Any merchant moving goods into or out of the EU requires an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification number) to properly assess customs duties. Although each EU Member State can provide EORI numbers, Merchants only need one EORI for the entire EU, no matter how many EU Countries/Member States it services. Shippers should use their EORI number in all communications with any EU Customs where a customs identifier is required. For more information on EORI, visit the European Commission website.
Starting in 2021, merchants moving goods into or out of the UK will need GB EORI number. VAT-registered businesses were automatically issued with an EORI number in September 2019. Businesses without a GB EORI can apply for free.
Tax ID/VAT are codes that determine how a merchant will be assessed for tax purposes. One seller may have multiple numbers, depending on the countries they are shipping from/to so this may vary by shipment.
The Tax ID used in the United States is called the EIN, or Employer Identification Number. U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP) guidelines require that import/export filings include the shipper's Employer Identification Number (EIN).
VAT stands for Value Added Tax. VAT numbers are widely used rather than EIN in Europe, the UK, and elsewhere around the world.
You can add your TaxID/VAT or EORI to the customs declaration data in Shippo for any international order, by editing the Customs Declaration:
VAT for the EU & UK, effective 2021
VAT changes for the UK, effective January 2021 (Brexit)
- VAT de minimus has been eliminated for the UK. Translation: orders up to $135 GBP used to be VAT free. Now, VAT is due on all purchases of any amount.
- Merchants must charge & collect VAT at the time of purchase, before shipment. This affects B2C (Business to customer), B2B (Business to business) and C2C (Customer to customer) sales.
- For B2C, shipments up to $135 GBP, which used to have tax/VAT waived, must now be taxed.
- Furthermore, that VAT must be collected from the shopper and paid before shipment. This means that merchants must send their shipments DDP (Shippo default to DDU, please see Customs Declarations in Shippo); merchants will have to collect that tax amount (20%) from their shoppers upfront.
- Merchants need to register for a GB VAT if they haven't already. Merchants will need to pay their VAT due periodically. More info here: https://www.gov.uk/vat-returns
- For B2B sales, merchants should follow the same rules they do now for shipments over $135 GBP.
- For C2C:
- Up to $39 GBP exempted from Duties & VAT
- Between $39 GBP and $135 GBP: exempted from Duty, VAT paid by shopper
- Above $135 GBP: Duty & VAT applies, paid by shopper
VAT changes for the EU, effective July 2021
- VAT de minimus will be eliminated for the EU in July 2021. Translation: orders up to 150 EUR used to be VAT free. Now, VAT is due on all purchases of any amount.