As we’ve previously mentioned, HMRC wrote to businesses with GB addresses who hold an XI Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number, issued before 14 September 2021. This asked them to confirm whether they have a permanent business establishment (PBE) in Northern Ireland (NI) or if they still need their XI EORI number for any of a limited list of customs activities. The deadline for responses closed on 30 June 2023.
XI EORI removal
We are now writing to inform that HMRC will be removing XI EORI numbers on 31 July 2023 from those businesses who have told HMRC they do not need them or did not respond to HMRC’s letters. Removal of XI EORIs will take place in phases over the course of August 2023.
HMRC has taken steps to ensure that the removal of these XI EORIs should not cause any disruption to the physical movement of goods. This includes a phased approach to the removal of XI EORIs over a 3-week period, and ongoing assessment of impacts.
They have also worked closely with the Trader Support Service (TSS) to ensure that anyone likely to be impacted will be identified and the relevant declarations corrected, to prevent failures or error messages. In the event of any unforeseen disruption, HMRC asks to be contacted on 0300 322 9434.
Businesses are legally required to have an XI EORI number or an EU EORI number if they wish to be named as the ‘declarant’ on import or export declarations in NI (or an EU country). However, businesses without an XI EORI number are still able to move goods into and out of NI, provided they use an ‘indirect representative’ that is established in NI or the EU. For movements into Northern Ireland, a business can use or continue to use the TSS, which can be accessed free of charge.
Businesses that discover that they need an XI EORI for a limited customs activity as set out below or have a permanent business establishment in NI will be able to have their XI EORI number restored within 5 working days by reapplying for it at www.gov.uk/eori/apply-for-eori.
Which activities can businesses hold without a permanent business establishment in Northern Ireland and use an XI EORI?
- make customs declarations for transit or temporary admission
- apply for customs decisions
- make ‘entry or exit summary declarations’ (for Safety & Security)
- make temporary storage declarations
- get a guarantee for temporary admission or a re-export declaration
- act as carrier to transport goods by sea, air, or inland waterways
- act as a carrier to receive notifications and declarations via a direct online connection to the customs system
- make a declaration under the transit procedure as a pre-departure declaration or instead of an entry summary declaration
More information can be found on www.gov.uk/eori
Businesses that qualify for an XI EORI on grounds of a permanent business establishment in NI or for a limited customs activity should telephone the designated HMRC helpline for this exercise on 0300 322 9434 if they require an XI EORI number in an emergency for example, to lodge a Safety and Security declaration (ENS). This will ensure HMRC can resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
If a consignee/consignor’s XI EORI is removed, they should ensure that the person lodging the safety and security declaration (e.g., the carrier/haulier) is aware. Where a consignee/consignor no longer has a valid XI EORI their name and address should instead be used on the safety and security declaration (e.g., Entry Summary Declaration). Using an invalid XI EORI in the consignee/consignor’s field could lead to the declaration being rejected.
For TSS users
From 16 August 2023, TSS will bring in new functionality to allow alternative information (name and address) to be automatically provided instead of an XI EORI number. This will mitigate against any risk of those businesses submitting Safety and Security declarations from receiving error messages when the consignee/consignor’s XI EORI number is removed. Traders who HMRC knows to require this functionality will not have their XI EORIs removed before this date.
Carriers/hauliers are entitled to retain their XI EORI (for limited customs activities only, unless they confirm a PBE in NI) because of the nature of their business i.e., lodging safety & security declarations.
HMRC has written directly to carriers/hauliers (where HMRC are aware that they act in that capacity) to confirm that they will retain their XI EORI on the basis of not having a PBE in Northern Ireland.
If a carrier/haulier subsequently discovers that their XI EORI number has been removed and they did not receive a letter from HMRC, they should telephone the designated HMRC helpline for this exercise on 0300 322 9434. This will ensure HMRC can resolve their issue as quickly as possible.
If a carrier/haulier does not want to retain their XI EORI, they can let HMRC know by submitting a Change of Circumstances request via Gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/eori/get-help
- Tell HMRC if you still need your XI EORI number: https://www.thyme-it.com/2023/05/tell-hmrc-if-you-still-need-your-xi-eori-number/