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New rules for businesses that trade with Europe - EORI

New rules for businesses that trade with Europe have arrived. This means that since 1 January 2021, all businesses that move goods between Great Britain and countries in the EU, or under the Northern Ireland Protocol, need to follow new customs and tax rules.

We’re here to help you understand what the changes mean for your business and have provided links to where you can find more information and support.

What is an EORI number, and why do I need one?

You must have an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB if you wish to move goods between Great Britain or the Isle of Man, and other countries. Without it you will not be able to complete your customs declarations and you may experience increased costs and delays.

You will also need a separate EORI number that starts with XI if you:

  • move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries (including Great Britain)

  • make a declaration in Northern Ireland

  • get a customs decision in Northern Ireland.

To get an EORI number that starts with XI, you must already have an EORI number that starts with GB.

An EORI number consists of two parts, the country code followed by a unique code or number. If you already have an EORI number and it does not start with GB you will need to apply for a new one.

If you don’t have an EORI number that starts with GB or XI for Northern Ireland, you can register for free on GOV‌‌‌.UK. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply and you will normally receive it in under a week.

How do you classify your goods, and how do you prove their origin?

We recommend that you hire a customs intermediary to help you ensure your goods are classified correctly. This is because if you do not classify your goods correctly or if you do not accurately record the origin of the goods in your customs declaration, you may be charged the wrong amount of tax or duty.

Can you delay your customs declarations?

If you import goods from the EU into Great Britain that are not on the controlled goods list, and they are moving from EU free circulation to GB free circulation, you may be able to delay import declarations for up to 175 days after import.

You can do this by making a record of the imported goods in your commercial records at the time of import and you don’t need to get authorisation in advance. You will need to send HMRC full information about your goods in a supplementary declaration within 175 days of your goods arriving in Great Britain. You must get authorisation from HMRC before you submit supplementary declarations and we recommend that you apply for this as soon as possible.

If you decide to get someone else to deal with your customs declarations for you, they’ll be able to do this for you using their own authorisation.

You must still apply and be authorised for a duty deferment account to pay any duties owed on goods by monthly direct debit, even if your goods do not attract customs or excise duty. You need to have set this up before you complete your supplementary declaration. Even if you choose to use a customs intermediary, they may ask you to get your own duty deferment account.

We would appreciate it if you uploaded your EORI number to the client portal so we have a record of this on our systems.

We will continue to provide support to you and our community to help with the new adjustments and rules as much as we can, keeping you informed and where to find the support.


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