. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the article, really helpful, I clicked on your link and it states that has been withdrawn as of July 31, 2015. I am helping my parents with a container with personal belongings as they are moving to portugal for good. They are asking me for a EORI. Not sure if I need one for personal belongings.

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Rui,

      Moving from Portugal from where?

      I don’t really know whatever you need EORI number for moving personal belongings (I don’t think you need).

      But if its within EU – say from UK to Portugal, they def. don’t need EORI number at all.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  87. Christine Kirby

    Thanks for writing article, I found it very interesting. I have an EORI number and am about to send a shipment to a shop in Poland. Will my courier need my EORI number or do I have to complete a form of some sort? Do I need to provide more than 1 inventory or other paperwork?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      From where you’re sending these goods to Poland?

  88. Nathan Warner

    Hi Andrew.

    Thanks – this is very useful! Will the EORI always match the VAT registration or can the two be different numbers? Is it possible to get an EORI number and not be VAT registered?

    Thanks!

    Nathan

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Nathan,

      Yes, it is totally ok to get EORI number WITHOUT being VAT registered.

      So don’t worry about it.

      Andrew

  89. Hello Andrew,

    We are shipping 1m3 books to Africa as a donation,do we need EORI?
    Thank you
    Eve

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Eve,

      Not sure on this one – give HMRC a call and find out.

      Andrew

  90. Peter Thomas

    Hi Andrew

    My freight company (Woodland) are requesting an EORI number but HMRC require a Waybill number before issuing an EORI number

    Woodland say they cannot provide a waybill number until I have a shipment in place which I can’t do until I have an EORI number

    I feel like I’m going round in circles 😉

    Any ideas?

    Many thanks

    Peter Thomas

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Peter,

      Hmm, that shouldn’t be right…

      Usually you place the order, get goods dispatched, get waybill, apply for EORI and then give it to freight forwarder.

      Andrew

  91. Hi Andrew
    I have an EORI Number which I can’t find! Do you know if there is anyway of finding it on-line?
    Many thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Louisa,

      I don’t think you can, no… (you can only validate a number online).

      But if you call HMRC, I’m sure they can give you the number over the phone.

      Andrew

  92. BRENDAN SCANLON

    Andrew

    We bought goods for resale ex switzerland Gruyere unaware that the company needed an Eori No.

    We have applied for this over night ( a friday) three day thounaround . Is there a way to get a temporary number as the goods are in Calais.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Brendan,

      Hmm, I don’t think you can get it faster, no, or get a temporary number….

      I know that in some cases you can clear goods via 3rd company if you don’t have an EORI number but I haven’t done this myself so don’t really know what mechanics goes behind it.

      Andrew

  93. Hi Andrew,

    You mention in the article that you can apply for an EORI number as an individual, and do not have to be a registered business in order to do so.

    The HMRC EORI application form does however ask for “legal status of business”. What do you tick as an individual? Sole proprietor sounds like sole trader to me, which would require one to be registered as such.

    Any advice here? Much appreciated.

    Thanks.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Not sure on the latest rules on this as I haven’t registered a new EORI for many years now. It could be that they have changed the application/rules. Best bet would be to call HMRC directly and ask them about this. But as far as I remember, you can simply put “individual” there and it should be fine.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  94. Hi Andrew
    I make some shopping from China and the custom stop the parcel and Ask me the EORI number
    If i apply online for EORI number
    They will send me the number by email or by post
    I see by post Take few days but online should be faster?
    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Dorin,

      Yes, online should be faster, yes.

      Andrew

  95. Hi
    I have not registerd my business yet and i have orderd my item from aboroad as i want to try how good i will do. They are value £350. Do i have to get registerd as new business for me to get eori number or i just send the details i have.
    Eori number is totally new to me.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mustansr,

      You don’t need to apply for EORI number if courier/customs doesn’t ask you for it.

      So just wait for shipment to arrive and see how it goes.

      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        Above you said “Hi Mustansr,

        You don’t need to apply for EORI number if courier/customs doesn’t ask you for it.

        So just wait for shipment to arrive and see how it goes.

        Andrew”

        My questions is :
        Does this go only for individuals or also for small businesses receiving very small shipments (up to £3000)? I.e. no EORI needed unless courier/customs ask for it?
        Thank you very much. A great article.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          It doesn’t cost anything to get an EORI number so for businesses, I strongly recommend to get one.

          You’ll be asked for it sooner or later so to avoid delays in receiving your shipment, register for EORI number once order is dispatched and you have shipment tracking details.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

  96. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for posting this info it is very helpful indeed. Just thought I ask, I am getting a dough mixer and presser from Mexico, in fact it is already in port but it needs to clear customs before it gets deliver to my address.

    It is a one off thing, do I need to provide an EORI? I am filling in the customs clearance form and it asks for it but since I only have 7 days before I have to start paying storage I wonder if I could get it cleared without one.

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jorge,

      No ,chances are that you won’t need an EORI number for such a small, personal shipment.

      Andrew

  97. Hi Andrew,

    Do I require an EORI number for a private sale of an art print (value £3500). I’m in the UK and the buyer is in Singapore?

    Appreciate your advice.

    Regards,

    Anthony.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Anthony,

      No as far as I’m aware, you don’t need an EORI number for such sale.

      Andrew

      1. Thanks Andrew, DHL are being a pain

  98. Great advice Andrew!

    The C220A (we are not VAT registered) form is asking for freight agent to be used and sea freight details such as bill of landing number and container number.

    We are importing from China. Does this mean we can’t apply for EORI until our shipment is in transit somewhere in the pacific ocean?

