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UK and EU EORI numbers for Brexit

  • Jan 1, 2021 | Richard Asquith

Businesses moving goods between the UK and EU require an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number from both the UK and EU following Brexit. EORI numbers are unique numbers businesses use to identify themselves to customs authorities report in customs declarations and similar import or export documentation.

Without a valid GB or EU EORI number, your goods will not clear through customs.

Contact Avalara if you require help obtaining a GB or EU EORI. For Northern Ireland XI EORI, there is a separate process.

Get a UK EORI for GB goods movements

If you are importing or exporting into the UK, you will need a ‘GB’ prefixed EORI number. HMRC issued these in 2019 to all the businesses it believed would require one. GB EORI numbers are made up of:

  1. 'GB' prefix
  2. Your UK VAT number
  3. Usually '000' after that

If you have not already received one, contact HMRC. EU businesses may also now apply for one to cover the UK imports.

Apply for EU EORI for imports and exports

UK businesses now need an EU EORI number to import or export from the EU 27 member states. A single number for the whole of the EU may be obtained from any EU member state’s tax authority. Usually this may only be done with a non-resident VAT number application at the same time. Note, UK importers and exporters into the EU will need a customs intermediary and use their EORI number. This is because they are now non-resident within the EU Customs Union.

No-Brexit deal GB EORI numbers

The UK’s HMRC auto-enrolled 88,700 businesses with Economic Operators Registration Identification (EORI) numbers in August 2019 to reduce delays on goods clearance post Brexit.

HMRC estimates that 245,000 UK businesses trade with EU, and therefore require an EORI number after Brexit. Only approximately 145,000 have a VAT number. In 2019, HMRC said approximately 72,000 of this 145,000 have already applied for an EORI.

HMRC took the decision to automatically issue the 88,700 (the balance of the 145,000) with an EORI number to help reduce any customs delays after Brexit. This does mean that the 100,000 without VAT numbers will be missed.

Explore more content like this in our Brexit hub


Need help with your UK VAT compliance?



Researching UK VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: richard.asquith@avalara.com. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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