Economic Operators Registration and Identification or ‘EORI’ numbers as they are more commonly known are required by EU traders who trade goods with countries outside of the EU. Companies outside of the EU which trade goods to EU member states also require an EORI number.
The EORI system commenced in 2009, when, following a formal registration process, EORI numbers were assigned to importers and exporters for use in the process of customs entry and clearance declarations for both import and export shipments travelling to or from EU and non-EU countries.
A formal registration process must be followed in order to obtain an EORI number and will vary dependant on whether:-
- the trader is registered for VAT;
- the trader is VAT registered and involved in the business of exporting (outside the EU) or importing (into the EU);
- the trader makes customs declarations themselves; or
- the trader has an EU based parent company.
Following application, the successful applicant will typically receive their EORI number by email within 3-5 days.
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EORI and Brexit
With the UK scheduled to leave the EU on the 29 March 2019, the UK tax authority, HMRC are advising UK businesses to make certain preparations in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
A letter issued by HMRC in December 2018 sets out three actions (see below) which UK businesses who currently trade with the EU should take in order to continue such trade after 29 March 2019:-
- Register for an EORI number;
- Decide how to make customs declarations;
- Check the information required for safety and security declarations.
The guidance states that UK based traders who currently trade with the EU will require an EORI Number in order to continue to trade.
The guidance also reflects the fact that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK becomes a non-EU country and therefore UK based traders who wish to continue trading with the EU require the EORI number in order to do so.
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'No Deal' Scenario and Government Advice – Exporting Goods to the EU
A comprehensive note entitled ‘Traders Exporting to the EU only – what to expect on day one of a ‘no deal’ scenario’ has been published by HMRC which recommends that in the event of a ‘no deal’ withdrawal, relevant traders should:-
- hold a valid EORI number;
- ensure their contracts and International Terms and Conditions of Service reflect that they are now an exporter;
- consider how they will submit export declarations;
- identify the commodity code of the goods they export;
- research the destinations they want to export to;
- check whether they require a licence to export or if any of their goods are considered 'restricted';
- submit a suitable export declaration;
- complete a commercial invoice.
Our dedicated tax compliance team are experienced with the EORI application process and we are able to assist clients who require advice / registration assistance in this important area. For assistance, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as an overview and summary of the requirement for EORI numbers and of published UK Government advices on the subject as well as recommended actions in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. As always, professional advice should be obtained on such matters.