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi James,

      Yes, exactly – you should apply for EORI number once your shipment is dispatched and you have all those freight details on hand.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  99. Dear Andrew!

    We are China based company and we will hire sales reps in EU countries. We are a bit confused about this EORI. IN our case who will apply an EORI number, we as exporter or our customers in EU?

    Thank you!

    Eceman

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Your customers in EU.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  100. Hi, please can you advise on the following : my company imports from the Far East. Is there any way that our competitors or their shipping agents/forwarders can identify how many containers we import in a given month and also the factories that shipped them ? Does our EORI number enable them to do this ? Thanks in advance. Stan

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Stan,

      No. While EORI data base carries this information, as far as I’m aware, it’s not available to general public.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  101. Hi,
    I am from India and have exhibition in Germany. I need to send some goods by courier to my hotel. Do I require EORI number ? I do not have any company based in Europe.
    Please suggest.
    regards
    Raj

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No, you don’t need an EORI number in your case.

      Andrew

      1. Hi,
        But my sourcing is from China. As per my china vendor, EORI code is required, without which no forwarder will pickup my goods.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Freight forwarder, yes, but I understand that you’ll use a normal courier, no?

          And if you send such small shipment, as individual, you really don’t need an EORI number.

          Andrew

  102. Dear Andrew,

    extremely useful information for beginners like me.

    I am planning to import some small instruments into the UK. My first consignment will consist of samples (10 pieces each of around 20 items). Do I need to get an EORI number for this shipment even if it is mainly for display and for free distribution. As it is a large sample, I’ll definitely pay duty, VAT and all other applicable taxes on it.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Anwar,

      Most likely no, if it’s just few hundred pounds worth shipment, you don’t need an EORI number.

      Thanks
      Andrew

  103. Great information!

    I have a EORI number I received from HMRC for shipments I intended on only sending to UK. Now I would like to ship to France. May I use the same EORI number for those shipments? My number is validated on the European Commission website.
    Thanks!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jamie,

      Hmm, not sure but if receiver is same company/person I think yes, you use same number.

      But you should double check this with HMRC.

      Andrew

      1. Thanks for the reply!

        I will contact them.

        It will be going to same company…which is Amazon. Just a different warehouse. Was shipping to Amazon.uk warehouse….Now I would like to ship to Amazon.France warehouse.

        Have a great one!

        Jamie

        1. Andrew Minalto

          You’re welcome Jamie!

  104. Hi Andrew

    I’m so confused by the C220A form! If I only need to apply for an EORI number once, why does HMRC want freight and product details? I’m ordering different products from about 10 different suppliers, in different countries – which shipment goes on the form? I’ve tried calling HMRC about this but their line is busy.

    Thanks
    Nina

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Nina,

      Because EORI number is used for statistics purposes, that’s why they need to know shipment details. In the application form simply give details for first shipment that will arrive and you’ll be fine.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  105. Hi,

    Fantastic Info!,

    Just a quick question do I need to apply for a EORI Number every time I import into the UK?

    Will the number change?

    Many Thanks

    Hassan

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Hassan,

      No, you do this just once – your EORI number stays same for all future imports.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  106. Hi Andrew,

    I’ve just sent off my EORI form to HMRC, do you know how long it would take for them to give the EORI number as i need it as soon as possible, thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      usually it takes just few business days.

  107. Christian Kalotheou

    Hi Andrew,
    Very good information indeed you have provided here. Though I am not living in the UK, but Cyprus, I had to deal with EORI the past month and some things are not so clear.
    I sometimes buy wines online, as I am a collector and wine lover and in the past few months I was forced to pay excise duty on the goods. I was told to avoid paying then I would require an EORI number. I have requested and received one now, but I am still not sure how it will work. I was told that when I purchase my goods online I have to give them my EORI number and I also have to inform Cyprus customs of the purchase, I pay the countries VAT which is not the same as the EORI as I understood, and they ship it to Cyprus. Will I then still have to pay these excise duties? Would be great to understand how this would work or from someone who already had experience in this.
    Thank you and Kind regards
    Christian

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Christian,

      Not sure why they told you that but EORI number has nothing to do with taxes, VAT or import duty. EORI number is solely used for statistics purposes.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  108. Hi Andrew,
    This is a really helpful blog, thanks.

    I am currently using Fedex to import my goods into the UK. I applied for an EORI number for my first shipment from US, putting in “Fedex” as my freight forwarder. HMRC said this was not applicable, and asked again for my Freight Forwarder Name and Address. Do I need to get a freight agent?

    (Fedex have already cleared my goods and given them to me in this time).

    Thanks!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jenn,

      They need more precise contact information as Fedex for example in various places can be represented by different companies. This way it’s best to apply for EORI number when goods have arrived in the UK and you have been contacted by the company who works on behalf of Fedex. Then you’ll know exact contact details and airway bill number to provide in EORI application.

      Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. All noted! Thanks for your help Andrew!

        1. Andrew Minalto

          You’re welcome Jenn! 🙂

  109. Sam Woodvine

    Hi Andrew
    Your article was really helpful thanks. However, we have moved to a new courier and they are asking for our EORI number which we have previously never needed. We ship training materials overseas, but not for sale, just for the purposes of delivering our training. Do we still need this number?
    Many thanks, Sam

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sam,

      No, I don’t think you need an EORI number at all, why would you?

      Andrew

  110. Hi there,

    Do we need different EORI number for each Ltd. ? Or it is still the same?

    Regards,

    eBayer

    1. Andrew Minalto

      yes, separate EORI number for each Ltd.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

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