EORI – Economic Operator Registration Information
What is it?
EORI Economic Operator Registration Information – you may have heard of it before. In the UK & EU anyone involved in commercial imports, that is a company or individual, purchasing goods with a view to re-sell or to make use of as part of a business, will be required to be registered as an Economic Operator. This registration is with both a national Customs authority and with the main EU database.
Why do I need it?
Importer activity needs to be defined. It is required even if your goods are only going to be used temporarily in the UK/EU so for example exhibitions.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, if you’re a private individual buying some goods for your own use only then you do not need to be EORI registered. An EORI number is not required for imported goods sent by any entity travelling under foreign Carnet.
Whay if the importer is already VAT registered, do they need an EORI as well?
Yes, for importers with a VAT number and not already EORI registered (you can check on the link below). Customs will register it as an EORI , it will have the same format so GB123456789 but with an additional three zeros at the end. It will now be valid for both import and export activities by any mode of transport.
How long will it take to be registered?
If you’re not already VAT registered it may be longer, as Customs may have further questions as part of the process. VAT registered importers should be a bit quicker.
HMRC official timelines are that it should take within 5 working days. Recently an importer applied to Customs for an EORI and it took 7 working days. It appears that this is likely due to workload with Customs and may be a lot busier at times.
Can I reclaim VAT paid on import?
Only fully VAT registered importers can reclaim VAT.
Can I ask for assistance to apply?
Applications can only be made by those requesting it, so you can’t get a third party to apply. As you can imagine that could be open to abuse – so Customs require you to complete this process.
In the event imports have difficulties they can seek assistance from their freight forwarder.