When you book a freight forwarder to take care of shipping your goods, one of the pieces of information you’ll be asked for is an EORI number. Let’s take a look at what it is, how to get one, and why it’s so essential:
What is an EORI number?
An EORI is basically a number assigned to importers and exporters, which allows the government to track what is being traded between EU and non-EU countries. At the moment, the UK is still part of the EU, so trade to or from other EU countries doesn’t require an EORI number. Obviously, this situation will change when the UK leaves the European Union under Brexit.
What is it used for?
It’s primarily used during customs processes, to monitor what is being imported and exported, where goods are coming from/going to, and who is doing the importing/exporting. Your freight forwarder will provide this number on your behalf when making the required customs declarations.
What if I don’t have one?
If goods come to the UK without an EORI number attached, they simply won’t clear customs. Your goods will be held until you supply the proper paperwork – with no exceptions – which could mean that you’re hit with a big storage charge. A good freight forwarder won’t allow this to happen. They will always ask for an EORI number if it’s required, and won’t attempt to arrange shipping without one.
How do I get one?
Applying for an EORI number is straightforward. There’s a simple form that you can fill out online at www.gov.uk/eori. The form you need to fill out depends on whether you’re registered for VAT, and whether you’re importing or exporting. You should receive your number by email within three working days of applying, so, even if you don’t have one yet, it shouldn’t hold up your shipping plans too much.
If you’ve got any questions about whether you require an EORI number, or you need any assistance applying for one, our helpful agents at John Good Logistics are just a phone call away.