In principle, all economic operators in the European Union receive an individual and EU-wide valid registration and identification number (EORI number) from the respective member state.
Economic operators are both natural persons and legal entities, such as stock corporations or legally capable associations of persons, for example civil law partnerships (GbR). A business entity without legal capacity, for example a branch office, does not receive its own EORI number. Instead, it is recorded under the EORI number of its head office with its own branch number.
The EORI number consists of up to 17 characters and begins with the two-digit country code of the EU member state that issues the EORI number.
If you do not yet have an EORI number and are located in Germany, you can apply for one at the General Customs Directorate. If you are located outside the customs territory of the European Union (EU), you apply for your EORI number in the EU state in which you first submit a customs declaration or apply for a decision.
The master data of your EORI number that you have filed is generally transmitted by German customs to the EORI database of the European Commission. You can access and check the EORI number online via the EU database.
As a private individual, you generally do not need an EORI number if you file less than 10 customs declarations per year. However, you must have an EORI number in order to declare an export requiring a license at the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control.
To participate in ATLAS ("Automated Tariff and Local Customs Clearance System") you need an EORI number. The ATLAS specialized procedure is used to process and monitor the cross-border movement of goods to the greatest possible extent.