Be prepared - UK businesses may need a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number if the UK leaves the EU with no deal

24th March 2019

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal many UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.


HMRC are therefore advising all businesses, who export or import goods to the EU, that they will need a UK EORI number in order to continue exporting or importing after 11pm on 29 March.


If you are currently exporting to EU countries or importing from EU countries, or indeed believe it may be likely that you will do so, obtaining a UK EORI number would be a sensible precaution.


However, you do not need to apply for a UK EORI number if one of the following apply:

  •         you already have one, because you’ve traded with countries outside of the EU
  •         you’ll only import or export goods with Ireland across the Northern Ireland and Ireland border (HMRC will provide further guidance about the arrangements for trading with Ireland as soon as it can)
  •         you’ll only import or export services that do not involve moving physical goods

Note, however, that if your EORI number does not start with GB, you may also be acquired to reapply but you can continue to use the non-GB number to import and export goods with the EU after the UK leaves the EU for a temporary period.

Finally, we are advising our clients not to delay in applying for an EORI number if required. HMRC are warning that it could take three days to get a UK EORI number and a further 48 hours before you can use your UK EORI number to make declarations using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

In order to obtain a UK EORI number you should follow the steps on the HMRC website and if we can be of any assistance, please contact us.