UK businesses trading with the EU will need a UK EORI number to continue trading in the event that Britain exits the EU without a deal. Kenny Logan outlines what is involved in this no cost application.
With only two months until the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU, it is still tough for most people and businesses in the UK to know how best to prepare. We don’t have a Brexit crystal ball either, but one nil cost action which regular shippers to European countries should undertake is to obtain an EORI number.
Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers have always been required to trade with non EU countries but without some form of deal they will be required for trade with EU countries too from March 29th.
There is no cost to apply for an EORI and they should be supplied by email within three days of applying. However, there will doubtless be a lot of demand the closer we get to departure, so we recommend applying for yours now if you haven’t already got one.
This guidance is relevant to businesses that are established in Great Britain, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and import to or export from the EU. If you fall into this category and do not have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, you should register for one now.
However, if you only import or export goods with Ireland across the Northern Ireland–Ireland land border, you do not need to take any of the actions set out here.
UK businesses trading goods outside the UK
• You do need a UK EORI number to trade goods into or out of the UK.
• Apply to be authorised for customs simplifications.
• If you plan to continue to trade with the EU after 29 March 2019, and you do not already have an EORI number, you should register for one now.
How to register for an EORI number
If you’re VAT-registered you should complete the electronic application for Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) form with HMRC. If you are not VAT-registered, there is an alternative form that you should complete.
• If you’re an importer (including if you import and export) use the imports application for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
• If you export only use the exports application for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
When you receive your EORI number, please always use it when contacting HMRC about customs.
Information you’ll need to apply for an EORI number
If you are VAT registered and are using the EORI form for VAT registered traders, you’ll need your VAT registration number and the name under which your business is registered for VAT.
If you’re not VAT-registered and are using the EORI import or EORI export form, you’ll need to have the following information at hand before registering:
• An address in the United Kingdom.
• An email address.
• Your date of birth.
• Your National Insurance number.
For businesses that are partnerships, you will need to provide the following information for each individual partner:
• Date of birth.
• The National Insurance number for each individual partner.
For businesses that are registered as a company you’ll need the following:
• Company Registration Number.
• Company incorporation date, the date your company came into being.
• Country of incorporation, for example, the United Kingdom.
If you’re a registered charity, you’ll need the following:
• Your registered charity number.
• Country of registration, for example, the United Kingdom.
If your business has a parent or holding company, they must apply for you.
After you’ve registered
You’ll get your EORI number by email, usually within 3 working days. You will need this number to apply to be authorised for customs simplifications. You’ll also need this number for software to submit declarations from 11pm GMT on 29 March.
Obviously HMRC wants to ensure that traders have access to the right authorisations ahead of 29 March to ensure trade can keep flowing. They will be publishing further information specifically for importers, exporters, carriers and port operators who trade with the EU through roll on roll off locations. This will include new and temporary easements to support continued trade fluidity at these locations.
But regardless of what happens in this period of uncertainty and turmoil, we would highly recommend that regular shippers to European countries should undertake the simple action of obtaining an EORI number now.