EORI Number application – should I apply in Germany or the UK?


Hi there

I’ve come across your site whilst doing a search for EORI number on Twitter.

I am based in the UK and in the process of starting up my own business as a sole trader. Essentially it will be a second income from current job. Hopefully will turn perm over 6 months to a year.

I have sourced and purchased my products in China, found a freight forwarding company, and wish to ship to Germany to sell. I have to obtain an EORI number. I initially completed a form on the HMRC website but my request was rejected for the following reasons below. See FIG 1.0.

I subsequently completed the equivalent EORI Germany form but again, today, this was rejected too. See FIG 1.1.

I just need some advice as to where I should be going to get my EORI number. Germany or UK. I’m clearly doing something wrong but unsure what.

FIG 1.0
As the goods are being arrived in Germany, you will need to apply for an EORI number in Germany. You are an individual and the goods are not arriving in the UK therefore you will need to apply in Germany. There is no UK activity, therefore you will need to apply for a German EORI number.

FIG 1.1
Dear Mr Kelly ,
since England currently have an EU country is that Eorinummer for your company or for you privately in England must be requested .
Your application can not be processed by us.

Many thanks,


Hi Matthew,

Lovely round-the-houses exercise with those two responses! For what it’s worth maybe attempt to register a EORI number in both countries.

EORI number will represent an entity in numerical form that will then enable you to interface with customs in that country (think I am right in saying this).

UK EORI number – for UK customs
DE EORI number (or equivalent) – for DE customs

As shipment is CN->DE then UK customs not involved so yes believe you would need a DE EORI number to enable importation in to Germany – but don’t know how you would go about registering this without a DE company or being resident within DE.

You may have to either 1) register a company in DE or 2) find one already established who you can partner with or 3) register UK EORI and import goods CN->UK then send goods back out to Germany.

UK->Germany transit not expensive and you may even find this is cheaper overall, but will obviously add on a little bit of time to overall transit. If you are really efficient, maybe this would just add around 4 working days to overall journey time.


Export Action Plan