HMRC have announced a plan to help businesses continue trading in the uncertain post-Brexit landscape. Businesses will be automatically enrolled into their customs system, and issued with an EORI number.
Whether your business is VAT-registered or not, if you trade with the EU, this affects you.
What is my EORI number?
EORI stands for Economic Operator’s Registration and Identification. Your EORI number identifies you (or your business) as as someone with permission to move goods between the UK and other countries.
Do I need an EORI number to move goods between the UK and the EU?
Before the end of the Brexit transition period (which ends on 31st December 2020) businesses only needed an EORI number to move goods between the UK and non-EU countries.
When the transition period ends, all businesses moving goods between Great Britain and the rest of the world will need an EORI number.
The key here is ‘moving goods’. Businesses which sell services don’t usually need to have an EORI number to provide services in other countries.
Automatic EORI enrolment
HMRC have confirmed that more than 88,000 VAT registered companies across the UK are being given an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
72,000 are already registered for the unique numbers, which allow customs authorities to identify the businesses involved during goods movements.
Post-Brexit transition period, businesses without an EORI number will be unable to continue trading with EU Member States.
EORI and Brexit for your non VAT-registered business
Only VAT-registered businesses will be automatically enrolled for EORI. So, if your business is not VAT registered, you will need to apply for EORI manually.