EORI Numbers for EU Importers: Questions & Answers

Posted on 12 Comments

EORI Numbers for EU Importers

An EORI number (abbreviation for Economic Operator Registration and Identification) is assigned to businesses importing products to the EU. In this guide, we explain what an EORI is used for, how to apply for an EORI number, EORI applications for non-EU companies, processing time, and more.

What is an EORI number?

An EORI number is used for all customs-related matters, such as customs declaration forms. EORI numbers can also be used when applying for import permits and licenses.

An EORI number consists of an ISO country code (EU member state) and a maximum of 15 digits. For a German company, it can look like this: DE5512345678.

Do I need an EORI number for each shipment?

No, you don’t need a new EORI number for each shipment. You will be assigned a single EORI number for your company after applying. As such, you apply only once for each company.

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Do I need an EORI number when importing from China?

Yes, you need to apply for an EORI number from China, just as you need an EORI number when importing from any country. Imports in this case refer to shipments from outside the EU, not within the EU.

In which country should I apply for an EORI number?

You should apply for an EORI number in the country you import products to. For example, a company importing products to the Netherlands should apply for an EORI number with the Customs Administration of the Netherlands.

Do Amazon sellers need to apply for an EORI number?

Yes, Amazon sellers – regardless of whether your company is based in the EU or outside – must apply for an EORI number before importing products into the EU.

Can non-EU companies obtain an EORI number?

Yes, non-EU companies can obtain EORI numbers. However, the processing time can be up to a week. Further, non-EU companies should apply for an EORI number in the country where they intend to import their products.

For example, if our Hong Kong-based company would ship cargo to a warehouse in the Netherlands, we’d also need to apply for an EORI number there.

How much does it cost to obtain an EORI number?

It doesn’t cost anything to obtain an EORI number. The application is free, and there is no annual or other cost involved.

What may happen if I don’t have an EORI number?

The customs authorities are quite likely to hold your cargo until you’ve applied for one. However, they will not impose any penalty or destroy the cargo you’ve imported from China or elsewhere. Yet, you will have to cover additional storage costs in the port – which can set you back at least 50 EUR per day.

I plan to get my products delivered by Air Freight, do I still need to apply?

Yes, an EORI number is mandatory regardless of whether you’re getting your imported products delivered by ocean, air or railway.

Do I need an EORI number when buying product samples?

Yes, the EORI number requirement also applies if you’re buying product samples from a Chinese supplier. You’re still required to apply for an EORI number in advance.

We have received reports of the customs withholding product samples until an EORI application has been processed.

Do my suppliers need to declare my EORI number on the export cartons?

No, the customs authorities check the cargo consignee (that’s the company receiving the cargo). As long as your supplier sends the cargo to the right consignee the customs authorities can find out whether or not your company is registered in their database.

We’re established in several EU states, is one EORI number enough?

Yes, your EORI number can be used in all other EU member states. As such, you don’t need to apply in all member states.

How do I apply for an EORI number?

You can apply online with the national customs authorities in the member state that you are located in – or first intend to import products to. You can follow the links in the list below to find more information about EORI number application in each individual EU member state, and the UK:

Hong long does it take to get an EORI number?

The processing time differs depending on the member state, and where your company is located. For example, an online EORI number application in Sweden (for local companies) can be processed in only an hour. However, non-Swedish companies need to wait up to 5 days.

Can I check if I have an EORI number?

Yes, you can search this database to find out if a company has an EORI number.

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  • 12 Responses to “EORI Numbers for EU Importers: Questions & Answers

    1. Max at 10:09 pm

      Dear Fredrik,

      You mentioned in the article that we could ignore this section about the EORI if we are not based in the EU. Could you please elaborate on that?
      As our company is in Malaysia and we want to export goods from here to the EU. We don’t have a company in the EU but we have registered our trademark there. Do we still need an EORI number to export to the EU?

      Also, do we need to apply for a customs bond if we want to export to the USA? Our goods does not exceed $2500 per shipment.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:03 am

        Hi Max,

        This article was written several years ago so it may be outdated now.

    2. Julie Hubbad at 12:51 am

      I have a shipment leaving China for the Uk in a week. I can’t get my EORI number until I receive my UTR number, this is slowing down my application. My shipment will set sail before I receive my EORI for the LTD company. I am using a freight forwarder, will my shipment be held up in China waiting for my EORI number or can it set sail, as do I only require this in time for the landing of the shipment in the UK?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:29 am

        Hi Julie,

        I think the main risk is that your cargo will be held up upon arrival in the UK without an EORI number, not in China. That said, should be enough time to get an EORI before arrival. Should just take a few days.

    3. Sina at 1:47 am

      Dear Mr. Fredrik

      We have started registering a company in Portugal. Our activity will be import & export from EU to the middle East or sth like these.
      Do we need to get an EURI number or Fiscal code (NIF) is enough for our main goals?

      Thanks and best regards,

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:44 pm

        Hi Sina,

        All importers need an EORI number

    4. Francesco at 12:50 pm

      Hello i have a question, i have my eori number , not vat registered, i ll import soon stuff from china to uk, ( where my company is ) , i ll make around 100 watches and let s say the cost should be around 700 pounds . How can i use the eori? Where should i write it ? Is there any possibility that custom stops my stuff and i have to pay to releas it , even with the eori number? Thanks

      1. ChinaImportal at 3:28 pm

        Hi Francesco,

        I think the customs authorities will be able to link the receiver (importing company) with the EORI number on their own.

        That said, they may stop the goods and request proof of the customs value, like an invoice.

    5. Caiying at 4:12 am


      We are a Chinese company wants to export goods to the U.K. The agents in the local told us that we have to apply an EORI number first. However, we are concerned that there might be risks if we give out our company info. .
      1. Are there any potential risks if we let the agents help us to apply an EORI number?
      2. Can we apply an EORI number all by ourselves? How?
      3. Any suggestions for us?


    6. abdel at 11:23 pm

      Hello Frederik

      The plan is to send goods to amazon.com we will be using DHL as a freight forwarder.
      The goods will be send first to be inspected and labeling etc… by fbainspection.com
      so my question is
      will i require a U.S. based Ultimate Consignee and their EIN #. and how can id get it

      thank you

    7. abdel at 3:02 pm

      Hello Frederik

      I live in Belgium and we want to buy goods and import them in the USA where it will be sold do i need a LLC and EORI number,,?


      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 6:28 pm

        Hello Abdel,

        You need either a US entity (e.g. LLC or Corporation) or a representative in the US. However, EORI is only used in the EU, not US. That said, there are plenty of other things to consider when opening a US company, and importing into the states. I suggest you contact an incorporation agency.

    Comments are closed.

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