According to the Regulation No 312/2009 issued by the European Parliament, a new Community Customs Code was enforced for an easier recognition and safer movement of economic operators and persons involved in trading activities that must complete customs formalities within the European Union. The Regulation established new rules for economic operators that receive an unique identification number, shortly known as EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification). The EORI number is also an useful method employed by customs authorities in different countries to exchange information. The EORI number is usually similar to the VAT number.
The French customs authorities (Dounane) require all economic operators in transit through France that they must fulfill customs procedures and apply for an EORI number. The French EORI number is valid throughout the Community; that is why whenever a new EORI number is issued, the French authorities will notify the European Commission about the economic operator’s data.
The European Commission will then update the database with the new EORI number and with the operator’s characteristics. However, the data will be available to authorities in other countries only with the operator’s consent. EORI registration can be done in the economic operator’s country or in the country it firstly have to go through customs formalities which means foreign economic operators can apply for an EORI number in France.
The registration process for the EORI number in France is quite simple. First of all, French economic operators do not have to ask for an EORI number because they already are in the SIRENE database of the French customs authorities and the EORI number will be based on the SIRET number.
European economic operators must request an EORI number with the French authorities if they are not in SIRENE database, while economic operators from non-EU member states also have the possibility to register for EORI in France if this is the first EU country they have to go through customs formalities.
Depending on whether the economic operator is registered with the SIRENE database or has a different SIRET number, the EORI number can have the following forms:
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