EORI – what is worth knowing

Abbreviation of EORI (Economic Operators’ Registration and Identification) in other words, it is the EU system for verifying flows of goods to register and identify economic operators for customs purposes. This system operates in every member state of the European Union. Additionally, some changes are coming early in 2021, so read our article to know more.

What exactly is EORI?

The EORI system was introduced on 1 July 2009 to simplify customs procedures in the European Union and has been in force in every Member State since then. Thanks to the introduction of this system, the flow of goods between EU countries and third countries is much easier to implement.

In addition to the basic function of verifying the movement of goods, the EORI system is designed to facilitate:

  • obtaining the necessary documentation for the import and export of goods,
  • efficient and faster implementation of customs clearance,
  • movement of goods between EU countries and third countries.

In addition, the EORI number is an identification number necessary when the economic operator intends to export or import goods to or from countries outside the EU.

Who must have an EORI number?

An EORI number is mandatory for any entity that:

• has its registered office in the territory of the European Union and

• intends to import or export goods.

It should be noted that the EORI number must be obtained before making the first purchase or sale to countries outside the European Union. Not having an EORI deprives of transaction with third countries.

EORI number – features

The EORI number is necessary when purchasing or selling goods outside the customs territory of the European Union. In addition, such an identifier must also be held by entities from outside the EU that intend to sell or import goods from EU countries. The EORI number is assigned to a given entity only once.

Depending on where the entity has its registered office, the EORI number may look different, i.e.:

  • for national entities, the EORI number consists of the letters “PL”, the tax identification number and five zeros. The entire string of numbers should be up to 17 characters long;
  • for entities from third countries, it consists of the letters “PL” and unique 14 digits with the sign “Z” at the end.

Additionally, the assigned EORI number will also be the SISC ID number.

ID SISC is an abbreviation that stands for the Information System of the Customs Service. This system is used for electronic communication between the entity and the Customs and Tax Chamber.

SISC ID is a unique 17-character identification number assigned to entities and persons during the registration process on the PUESC customs platform. For entities with NIP (VAT number), it is the NIP number, to which the last 5 digits of the REGON number have been added (it must be 17 characters in total). For entities that have been assigned an EORI number, it is the EORI number. However, for people with a PESEL (identification number for private person) number – it is a PESEL number supplemented with “0” digits up to 17 characters.

What needs to be done to obtain an EORI number?

When applying for an EORI number, we have several options to submit the relevant documents, i.e.:

  • submit the necessary documents with the help of post or courier to the address of the Central Customs Registration.
  • a person with a power of attorney to represent a given entity may also go to the customs administration chamber, customs, and tax office or voivodeship customs and tax office in person.
  • submit an electronic form using the PUESC platform.

Regardless of which option to apply for an EORI number is chosen, a person with a power of attorney to represent the entity will have to visit any customs and tax authority at least once to confirm their identity as an applicant for an EORI number.

! Important

If the office finds that the entity provided false data or presented false documents, the entity automatically loses the EORI number.

Check if you have a valid EORI number

To do this, go to the website of the European Commission and enter your tax number.

For example, in the case of Poland, it is enough to enter the NIP number preceded by the characters ‘PL’ with five zeros at the end, e.g. for NIP 1234567891, the EORI number is PL123456789100000. After entering the EORI number, click ‘Submit’, thus obtaining information on the indicated number.

If the EORI number is missing or invalid, the message ‘This EORI number is not valid’ will appear. However, if our EORI number is valid, the message “This EORI number is valid” will appear.

Anna Szafraniec
CEE VAT Compliance Director

Łukasz Woźniak
VAT Compliance Manager

Katarzyna Misiak
Junior VAT Consultant

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