VATLive > Blog > EU VAT > UK HMRC auto-enrols traders with EORI numbers for Brexit

UK HMRC auto-enrols traders with EORI numbers for Brexit

  • Aug 21, 2019 | Richard Asquith

The UK’s HMRC has announced today it will auto-enrol 88,700 businesses with Economic Operators Registration Identification (EORI) numbers to reduce delays on goods clearance post Brexit.

Following the UK’s departure from the EU and Customs Union on 31 October 2019, any businesses moving goods between the UK and EU27 will require an EORI number. This unique identifier must be shown on customs declarations documents to help customs authorities track the disclosure and payment of applicable customs duties and import VAT.

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. To date, HMRC says approximately 72,000 of this 145,000 have already applied for an EORI.

HMRC has now taken 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.

Obtaining an EORI number is only the first step for UK businesses trading goods with the EU. Other issues include:

  • Deciding how to complete customs declarations for the first time – self-prepare or use the services of a customs agent
  • Applying for customs declarations and import VAT reporting deferment by HMRC’s Transitional Simplified Procedure (TSP) scheme

UK exporters require new EU EORI number

The European Commission has already made clear that UK exporters will need to apply for a new EU EORI post-Brexit. Their existing EORI's will no longer be valid since the UK is no longer a member of the EU's Customs Union.

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: He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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