If your business currently imports from or exports to the EU, then you may need to consider what will happen to your goods at the border if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

To move goods into or out of the EU you need an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number. If we leave the EU without a deal then all UK traders will need to have an EORI number to allow HMRC to identify the VAT registered organisation and collect duty on goods.

If you already trade with non-EU countries then you should have either a UK EORI number or an EU EORI number. A UK EORI number will be 12 digits and will begin with the prefix GB, whereas EU EORI numbers will begin with a different country prefix, such as IE or FR. If you have a UK EORI number then this will allow you to trade goods with the EU without VAT problems at the border. If you have an EU EORI number HMRC will allow you to use this for a temporary period but will most likely require you to change to a UK EORI.

If you only trade with the EU and therefore don’t have an EORI number you can easily apply to get one. You can apply for an EORI number now, even if you do not use it. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply and it can take up to 3 working days to get your number, so if you are in any doubt about your ability to trade after 29 March 2019, apply now.

Visit www.gov.uk/eori to apply now.

If you need any help registering or are unsure of any of the details you need to have to hand to register contact Saint & Co.