Insights Back to Insights

Importing and exporting after Brexit: EORI number

<a href='' target='_blank'>North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP)</a>

Created by North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP), 25th September 2019


The UK is set to leave the European Union on Thursday 31 October 2019.

To ensure there is as little disruption as possible, government is encouraging businesses that:

  • Export goods from the UK
  • Import goods into the UK

to apply for an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number.

The factsheet below will provide all the information you need about applying for an EORI number.

What is an EORI number?

An EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification number), is a unique ID number given to businesses that import or export goods within the European Union.

Do I need an EORI number?

If your business exports goods from the UK or imports goods into the UK, you require an EORI number to submit a customs declaration to UK customs.

Most businesses that only move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland will not need an EORI number. Some exclusions do apply, click here to find out more.

What happens if I don’t have an EORI number?

If you do not have one, you may have increased costs and delays at customs. For example, if HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot clear your goods you may have to pay storage fees.

I already have an EORI number. Do I need to do anything?

If the UK exits the European Union on 31 October without a deal, any UK businesses that exports from the UK, or imports goods into the UK, will require an EORI number that starts with GB.

If you already have an EORI number that starts with GB, you can continue to use it. If you do not currently have an EORI number that starts with GB, you will need to apply for a new one.

Is it a complicated process to apply for an EORI number?

No. It takes approximately five to ten minutes to complete the online application and most businesses receive their EORI number straight away.

Some businesses may have to wait up to five working days to receive their EORI number if additional checks are needed by HMRC.

How to I apply for an EORI number?


To complete your application you may need:

  • Your company VAT number and effective date of registration (these are on your VAT registration certificate)
  • Your National Insurance number (if you’re an individual or a sole trader)
  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) (if you don’t know your UTR number, you can find it here).
  • Your business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (both are available in the Companies House register.
  • Government Gateway user ID and password

Where can I find more information about applying for an EORI number?

Visit or access the HMRC Brexit communications resources on

I still have questions about applying for an EORI number. Can I speak to someone?

You can call the government’s EORI team on 0300 322 7067, Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm.

Find out more about preparing your business for Brexit

visit ourVisit our Brexit Toolkit

Chat now

Spinner gif