Economic Operators' Registration and Identification System (EORI)

Background to EORI system

The basic purpose of EORI is to establish a system whereby every trader who interacts with Customs Authorities in any Member State of the EU is allocated a unique reference number. This reference number will be valid throughout the EU and will serve as a common reference number for the trader’s interaction with the Customs Authorities of any Member State. The number will have to be used by traders in all customs declarations with effect from 1 July 2009. It will also be used for the exchange of information between the Customs authorities of the EU, and where appropriate, between Customs and other authorities e.g. statistical authorities.

In order to minimise disruption to traders, Revenue has decided to align the EORI number to the VAT number to avoid a situation whereby traders would need to make significant adjustments to their own internal electronic systems.

How will EORI work?

The EORI system has two separate and distinct elements to it, one at national or Member State level and one at EU level.

  1. National EORI system
    At national level, each Customs Authority assigns a unique identifying number (the EORI number) to each trader who interacts with Customs. Traders are required from 1 July 2009 to use this number in all customs declarations lodged by them or on their behalf, irrespective of the Member State in which those declarations are lodged. This number is valid for use in all Member States.
  2. Central EU EORI database
    Revenue will be obliged to provide details to the European Commission of all those traders who have been assigned an EORI number. These details will be held on a central EU database maintained by the European Commission, which will also contain similar information provided by the other 26 Member States. Updates to Revenue’s national EORI database will be advised to the central EU database at regular intervals.
    The central EU database will also have a public facing feature which will allow third parties to view certain limited details of all EORI registered traders (i.e. EORI number, name and address). This is primarily to facilitate a situation where the third party will be carrying out some customs activity (such as making a customs declaration) on behalf of a trader and needs to know the EORI number. However, access by a third party to the database will only be allowed in circumstances where a trader has given specific and informed written consent to publication of those details. Revenue will approach the matter on the basis that no information in relation to an Irish trader will be published unless the trader has specifically advised Revenue to the contrary.

Structure of EORI number

All Irish EORI numbers will be prefaced with the prefix IE. In line with the decision to align the EORI number with the VAT number, the vast majority of EORI numbers will be equivalent to the trader’s VAT number. This will mean that for the vast majority of traders, the EORI number that they will be inserting in import and export declarations will be exactly the same as their current VAT number with the prefix IE
For instance a trader with a VAT number IE 1234567 currently inserts "VAT 1234567" in customs declarations (the IE is not required). The position with effect from 1 July 2009 is that the trader will have been issued with an EORI number which is exactly the same as the current VAT number but, rather than insert "VAT 1234567" on the customs declaration, the trader will insert "IE 1234567".

Use of EORI number in declarations

Currently traders normally quote either C & E numbers or VAT numbers on electronic declarations. The introduction of the EORI system may mean that they will need to upgrade their software to provide for the insertion of the EORI number rather than the numbers currently used. Software providers have already been advised of this requirement and detailed specifications for the various Customs applications are available on Revenue's website.
The EORI number will have to be used in boxes 2, 8 and 14 of the SAD declaration. However, it should be noted that the EORI number will not replace the Accounting reference number (box 48) which governs the payment of duties and taxes.
It will no longer be possible for EORI registered traders, from 1 July 2009, to use any other Revenue number in boxes 2, 8 or 14 and declarations in which any other number is used in these boxes will be rejected.

Traders not currently using AEP

As previously indicated, all traders using AEP up to 1 July 2009 will be automatically assigned an EORI number to use from that date. Subsequently, any trader who wishes to import or export goods, will need to inform Revenue in advance of making the customs declaration in order to have an EORI number assigned.

How does a trader register for EORI?

In Ireland, any trader who has interacted with the AEP system between the introduction of AEP 2 in June 2007 and 30th June 2009 were automatically assigned and issued with an EORI number by Revenue. It is recommended that each trader should review internal systems and discuss this matter with any clearance agent and/or software supplier who currently deals with import/export issues to make sure they are familiar with the new EORI registration system.

eLearning course on EORI

Further information in the form of a short eLearning tool is available to download from the European Commission websiteExternal link

It is necessary for any trader interacting with the AEP system for the first time after the 1st July 2009 to register for EORI. This may be done by contacting their local Revenue office.

For further information please contact aephelpdesk@revenue.ie . Alternatively, you may contact us by telephone as follows:

  • If you are calling from within the Republic of Ireland - Phone 1890 204 304
  • If you are calling from outside the Republic of Ireland - Phone 00 353 6763400

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