About EORI Numbers

EORI stands for Economic Operators Registration and Identification Number and is used by customs to track shipments in and out of Europe. European Union (EU) member countries require an EORI number to act as an importer or exporter, even if using a third party for clearance. In the customs declaration process, it is mandatory for either the shipper or the shipping partner to include the EORI number in various documents related to customs. Failing to obtain an EORI number might result in customs detaining your shipment, which can cause significant delays and potentially result in additional costs.

Who Needs an EORI Number

  1. Importers and Exporters: If you're involved in importing or exporting goods to or from the EU, an EORI number is essential, whether you clear customs on your own or use a third-party agent.
  2. Customs Agents or Brokers: Professionals offering customs services need EORI numbers to facilitate import and export processes for clients.
  3. Sole Proprietors and Legal Entities: Both individuals and businesses in international trade require EORI numbers.
  4. Temporary Imports and Warehousing: EORI numbers are needed for temporary imports and customs warehousing.
  5. VAT Registered Businesses: Many EU countries automatically assign EORI numbers to VAT-registered businesses.
  6. Entities Claiming Customs Relief or Exemptions: EORI numbers are essential for tracking and documenting customs relief or exemptions.

Who Can Get An EORI Number

EORI numbers are issued to both legal entities, and natural persons who run a business, such as a sole proprietorship. Company branches do not have their own separate EORI number, they instead use the number assigned to the main office. 

What the EORI Number Looks Like

The EORI number is made up of two parts

  • First, there's the country code of the Member State that gives it out. 
  • Then, there's a code or number that only that Member State uses, and it's totally unique.

How To Apply for an EORI Number

An EORI number can be obtained through the customs authorities (source: taxation-customs.ec.europa.eu ) of the Member State where the company will first be exporting. Applying* for an EORI number is done online and is free of charge. Once the application has been processed and approved, you'll be notified via email which will include your EORI number along with other important information.

To avoid delays, it's important to submit the paperwork for an EORI number well in advance as the process can take a few days to complete.

The EORI number is valid for the lifetime of your business.

To learn more, visit the EORI section (source: taxation-customs.ec.europa.eu) on the European Commission website.

*Please be aware that Mercury is unable to apply for an EORI number on your behalf. You need to apply via the European country you are looking to sell to.

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