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The Economic Operators' Registration and Identification System (EORI) was setup as a European Union (EU) wide initiative that helps businesses communicate with customs officials when they are importing and exporting goods. The EORI allows businesses to provide pre-arrival/pre-departure information for goods.

Businesses in the UK are still usually required to hold an EORI number for the movement of goods in the following scenarios:

  • between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man and any other country (including the EU);
  • between Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
  • between Great Britain and the Channel Islands; and
  • between Northern Ireland and countries outside the EU.

Which type of EORI number you need and where you get it from depends on where you are moving goods to and from. You may need more than one. If you move goods to or from Great Britain, you must get an EORI number that starts with GB. Most are then followed by a 12-digit number based on the businesses VAT number. 

You may also need an EORI number starting with XI if you move goods to or from Northern Ireland. If a business is making declarations or applying for a customs decision in the EU, then they may need an EU EORI number from an EU country.

You do not need an EORI number if you are moving goods that are both:

  • not controlled goods; or
  • for personal use only.