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How to apply for a Dutch EORI Number

What is an EORI number?

An EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) represents a unique code that is associated with a provider of good or services in the European Union (EU). If you have registered a Dutch company, you can request a EORI number easily. This number enable your business to carry out cross border trading activities within the EU.

EORI number in the Netherlands can be deduced as follows. The number consists of the country code (NL for Netherlands) and the fiscal number of the company. The fiscal number is an identification number also referred to as RSIN.

After registration of your company and obtaining a VAT number, you need an EORI number when you want do cross-border business and have to deal with customs, for example when filing customs declarations. It allows for a more rapid exchange of data within the EU, raising efficiency both for customs and for your business.

How to check if your EORI number has been activated


EORI numbers are awarded to legal entities, such as a limited liability company (BV), but also to natural persons operating a business, such as a sole proprietorship. Branches do not get their own EORI number. They use the number of the head office.

The EORI number is assigned by the member state where the economic operator is established. An EORI number that has been issued in one of the member states is valid in all member states. The Dutch Customs will inform economic operators that receive a Dutch EORI number about this number.

You can check the status of EORI numbers issued by any EU member state at the EORI data base on the website of the European Commission. Note that not all holders of EORI numbers consent with publication. So not all active registrations are visible.

Why do you need an EORI number for trading?


Any company that processes import/export activities within the EU and the Netherlands will be required to have an EORI number when trading goods at the port of airport for proper registration by the customs authorities.

Your business needs it for these customs declarations:

> export and import declarations

> entry summary declarations

> presentation notifications

> summary declarations for temporary storage

> upon entrance, unloading reports on goods in temporary storage

> transit declarations

> entry summary declarations

> exit manifest presentations

> “arrival at exit” notifications

> exit notifications

All transport operators named in the above customs declarations must also have a EORI number.

In most cases you will need to have a VAT number before applying for the EORI number. It takes around three weeks from the moment of Dutch business registration to obtain an EORI number. 

Your business can only have one active EORI number in the EU, unless your company has registered a second VAT number.

EORI number also for excise tax permits

In the Netherlands, EORI numbers have also been introduced for businesses with excise tax permits. This is because Dutch Customs also issues excise tax permits and supervises compliance with the rules of these permits.

In many cases, economic operators who have an excise tax permit also have dealings with Customs. To avoid the use of several identification numbers, the decision has been made to assign an EORI number to all businesses that have an excise tax permit.

This EORI number does not have any consequences for the current procedure (with regard to the excise tax permits). However, in case of any future import, export, or transit of goods, you are required to use the EORI number as a unique identification number in the respective customs declaration.

How to apply for an EORI number in the Netherlands?


Dutch companies have mainly two ways of obtaining an EORI number:

Companies which already have a VAT (tax reference) number do not need to submit an application for its EORI number. In this case, you can create your own EORI number:

1. Start your EORI number with the letter "NL".

2. Add your company’s RSIN behind "NL".

Your company’s or sole proprietorship’s RSIN can be found on its trade registerer extract. Does your RSIN/BSN consist of fewer than 9 digits? Add as many zeros before your RSIN/BSN until the total figure consists of 9 digits.

You can immediately start using your EORI number and are not required to file it with the authorities. They will automatically check and register your number the first time you use it when filing a customs declaration or applying for an authorisation.

Companies that wish to apply for an EORI number or do not have a VAT number, should complete and submit a standard application form. Subsequently its EORI number will be published on the EU EORI website, where you can find also the central database for all EORI numbers available to the customs authorities in every Member State.

Get an EORI number via the application form 

You can find the standard EORI number application form for your EORI number at the website of the Dutch Customs Administration. You can file the request by email and most often a reply is received within hours.

If your company is based in a non-EU Member State, you can apply for an EORI number in one of the Member States where you operate. An EORI number will be valid in every EU country. If you are operating outside the EU, then you will be required to provide a document from the trade register.