The EORI number is an identifier that is required by certain entities that deal with export and import operations in Europe. From the European course on EORI:
“Economic operators”, meaning, individuals and companies engaged in customs’related activities in the EU, need to register under the Economic Operators Registration and Identification system and be assigned a unique EORI number under certain circumstances. To qualify for EORI registration, individuals or organizations need to be an “Economic operator” (EO) as defined by their legal status and the activities they carry out.
This affects companies established in the EU if they deal with customs or import/export of physical goods.
Each EU member state (through its customs authority) is responsible for issuing EORI numbers to EOs that qualify. In the case of companies, that is a legal entity, such as a limited company, incorporated in a particular EU member state. A ‘legal person’ entity must register in only one member state.
And of course, it implies that the activities of the company involve importing or exporting goods into our outside the EU.
To qualify, a company needs to carry out activities that involve importing goods into the EU, exporting goods from the EU or making transit through the EU and also running a customs warehouse or applying for the Biding Tariff information.
Does it affect me?
In practice, this only affects companies that deal with the goods directly, meaning, they are involved in customs operations with these goods (import or export them directly). As you may know, the e-Residency program of Estonia is only a good fit for digital businesses. The only business model we support that has anything to do with physical goods or an online shop is the pure dropshipping model, or also the FBA model. In these models, there is an external supplier who sends the goods to the customer directly. In other words, the Estonian company does not keep, store in a warehouse, export, or import any goods.
As such, you won’t need an EORI number. If you need it, in fact, it means you are not adhering to a strict dropshipping model, in which your company only deals with the digital side of the business, and as such, we won’t be able to offer you our services.
It might happen, however, that your providers or suppliers need to get this number.
More info here.