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Brexit and EORI Numbers: Where to go for help

If you trade between the UK and non-EU countries, you’ll already be aware of the requirement for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) Number.

However, this requirement will now apply to any UK business trading within the EU from January 1st 2021. In addition to that, you will need another EORI number to trade with Northern Ireland post-Brexit. So if you’ve been ignoring the latest on Brexit because you only trade in the UK, think again because it’s all about to change.

Brexit EORI number check

Now is the time to take note because once you apply, it can take up to a week for your first British EORI number to be issued, and you could need two more depending on where you intend to trade.

EORI Numbers – First things first

If you already have an EORI number, you’ll need to make sure it starts with ‘GB’. If you don’t have a GB number yet, apply here. The application process takes about 5 minutes, but before you begin, make sure you have the following things on hand:

  • Your VAT number and date of registration.
  • Your National Insurance Number if you are an individual or a sole trader.
  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). If you have lost your UTR, click here.
  • Your business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. If you don’t know your SIC code you can find it here.
  • Your Government Gateway user ID and password. If you don’t have a Government Gateway ID you will be able to create one when you apply.

Your GB EORI number should arrive within 5 working days.

What’s next?

So once you have your GB EORI number you will need to register for other numbers for the following eventualities:

  • You want to trade with one or more EU countries
  • You want to trade with Northern Ireland

EORI Numbers – Moving goods to or from the EU

You will need an additional EORI number from an EU country if your business will be making declarations or getting a customs decision within the EU. You can apply for this from the customs authority in the EU country where you submit your first declaration or request your first decision. One EU EORI number will cover all trade within the EU.

EORI Numbers – Trading with Northern Ireland

You will need a separate EORI number which begins with XI to trade with Northern Ireland. Despite Northern Ireland being a member of the UK, you may experience increased costs and delays if you do not have an XI EORI number. For example, if HMRC is unable to clear your goods, you may have to pay storage fees.

If you have already received a GB EORI number and HMRC thinks you need an XI EORI number, you will automatically receive one in December 2020. However, if you are yet to apply or you are unsure if you will receive an XI EORI number automatically, you can apply for an XI number and access guidance, training and support from customs experts from the Trader Support Service here.


For further advice on EORI numbers and how to apply for them, contact the EORI helpline on 0300 322 7067.

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