EORI Registration in France
EORI Registration in FranceUpdated on Tuesday 24th March 2020
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According to the Regulation No 312/2009 issued by the European Parliament, a new Community Customs Code was enforced for 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 a unique identification number, shortly known as EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification). The EORI number is also a useful method employed by customs authorities in different countries to exchange information. The EORI number is usually similar to the VAT number.
Our lawyers in France can help economic operators who need to obtain an EORI number. We also offer tailored business registration and tax registration services to local and foreign entrepreneurs interested in opening companies in France.
When is the EORI number requested in France?
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 must first go through customs formalities which means foreign economic operators can apply for an EORI number in France. Here is an infographic with details about EORI in France:
Who must apply for an EORI number in France?
EORI registration is not mandatory in France, as it is required only to those involved in intra-community transactions or economic exchanges. Both sole proprietorships and companies in France can apply for EORI numbers. Also, foreign companies involved in economic relations with French companies can apply for EORI numbers with the French Customs Office when first entering the country.
Our attorneys in France can explain the conditions for obtaining EORI numbers by local and foreign companies. We must also remind foreign company owners that the application for a French EORI number for foreign companies is slightly different than for local companies.
Main requirements for obtaining an EORI number in France
The most important requirement related to obtaining an EORI number in France is to have a SIRET or tax identification number and a VAT number. This implies first registering a commercial entity with the French Trade Register and the tax authorities which will issue the SIRET number. Then, the company must apply for the VAT number and once this is assigned, the EORI number will have the FR (country code) + the SIRET number. In the case of foreign companies, the EORI number issued in France is based on the VAT numbers assigned in their home countries. The EORI number will be issued in France only if their first intra-community economic activity is completed here.
Our law firm in France can offer legal representation to foreign companies in need of legal services here, including tax registration with the local authorities if needed.
Registration of the 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.
The structure of the EORI number in France
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:
- for operators within the SIRENE database, the EORI number will be formed by the country code FR followed by the SIRET number,
- for operators with a different SIRET number, the EORI number will be formed by the country code FR and the number assigned by the French customs authorities,
- for economic operators from outside the Community and requesting for the first time an EORI number with the French authorities, the number will be formed by the country code FR, followed by the operator’s home country code and the number issued by the French authorities;
- individuals, whether French residents or not, will not need to apply for an EORI number, as they will be treated as occasional economic operators.
How to use the French EORI number
It must be noted that the use of a French EORI number is not the same for every company. According to the EU Regulation which imposes it and to the French Customs, the EORI number will be mainly used for both traditional and online custom clearance. When talking about online customs procedures, the EORI number can be used for:
- obtaining clearances for importing and exporting goods into/from France (Delta operators);
- obtaining clearance for products which only transit France at a certain point (NSTI operators);
- obtaining clearance for safety and security procedures before importing goods into France (ICS operators);
- obtaining clearance for safety and security procedures before exporting goods outside France (ECS operators).
The ECS code is also used for the certification of VAT-exempt goods upon export from France. Considering foreign companies must comply with EU requirements upon the use of an EORI number, business owners can rely on our French lawyers for more information on these regulations.
Foreign companies and French EORI registration
Foreign companies can complete the following activities based on their EORI numbers, whether obtained in France on another EU state:
- they can file intra-community customs declarations;
- they can file entry and extra summary declarations;
- they can file temporary storage declarations;
- they can act as carriers for transport of goods by sea, air or road.
Our French law firm can help foreign companies interested in setting up branches or subsidiaries here if they plan on working in the trading sector and thus benefit from the facilities offered by the EU. Our advisors can also help you register the company for VAT.
FAQ on EORI registration in France
Even if the EORI was introduced year ago, the number of companies registered in France has increased constantly and questions about obtaining the EORI number are still arise. Our lawyers in France have answered some of these questions below:
1. Can I obtain an EORI number after the transaction was completed?
EORI registration must be completed before the transaction is completed, otherwise, the goods cannot be imported or exported outside France.
2. Is an EORI number obtained in another country recognized in France?
Yes, the French Customs will acknowledge EORI numbers issued in other EU states, as they are unique.
3. Where can I obtain the EORI number in France?
In France, the EORI number can be obtained by filing an application with the Customs Authorities.
4. How long does it take to obtain the EORI number in France?
It takes 24 hours to have a valid EORI number in France or any other EU state.
5. Can the EORI number be obtained online?
Yes, the simplified procedure allows operators to obtain the EORI number online.
If you want details about EORI registration or want to set up a business, you can contact our law firm in France.