EORI number in UK: GB and XI
- Topic: customs clearance
What is EORI number?
An Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is a unique identification number assigned by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to an economic operator or to another person in order to track and register customs information in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK).
In other words, persons planning to import or export goods into or from the customs territory of the UK or to carry out other customs-related activities, e.g., apply for a customs decision, should have the EORI number in order to be identified by customs authorities for the above-mentioned purposes.
An EORI number consists of letter and digit parts. In the case of importing or exporting goods to or from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) the required EORI number begins with the GB prefix. The EORI number for Northern Ireland starts with the XI prefix. Digits in an EORI number indicate a unique code or number used in the UK, e.g., the VAT number of the economic operator.
Who should obtain EORI number?
Any UK-based company involved in customs-related activities, as well as a person moving goods for commercial use through the customs border of the UK, needs an EORI number. In particular, an EORI number is required to move goods between:
- GB and the EU or other counties outside the EU,
- GB and Northern Ireland,
- GB and the Channel Islands,
- Northern Ireland and countries outside the EU.
Economic operators who are not based in the UK may also apply for an EORI number.
Moreover, an economic operator may need more than one EORI number: to move goods to or from Northern Ireland, in addition to a GB EORI number, a XI EORI number may be required.
When is EORI number used?
Customs authorities require an EORI number in the case of:
- appointment of another person to deal with customs,
- making customs declarations,
- using customs systems,
- applying for a customs decision.
How to obtain EORI number?
The procedure of getting an EORI number in the UK depends on the type of EORI number (GB or XI). In order to obtain an EORI number that begins with the GB prefix, an online application is required. The application for a GB EORI number is mandatory before requesting an XI EORI number. It takes up to 5 working days to get an EORI number. An EORI number is issued by HMRC free of charge.
Validation of EORI number
An EORI number beginning with GB can be validated using the HRMC service:
An EORI number beginning with XI can be validated using the European Commission service:
- Market: EU - European Union UK - United Kingdom
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