The Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification number (or EORI) is an identification number used for customs clearance throughout the European Union. It came into force on July 1st 2009. Do not confuse it with the VAT identification number which is required by businesses involved in intra-community commerce.

If you are established in the European Union and you plan to import physical goods into the EU as an economic operator, you need to apply for an EORI number in the Member State where you are a regular resident.

Occasionally importing goods (less than ten times a year) does not trigger a requirement for registration though. Businesses established outside of the EU generally do not need to apply for an EORI number unless they intend to act as declarant or carrier.

The EORI number is provided as evidence to your tax authority that the import VAT has been paid. You should therefore ensure that the number is valid.

As soon as you obtain the EORI number from your trading partner in the EU or in the UK, you should check that their details match public records. You can validate numbers with the respective government websites.

Check an EU EORI Number

The Taxation and Customs Union section of the European Commission’s website offers a free EORI number validation tool where you can easily check a number’s records. Enter a EORI number in the form and, if valid, the tool will display records associated with the number including the name and address.

EU EORI number validation tool by the European Commission
EU EORI number validation tool by the European Commission

Check a GB EORI Number

A business also needs a valid GB EORI number to move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and other countries. They also need one to move goods from Northern Ireland to non-EU countries. A GB EORI number starts with ‘GB’ followed by 12 or 15 numbers.

The UK government website also offers an equally simple tool to validate GB EORI numbers online.

GB EORI number validation tool by GOV.UK
GB EORI number validation tool by GOV.UK

Validate Automatically With an API

In today’s world of online commerce, your system may need to check EORI numbers instantly to automate due diligence. Our REST API is designed for exactly that. You can validate both EU and GB EORI numbers through our API and immediately obtain a trader’s business information such as name and address.

When querying EORI numbers, be sure to set the type parameter in the body of your POST request to either eu_eori or gb_eori.

A JSON response for EORI number GB029042343000 will look like this:

  "active": true,
  "address": {
    "line_2": null,
    "line_3": null,
    "line_4": null,
    "city": "WEST DRAYTON",
    "country_code": "GB",
    "postal_code": "UB7 0BD",
    "state": null
  "company_address": null,
  "company_name": "OMEGASPAREPARTS",
  "company_type": null,
  "consultation_number": null,
  "country_code": "GB",
  "created": "2023-09-10T13:56:08.419Z",
  "external_id": null,
  "id": "64fdcaf63eb8ea3465c99088",
  "query": "GB029042343000",
  "requested": "2023-09-10T13:56:07.000Z",
  "type": "gb_eori",
  "updated": "2023-09-10T13:56:08.419Z",
  "valid": true,
  "valid_format": true,
  "vat_number": null