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News | Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Customs introduces ID system

In order to facilitate customs transactions throughout the EU and at the same time support security measures introduced by Council Regulation 648/2005 (the ‘Security Amendment’) and its Implementing Provisions, every economic operator within the EU will, for Customs purposes from 1 July 2009, be identified by means of a unique number.
Traders will be required to quote this number in all their dealings with Customs authorities in any Member State, for example when providing Customs offices with pre-arrival and pre-departure information on goods entering or leaving the Customs territory of the Community or when applying for authorisations.
In practice the Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number will function as an ID number for traders based in the EU in their dealing with Customs authorities. It will allow them to derive maximum benefit from the various facilitations available through Customs without having to register afresh with Customs administrations in other Member States.
All economic operators having the status of legal entities – sole traders, partnerships, limited liability companies – will be issued with an EORI number. One number will be issued per legal entity; branches and company divisions will be required to use the EORI issued to the organisation of which they form a part, except where they are registered as separate companies.
In order to simplify the process for all concerned the EORI number will be identical to traders’ existing VAT number. EORI numbers will be displayed on a publicly-accessible website, thus allowing traders to confirm whether a particular EORI number is valid or not. Traders will also be able to decide whether they want visitors to the website to view other information about their operations, e.g. the identity of traders to whom numbers belong and their line of business.
Those traders who would like their details to be accessible to the general public are to declare this to Customs by filling in and signing the appropriate consent form, which may be downloaded from the Customs Division’s website.
Forms are to be mailed or delivered by hand to the Customs Division at Custom House, Lascaris Wharf, Valletta VLT 1920. Envelopes are to be addressed to the attention of the Director General, Customs Division, and marked ‘EORI’. Forms that are unsigned or incomplete will not be processed. Enquiries should be directed to eoricustoms.mfei@gov.mt or tel. no. 25685290.

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22 April 2009
ISSUE NO. 579

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