EORI stands for “Economic Operators Registration and Identification”. The EORI number starts with a country code (the Member State which grants the number) and a code or number that is unique.
All operators dealing with EU Customs have to obtain such an EORI number. It has to be applied for in one single EU Member State and will be used as well as recognized by all Customs Authorities of the EU countries.
EU based businesses have to apply for the EORI number in their own Member State of establishment. The non-EU operators must submit their application file to the Customs Authorities in the Member State in which they intend to perform their first importation/exportation.
It is possible to check the validity of an EORI number by means of the online database of the Commission.
It is important to keep in mind that the EORI number has to be connected to the VAT number(s) of the operator. In case the business holds VAT numbers in different Member States, each of them must be communicated to the Customs Authorities. This is also applicable where an operator who already holds an EORI number registers for VAT in an additional Member State: the list of the VAT numbers connected to the EORI number has to be updated.
Many practical difficulties occur (e.g. additional delay in the customs clearance, difficulties in making use of the postponed accounting for VAT) due to the fact that the EORI is not linked to one or several VAT numbers. In order to avoid major difficulties with future importations or exportations, it is therefore recommended to contact the Customs Authorities in order to verify whether the list of the connected VAT numbers is still accurate.
Should you wish to, we can check this on your behalf. We can also assist you in applying for an EORI number if you do not have any yet. In case you are interested, please contact [email protected].