If you've been sending shipments overseas, you've probably come across what's called an EORI number. EORI is a short-form for Economic Operator Registration and Identification. This is a replacement for what was previously, the Trader Unique Reference Number (TURN) effective from July 1, 2009. Quite a number of the features of TURN were incorporated within EORIs including the format of the registration number itself.
HMRC assigns EORI numbers to importers and exporters and is used for the identification process during custom entry declarations and clearance for goods being imported or exported.
This applies to countries within the EU as well as overseas.
If you're planning to import or export from or to countries outside of the EU, having an EORI is mandatory. Since November 2013, you're legally required to have an EORI number when dealing with businesses in following countries also:
VAT registered companies will see their EORI number as an extension of their VAT number itself, usually prefixed by a "˜GB'.
As per the HMRC website : "The implementation of EORI will ensure that the measures to enhance security introduced by the Security Amendment (Council Regulation 648/2005) and its Implementing Provisions will be more effective if EOs could be identified by reference to a common number unique to each EO within the EU."
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