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VAT – How to apply for an EORI number

EORI Number

Why do you need an EORI number

You need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man, and other countries. You may also need a separate EORI number if you move goods to or from Northern Ireland.

If you already have an EORI number and it does not start with GB you will need to apply for a new one.

If you move goods to or from the EU

You will need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain and the EU.

If you only provide services the you may not need to have one.

You’ll need an EORI number from an EU country if your business will be making declarations or getting a customs decision in the EU. Get this from the customs authority in the EU country where you submit your first declaration or request your first decision.

If you move good to or from Northern Ireland

You need an EORI number that starts with XI to:

  • move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries (including Great Britain)
  • make a declaration in Northern Ireland
  • get a customs decision in Northern Ireland

To get an EORI number that starts with XI, you must already have an EORI number that starts with GB.

Further information about EORI numbers starting with XI, GB or from other EU countries can be found on the HMRC website.

Before you apply you will need the following:
  • VAT number and effective date of registration (if you’re VAT registered) – these are on your VAT registration certificate
  • National Insurance number – if you’re an individual or a sole trader
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – find your UTR if you do not know it
  • business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code – these are in the Companies House register
  • Government Gateway user ID and password
 Apply for an EORI number

Use the dedicated HMRC service to apply for an EORI number that starts with GB.


Once your application has been submitted, you will be issued with your EORI number. This is usually done straight away however it may take a few extra days if you have applied for an EORI number starting with XI, or HMRC need to make more checks.

You can check the status of an application you have already made.

You may have to wait 48 hours to use your EORI number for either:

  • customs declarations in the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system
  • entry summary declarations in the Import Control System Northern Ireland (ICS NI)


Do you need assistance with your VAT Registration or application for an EORI number? Complete our enquiry form now.

Contact us now or e-mail us at  enquiries@onyx.accountants for a FREE no obligation consultation.

Got any questions or queries? Our friendly team of tax specialists are happy to help. Just drop us a line! Call us on 0121 753 5522 or 01902 759 800.


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