Prepare for Brexit – EORI numbers

With effect from 31 December 2020, the UK will leave the EU Single Market and Common Customs Area. Henceforth, goods being acquired from the EU will be treated as imports and goods being dispatched to the EU will be treated as exports.

Whereas companies which already trade globally will be familiar with the procedure of imports and exports, this is likely to be new territory for businesses which have only ever previously traded within the EU Single Market.

An EORI number is essential to import goods to the UK. It enables the shipper to clear the goods through Customs on behalf of the importer.

  • Companies that wish to import goods from the EU (or the rest of the world) will need a UK issued EORI number.
  • Existing UK issued EORIs will remain valid for UK imports.
  • EORI numbers which have previously been issued to UK companies by HM Revenue & Customs and are currently used to clear goods to the EU Single Market will no longer be valid. It will be necessary to obtain an EU EORI instead through an EU subsidiary or VAT registration.
  • Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, NI will remain within the customs territory of the EU for intra-EU trade (eg with Republic of Ireland). UK companies trading from or with NI will require two new EORI prefixes. XI will apply for trade between NI and the EU. XU will apply for NI-GB trade.


4 Eyes Ltd will apply for a UK EORI on your behalf. Our EU network is able to assist companies requiring EU VAT registrations and can also apply for local EORI numbers where required.



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