The EORI or Economic Operator Registration and Identification number is something that you may consider when first forming a company. This unique number is issued by customs authorities in European member states. If you plan to trade anywhere in a European community then you will likely need to register for an EROI number. This number is used when you are dealing with EC customs and will help you to communicate with customs declarations and other trading issues.
If and when you register for an EORI number, you will receive a number that is unique to your company. This number will be used for customs declarations when you import or export goods between different companies that fall outside of European jurisdiction.
Depending on your company and how it was formed, you may already have an EORI number. You can check with the HMRC to determine if you have a number already or if you need to register for one. If you do not have a number and you want or need one, then you can apply through the HMRC. You will need to show that you are not a registered VAT company and that you want to import or export goods.
You are permitted to apply for your EORI as soon as you begin to trade outside of the UK if you plan to transport goods through customs. Note that you don’t want to wait until the day that you begin trading. You should allow yourself time to register and to receive your unique EORI number before you begin importing or exporting goods. If you wait too long to apply for a number, your import or export business will be delayed which could cause you to miss customer deadlines.
If you are going to register for VAT then you can obtain your EORI number during this process. You will receive a temporary number that you can use until VAT registration is complete. Once you have your VAT number, you will need to apply for a new EORI using that VAT registration number. Note that you are required to inform HMRC of any previous EORI numbers that you have used before VAT registration was finished. HMRC will need to cancel your temporary number in order to issue you with a new number.
Applying for your EORI number is a simple and relatively straightforward process. You can do this online or through post.
Note that the forms that you need to file are different depending on whether or not you are registered for VAT. You can learn more about the specific forms that you need on the HMRC website. If you are registering online, everything is done digitally. If, however you choose to register through post, you will need to complete the hard copy application and then mail it in to HMRC in order to register. You can obtain a hard copy from the Excise and Customs website or call the department to have a hard copy mailed to you. Then fill it out and send it back to HMRC.