Trading after Brexit: What is an EORI number and why do I need one?

The Government has written to more than 145,000 VAT-registered businesses across the UK, explaining the potential changes to customs, excise and VAT in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Among these changes is the requirement to register for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. Without one, businesses will unlikely be able to continue trading after 29 March 2019.

Below we’ll explain what an EORI number is, and how to register for one if you haven’t already.

What is an EORI number?

EORI numbers are currently used by businesses who trade with the rest of the world (not including the EU). Up until now, agreements between EU member states mean that an EORI number is not required.

However, if the UK were to leave the EU with no deal in place, UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

How to register an EORI number

Before registering, businesses should check whether they already have a valid EORI number. To do this, either ask your advisor or follow the below steps:

  1. Input the VAT registration number into the checker here with ‘GB’ as a prefix (where the VAT registration number was issued in the UK, if this was another EU country, then the relevant ISO code of the country that granted the number should be used) and ‘000’ afterwards.
  2. This will detail if the EORI number is valid or not. If it is then the company doesn’t need to take any further action as they already have an EORI number.

If you do not have a valid number, your business can apply for one here. Note – the form to use depends on whether you are VAT registered or not. The process should take about three working days and the contact email address should receive an email confirming this.

Get help today

If you need help registering for an EORI number, or require urgent advice on preparing for all possible Brexit outcomes, please get in touch with our expert team.