What is EORI?
EORI, an EU-wide system for the registration and identification of 'economic operators', was introduced in November 2009 (EORI = Economic Operators Registration and Identification System). The EORI number serves as a unique identification number in the completion of customs formalities. It replaces the previous german 'customs number'.
Who needs an EORI number?
Any company which reports import or export transactions to the customs authorities. The duty to indicate the EORI number exists from the very first export or import process.
Private individuals are obliged to state a customs number in case of exports subject to authorisation.
What does the EORI number look like?
The identification number consists of the seven-digit customs number with a two-digit country code in front of it (e.g. DE1234567).
How do you obtain an EORI number?
For all those who have a customs number the EORI identification number is generated automatically. The EORI master data (which corresponds to the ATLA master data) is saved in the central EU database. In accordance with data protection regulations the economic operator has to provide written permission for this. All those with a customs number have been informed about this by the customs authorities in the form of a letter which requests their approval.
Companies which have not been contacted by the customs authorities or wish to apply for a customs number for the first time should fill out Form 0870 and send it to IWM Zoll (Carusufer 3-5, 01099 Dresden). Further information and Form is available here.
Significance of the EORI number
Since 10 March 2012 the EORI number has been mandatory for customs processing in cross-border shipping. In all cases where the relevant EU guidelines specify that the EORI number should be used – for example for drawing up export accompanying documents (EADs) and transit documents (T1 or T2), or for clearing import shipments (e.g. in the case of returns or collection requests) from third countries to the EU –, customs processing will not be possible without a valid EORI number.
You can find out here if an EORI number has already been generated for your company.