Make Sure You Have an EORI Number to avoid EU Shipping Delays

Make Sure You Have an EORI Number to avoid EU shipping delays

Since 1st July 2009 European Union legislation has required that all member states adopt the Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) scheme.


With certain exceptions (e.g. diplomatic missions) this means that anyone who imports, exports or ships goods through any of the 27 countries making up the EU must have a unique EORI reference number. This number must be quoted in all electronic communications with customs and other government agencies.

Companies can only register in one EU country, so the most practical way to do this is to apply for the relevant number in the first country in which such a shipment is to be made.

The time involved in completing the actual registration process can vary significantly and the EORI registration process is not exactly the same in every country (click here for an overview), e.g. in certain countries such as Germany and the Netherlands the importer must also be a resident of the EU.

Not having the required EORI number on the relevant customs declarations may result in clearance delays; which can range from several days to six weeks depending on the country involved.

So please help us to help you by:

  • Making sure that you have your own EORI number; and
  • Always quoting it on your shipping documentation

whenever you arrange shipments to, from or through EU countries;

You can find further details in the relevant EU EORI guidelines or on the EU Commission website.