Apply for an EORI Number

EORI Numbers: A Quick Guide

24th February 2023, 2:02pm in Business by Amy Newham

You may already be familiar with them, you might already have one, or you’ve never heard of them before. That's right- it's EORI numbers!

EORI numbers might sound complicated, but they’re easy to apply for and essential for international shipping.

If you’re planning on trading with the European Union (EU), this article aims to demystify EORI numbers, explain who needs one, and how to register for one online.

What is an EORI number used for?

EORI number required for commercial invoice

EORI number, short for ‘Economic Operators Registration and Identification Number’, has been around since 2009. It is a unique 12-digit reference number used by EU customs authorities to identify a company importing or exporting goods. However, since the UK left the EU in 2021, all businesses or individual sellers (based in Great Britain) wishing to trade with the EU must provide a valid EORI number starting with GB on customs invoices.

Do I need one?

If you intend to sell goods from Great Britain to the EU, you need your GB-series EORI number. Your business might have already received one from the government in the post, in which case, you don’t need to do anything. If you haven’t received one or you’re a new business looking to grow internationally, you will need to apply.

However, if you are a private individual sending parcels abroad for personal use, for example, a birthday gift, you’re not required to provide an EORI number.

Where do I include the EORI number?

If you’re selling to a customer in the EU, you need to include your EORI number on the commercial invoice. You will also need to supply the receiver’s EORI number if you’re sending a parcel to a business address to pass through customs.

We’ve integrated customs documentation into the booking process so you can complete all required fields in one place. We won’t let you complete your booking without supplying one, so you can be confident you're filling in the form correctly.

How much does an EORI number cost?

It is completely free to apply for an EORI number. However, if you try to import or export goods to Europe without one you will incur significant fees.

How do I get one?

Apply online for an EORI number

Applying for an EORI number is free and straightforward. You can register online at GOV.UK, and you will usually receive your GB EORI number immediately. If you think you already have one, you can check the validity using the handy EORI number validator or contact the HMRC EORI team.

If you move goods to and from Northern Ireland, you might need to apply for an additional EORI number starting with ‘XI’. Once you have your GB EORI number, you’ll need to complete a separate XI EORI registration form.

Without an EORI number, you won’t be able to import or export goods from the UK to the European Union, and you could face fines, delays, and potential customs storage fees- so don’t risk it!

If you’re looking for further guidance, our dedicated EORI page includes a complete FAQ section and information to assist. To report a change of circumstances or to get help with existing EORI numbers, get in touch with HMRC.

Parcel delivery services to Europe

Other popular sending articles

We understand that sending parcels for the first time, especially abroad, can feel a little daunting. That's why, we want our business customers and individual senders to have all the information they need on sending parcels domestically and internationally. Below our some useful articles to help you get started:

You can browse our full range of articles in our blog.

How Interparcel can help to grow your business

Sign up to Interparcel to access several free business tools and account features, designed to streamline parcel delivery and grow your business. With helpful tools like Branded Tracking and Bulk Collection, you can scale your shipping strategy in order to fulfil your business growth. Here are just some of the many benefits of using Interparcel to ship your parcels to Europe:

  • Automatic address correction: no more incorrect addresses
  • Multi-channel fulfilment: collate orders from multiple eCommerce platforms into one place
  • 'Send Again' and 'Return Parcel' actions: to streamline repeat and return orders
  • Parcel Presets: save parcel details for speedier sending on future orders
  • Branded Tracking: customise your own branded tracking portal and obtain a unique URL
  • Unlimited no-cost printing options: print your 6x4 shipping labels and A4 documents directly to your printer
  • Customer service: customer support is available seven days a week via telephone, email, live chat and social media
  • Bulk shipping: consolidate several international orders into one large shipping box at a lower cost

Please note: Interparcel does not claim to be financial, legal or customs experts. This blog post is for informational use only, and you should always carry out your own research to verify the accuracy of this content. Please note: the information above may be subject to change. For more information, please visit the official government website.

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