Anyone shipping commercial goods into or out of the EU needs to obtain an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number. These are part of a system of unique identification numbers used by Customs Authorities throughout the EU.
An EORI number is made up of the ISO alpha-2 country code of the EU member state followed by up to 15 digits. Generally speaking, for the UK, a VAT registered company’s EORI number consists of the prefix ‘GB’ followed by the company VAT number, and is suffixed with ‘000.’
From 1 January 2021, you will also need an EORI number when moving goods between:
Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), or the Isle of Man, and the EU.
Great Britain and Northern Ireland. These EORI numbers need to start with 'XI'.
HMRC will automatically send you an 'XI' EORI number if they think that you need one.
Shippers based inside the EU can request an EORI number from the customs authority in their own country.
In the UK, all applications are handled via the HMRC. If you do not yet have an EORI number, you need to complete one of the following forms:
Full details can be found on the website https://www.gov.uk/eori.
Once your application is complete, there is no need to apply again unless you start conducting business from another EU country.
If you want to verify that you have a valid EORI number, use this EORI checker.