With the country heading for a no-deal Brexit, it’s important to highlight the importance of EORI numbers (Economic Operator Registration and Identification number).
Previously these numbers have only be relevant for imports and exports of goods (not services) outside the EU. That will change with a no-deal Brexit. Confusingly there will be two types of EORI numbers, a UK EORI number and a EU EORI number. The same business will be able to hold both UK and EU EORI numbers depending on its circumstances.
- If a UK business either exports or imports goods, it will need a UK EORI number.
- An EU EORI number will be needed if a UK business has operations in another EU country and imports stock into that country.
The UK EORI number will no longer be good enough for this purpose after we leave the EU.
An application for an EORI number takes only ten minutes online using this link (and will usually be issued within three working days.
Frank owns a hot dog business and has branches in the UK and Germany. He is VAT registered in both countries, regularly transferring stock from the UK to Germany. Frank will need a UK EORI number to get the goods out of the UK and an EU EORI number to get the goods into Germany because he is acting as importer in Germany and exporter in the UK.
Important point: Frank’s EU EORI number will be valid in all 27 EU countries but the UK EORI number will only be relevant to getting goods into and out of the UK.