Understanding the EORI Number: When You Need It and How to Apply

For businesses engaged in international trade within the European Union (EU), an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number is essential. This article explains when an EORI number is needed, its purpose, and the process for obtaining one, ensuring compliance with EU customs regulations.

What is an EORI Number?

The EORI number is a unique identification number assigned to businesses and individuals involved in customs activities within the EU. It is used for tracking and identifying economic operators across all EU member states and is mandatory for any business or individual that interacts with EU customs authorities.

When is an EORI Number Required?

An EORI number is required in the following situations:

  1. Importing Goods into the EU: Businesses importing goods into the EU from non-EU countries must have an EORI number.
  2. Exporting Goods from the EU: Businesses exporting goods from the EU to non-EU countries are required to use an EORI number.
  3. Customs Declarations: Filing customs declarations for imports, exports, or transit movements within the EU necessitates an EORI number.
  4. Customs Decisions: Applying for customs decisions or authorizations, such as customs simplifications or reliefs, requires an EORI number.
  5. Other Customs-related Activities: Engaging in other customs-related activities, such as moving goods under a customs procedure (e.g., transit, warehousing), also requires an EORI number.

Purpose of the EORI Number

The EORI number serves several critical purposes:

  • Simplifies Customs Procedures: By providing a unique identifier for each economic operator, the EORI number streamlines customs procedures and facilitates the efficient movement of goods across borders.
  • Enhances Security and Compliance: The use of EORI numbers helps customs authorities monitor and regulate international trade, enhancing security and ensuring compliance with customs regulations.
  • Facilitates Data Exchange: The EORI number enables efficient data exchange between customs authorities and other relevant agencies, improving the overall management of customs operations within the EU.

How to Apply for an EORI Number

The process for obtaining an EORI number varies slightly depending on whether the applicant is based within the EU or outside the EU.

For EU-based Businesses

  1. Identify the Competent Authority: Determine which national customs authority is responsible for issuing EORI numbers in the country where your business is established.
  2. Submit an Application: Complete and submit the EORI application form to the relevant customs authority. This can typically be done online through the authority’s website.
  3. Provide Required Documentation: Include necessary documentation with your application, such as proof of business registration and identification documents.
  4. Receive Your EORI Number: Once your application is processed and approved, you will receive your EORI number, which can be used immediately for customs activities.

For Non-EU-based Businesses

  1. Identify the First Point of Entry: Determine the EU member state where your business will first engage in customs activities (e.g., importing goods).
  2. Submit an Application: Complete and submit the EORI application form to the customs authority of the identified member state. This can usually be done online.
  3. Provide Required Documentation: Include necessary documentation, such as proof of business registration and identification documents.
  4. Receive Your EORI Number: After processing and approval, your EORI number will be issued by the customs authority of the first point of entry and will be valid for use across the entire EU.

Practical Tips for Managing EORI Numbers

  • Verify EORI Number Validity: Use the EU’s EORI validation tool to verify the validity of your EORI number or the EORI numbers of your trading partners.
  • Keep Information Updated: Ensure that the information associated with your EORI number is up-to-date. Notify the issuing customs authority of any changes to your business details.
  • Use Consistently: Use your EORI number consistently on all customs declarations and related documents to avoid delays and complications in customs processing.


Obtaining an EORI number is a vital step for businesses engaged in international trade within the EU. It simplifies customs procedures, enhances security and compliance, and facilitates efficient data exchange. By understanding when an EORI number is needed and how to apply for one, businesses can ensure smooth and compliant operations within the EU customs framework.

For personalized guidance on applying for an EORI number and navigating customs regulations, contact us at Our team of experts is ready to assist you with tailored solutions to meet your international trade needs.