In the event that there is a no-deal Brexit, the UK will be leaving the EU. This will result in withdrawal from the customs union and single market with no alternative trade agreement in place. In this case, customs formalities will apply to trade between Ireland and the UK, just as they would with any other non-EU country.

Revenue have recently issued a communication to Irish traders who import or export goods into or out of the UK. They advise applying for an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. If you are a trader who imports or exports goods into or out of the EU, you are required to have an EORI number.

The purpose of the EORI system is to ensure that EU traders can safely and securely import and export goods to and from non-EU countries using a unique number that is valid throughout the whole European Community and is accessible to European Community customs authorities. The EORI number must be used in all communications with any European Community customs authority where a customs identifier is needed.

If no deal is agreed for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Irish traders will need an EORI number in order to continue importing and exporting goods to and from the UK. The application process for an EORI number can take several days. Early application is advised to ensure the continued flow of trade.

When importing or exporting goods to or from a non-EU country, goods will be withheld at customs unless both the importer and the exporter of the goods have EORI numbers. It is important to ensure that your UK trading partners are also EORI registered.

If you register under the EORI system, certain information will be stored on the centralised EORI database. This will be updated by each European Member State. The following lists the type of data that would be stored on the EORI systems:

  • EORI Number
  • Registered Name
  • Address of establishment/residence
  • VAT registration number
  • Legal status
  • Date of establishment
  • Contact information

You may already be registered on the EORI system. You can check by using this tool and searching your Irish VAT registration number and adding the prefix “IE”, e.g. IE1234567P.

If you require any assistance with the EORI system or further details on the above, please contact us.