An EORI (Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification) number is a European Union registration and identification number used in all customs procedures performed by economic operators. An economic operator is an individual or a business entity that is registered in the EU and is involved in international trade. Every economic operator needs an EORI number to exchange information with the EU customs administrations during trade operations and procedures. An EORI number guarantees a smooth and efficient process of exchanging information with the EU customs authorities. The Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification system has been in place since July 1st, 2009.
Who is eligible to receive an EORI number?
There is a common misconception that only individuals registered as business entities or as legal persons are eligible to receive an EORI number. However, both natural persons and legal persons may receive an EORI number. Natural persons shall receive an EORI number if they engage in trade operations that fall under the EU customs legislation, or if such registration is required by the legislation of the EU Member State.
All business entities, including sole proprietors, need an EORI number to perform trade operations, such as importing and exporting goods or performing transit procedures within the European Union. With trade operations in the EU, the customs authorities use the EORI number to process customs paperwork.
In other cases, individuals may need an EORI number if they are not registered within the customs territory of the EU, and they do not have the status of an economic operator. For example, natural persons, who are not registered as economic operators, must receive an EORI number if the following cases apply:
- An EORI number is required by the national legislation of the EU Member State, where the person is established;
- The person takes part in operations that require an individual to have an EORI number according to the EU customs legislation.