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EORI stands for Economic Operator’s Registration and Identification. Your EORI number identifies your business as having 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 ended on 31st December 2020) businesses only needed an EORI number to move goods between the UK and non-EU countries.

Now that the transition period is over, all businesses moving goods between Great Britain and the rest of the world 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.

What about Northern Ireland?

You’ll need EORI numbers to move goods between Great Britain (Wales, England, Scotland) and Northern Ireland. You don’t need them to move goods between Northern Ireland and the EU.


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Do I need a different EORI number for Northern Ireland?

Yes, you will need to have an EORI number (starting with XI) in order to move goods between Northern Ireland and countries that aren’t in the EU. Since Brexit, this also now includes Great Britain.

To get an EORI number that starts with XI, you must already have an EORI number that starts with GB.

How do I get an EORI number?

Only VAT-registered businesses were automatically enrolled for EORI. So, if your business doesn’t deal with VAT, you’ll need to apply for EORI manually.

Do I need to show my EORI number on customs documents?

Yes, and you won’t be able to move goods across the border without them. Documents must include your own EORI number, as well as that of the sender or receiver.

For example, if you export from the UK to France, the documents must show your UK EORI number, and the French EORI number of the importer.

If you are moving goods across the UK border to send to your own warehouse in the EU (or in the other direction), you’ll need to register for your own EU EORI number, as well as a UK one.

What does my EORI number look like?

Your EORI number will start with the country code that issued it, and then your 12 digit VAT number.

If your business isn’t VAT registered, your EORI number will start with the country code, and then a unique number generated by HMRC.

An EORI issued in the UK will look like this: GB 123456789123

Learn more about our online accountancy services, including how we can help you with your VAT accounting. Talk to one of the team on 020 3355 4047, request a call back, or get an instant quote online

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible.

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