What does an economic operator need to do before starting customs activities in the EU?
Any economic operator established in the EU needs to have an EORI number. Economic operators established outside the EU have to be assigned an EORI number if they lodge a customs declaration, an Entry or an Exit Summary Declaration. AEO applicants in particular (see above) need to have an EORI number that they must enter in box 9 of the AEO application form (see also the Guidelines on EORI below).
Moreover, it is irrelevant if the economic operator is a company (legal person) or a natural person. Even an individual needs to have a valid registration number, used by one of the Member States. The application should be sent to the customs authorities of the Member States in which the economic operator is established (in case of EU economic operators)-. Online access to EORI is available from our Databases web page.
An economic operator not established in the customs territory of the European Union also needs to apply for an EORI number. Economic operators from third countries need an EORI number in order to:
Upgrade to EORI2
As from 5 March 2018 EOS v22.214.171.124 which includes the EORI2 application is in production. The deployment of EOS v126.96.36.199 is part of IT-implementation of the Union Customs Code in accordance with the Work Programme set up for this purpose.
EORI2 has become necessary due to legal changes brought about by the Union Customs Code and the delegated and implementing act thereto.
It brings the following enhancements for trade and customs:
- The format of the fields containing company names is adapted to international standards. This goes hand in hand with an increased size of these fields. It is now possible to insert company names with up to 512 characters. For the short name, which is for example used in interational data exchanges, 70 characters are available.
- For EORI numbers that are no longer active the expiry date is a mandatory data element. The information has to be kept for ten years after the expiry date in order to facilitate the correction of customs declarations that have been lodged before the economic operator became inactive.
- For economic operators with an address in a third country information is available whether this economic operator is considered as being established in the customs territory of the EU and therefore entitled to lodge a customs declaration in the EU. This allows customs to avoid cumbersome checks at the border when the customs declaration is actually lodged. It is a contribution to provide for a smooth flow of goods across the border.
EORI e-learning tool
An e-learning course on EORI is now available for download.