Economic Operator Registration and Identification

07 April 2009

As of 1 July 2009, the EU will “go live” with the new Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) Scheme. If you are approved or wish to be approved as an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) (extremely advisable for future customs transaction) and/or are required to provide pre-arrival/pre-departure information or are involved in the import, export or movement of goods under a transit procedure you will need an EORI number.

The background behind the EORI System

The EORI system is being implemented to enhance security in the European Union.

Council Regulation 648/2005 “The Security Amendment and its Implementing Provisions” provides for:

  • The analysis and electronic exchange of risk information between customs authorities and the European Commission under a common risk management framework.
  • The provision to the customs authorities of pre-arrival and pre-departure information on all goods entering or leaving the customs territory of the European Community.
  • The granting of the status of Authorised Economic Operator to reliable traders.

The EORI scheme will replace the current Trader Unique Reference Number (TURN) system. All UK EORI numbers will start with the letters GB and will usually be followed by a twelve digit number. The issuing of new TURN’s ceased on 31 March 2009 and from April 1 the new EORI registration process commenced for new EO’s and EO’s who have not used their TURN in the last two years.

The purpose of the EORI system is to have one unique identification number for each Economic Operator that should be recognised by all EU customs authorities.

How will these numbers be allocated?

The allocation of EORI numbers will be done in two separate ways

  • EO’s who hold a TURN and have used it in the last two years
  • New EO’s or EO’s who have not used their TURN in the last two years

HMRC will send out a registration notification to those EO’s that qualify for an EORI number from 1 April 2009 detailing their names and addresses, VAT number (if applicable) and the allocated EORI number. These EO’s will not need to apply for their number.

For new EO’s or EO’s who do not automatically qualify for an EORI number there is an application form that can be completed:

  • An electronic copy (C220); or
  • A hard copy version (C220A)

In most cases the EORI application will normally be processed within one working day of receipt by the EORI team and it will take a further day to update the CHIEF and EU EORI systems. (Although note that during April the processing may take longer due to the perceived volume of applications). A customer may be able to use their EORI number 24 hours after receiving notification.

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