Everything you need to know about the EORI number

Read all about the number you need to import here.

The EORI number is central to international trade within the European Union. This unique identification number is needed for companies doing business across borders. Below are the five most important points about the EORI number:

  1. The EORI number is a requirement for companies that trade internationally within the EU.
  2. Intended for both legal entities and natural persons with a company (sole proprietorships).
  3. Depending on your situation, you can compile the EORI number yourself or you must request it from customs​​
  4. ​An EORI number consists of a country code followed by a unique series of numbers.​​​
  5. After Brexit, a specific British EORI number was introduced for trade between the EU and the UK​​

The EORI number facilitates smooth international trade transactions and is indispensable for companies involved in import and export within the European Union. It stands for Economic Operators Registration and Identification and ensures smooth communication with customs authorities.

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What is an EORI number?

An EORI number is a must for every entrepreneur who does business across EU borders. This identification number ensures a smooth exchange of information with customs authorities, making it indispensable for efficient customs processes. Every company that imports or exports goods within the EU needs this number to complete customs formalities. Without an EORI number, companies may face delays and complications when moving goods across borders.

Who needs an EORI number?

All entrepreneurs, both natural persons and legal entities, are obliged to apply for an EORI number if they undertake international trade activities. This number applies to the entire spectrum of businesses, from sole proprietorships to large multinationals. It serves as proof of registration with customs and allows companies to transport their goods across borders without any hassle. Branches of a company use the EORI number of the main branch, which reduces the administrative burden.

Clarifies the application process

The process for applying for an EORI number varies depending on the company and location. In some cases, companies can compile their EORI number themselves, while in other situations an official application to customs is necessary. This process is designed to be as accessible as possible for business owners so they can meet requirements quickly and easily. It is important that sole proprietorships have recently been required to use a new EORI number, separate from their BSN number. 

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The structure of an EORI number

An EORI number consists of a combination of letters and numbers, starting with the country code of the issuing Member State followed by a unique series of numbers. This format guarantees the uniqueness of each number within the European Union. For example, for Dutch companies, the EORI number starts with 'NL', followed by the company's tax number. This structure makes it possible to exchange information quickly and efficiently with customs authorities throughout the EU.

Website of the Tax Authorities (in Dutch)

The British EORI number post-Brexit

After Brexit, it has become necessary for companies trading with the United Kingdom to apply for a specific British EORI number. This number is required for carrying out customs operations with the UK and differs from the European EORI number. Companies operating internationally should be aware of this change and take the necessary steps to comply with customs requirements on both sides of the channel. 


The EORI number plays a fundamental role in the smooth conduct of international trade within the European Union. By providing a unique identification number for each company, it facilitates communication and information exchange with customs authorities. For companies involved in international trade, understanding and obtaining an EORI number is essential to comply with customs requirements and conduct trade transactions efficiently. 

 Are you ready to conquer the international market and accelerate your trade?

  Start applying for or compiling your EORI number today and put your company on the map of international trade. Click here to discover more and start your application! 

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