Shipping to European Countries: EORI Number Q&A

EORI (Economic Operator Registration Identification) is an EU Customs number and is mandatory for companies and individuals based in any European Union country, if they are planning to import or export goods with countries outside the EU.

europe eori number

If you are based in the EU, and interested in shipping from China, let’s move and take a look at some of the most common questions asked by EU importers.

What is this number used for?

It is used for statistical and security purposes.

EORI numbers are stored both in your country customs and in a central EU database. The customs authorities will easily exchange and share information with government departments and agencies by the number.

Who will need an EORI number?

If you are importing and exporting just between EU countries, you don’t need it.

Disclaim: We’re not familiar with EU inside, so things may change, double check with your local authority.

If you are planning to import from China, or any country beyond EU, you will require the number.

What will happen if I don’t have the number?

The customs will hold your cargo at your port, until you’ve applied for one. However, they will not impose any penalty or destroy the cargo you’ve imported from China or elsewhere.

The best solution is applying for one before your shipment has departed from the country of origin.

I just plan to buy a sample from China, and deliver to me by express courier. Still need it?

Yes, an EORI number is mandatory (specifically to German and Spain) regardless of whether the value is high or low, whether delivered by sea freight, air freight or courier. This means anything anyway into your country, you have to get the number to proceed.

I don’t have a company, is it possible for me to get one?

Yes, you can apply the number as an individual rather than a registered business company. You are not required to register a company in order to perform commercial activity.

How do I apply for an EORI number?

It’s easy, and cost no more than three working days.

The EORI number shall be granted by the customs authorities in which you or your business is based. You can choose apply the number online or by filling in a form that you send by mail or fax. Once it’s done, you can use your unique number every single time you import products.

Do I have to provide my number to my supplier in China?

At most times, no. But a few international couriers start to need the number before they pick up the shipment in China.

Your supplier will ask for it if needed.

How do I check if I am EORI registered?

You can check the validation via this link from European Commission, EORI number validation.

It’s as simple as that: just a number given to importers and exporters throughout the EU countries that can be easily and consistently identified by customs. All you have to do is apply and get your unique number and that’s it.

There is nothing complicated about this at all, but if any information above is unclear or you want to clarify something, please shoot us a message.

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