Which trader master data do I need for international eCommerce?

In this article we explain why you need master data for cross-border eCommerce, what this data is, what each piece of information is used for and how you can get this data.

Why is master data needed for Cross Border eCommerce?

To minimise your admin efforts per order, you should aim for automated and interface-based processing. This applies to the labelling of your shipments but especially to the customs clearance of your goods in the international eCommerce context. For your cross-border business, you need master data for various purposes - here is a tabular list:

EORI number The EORI number (Economic Operators' Registration and Identification number) is a unique number assigned in the European Union by the competent authorities which serves to identify economic operators and, where applicable, other persons vis-à-vis the customs authorities. The EORI number is mandatory for economic operators and is required in particular for export customs clearance (EU) and import customs clearance (EU) for returns.
Swiss VAT number It is only obligatory for e-commerce traders to apply for a Swiss VAT number under certain conditions. However, if you want to show the Swiss VAT and reclaim import VAT from the Swiss tax authorities, it is necessary. In this blog article you will find out the exact background.

The Swiss VAT number has the following structure: 

Swiss ZAZ account number The customs account in the centralised clearing procedure of the customs administration (ZAZ) corresponds to a feed account. It is needed to automatically process customs and VAT payments. In practice, Swiss Customs uses this account to "get its money" ad hoc. eCommerce traders can open their own ZAZ account via a fiscal representative or use the account of their import service provider for a percentage submission commission or a fixed fee per package. You can read more about this in this fiscal representation blog.
Sender address and company data These are required for labelling and customs clearance. Customs wants to know who is sending the goods.


Where and how do you get the master data you need for cross-border eCommerce?

EORI number The EORI number must be applied for by persons established in the European Union in the Member State in which they are established. Further information on this:

For German traders it has this format: DE123456789012345.

E-mail: info.eori@zoll.de

Here you can find general Eori info: Customs-EN info page 

Here you will find various application options: EN customs application page
CH-VAT. Number Here you will find general Eori info: Customs CH info page

Here you can find the CH-VAT registration page: CH-VAT registration page
Swiss ZAZ account number Here you will find general ZAZ information: Customs CH info page

Here you can find the CH-ZAZ registration page: CH-ZAZ registration page


In this blog article, you can learn more about customs clearance optimisation for cross-border eCommerce to Switzerland.

Would you like a comprehensive PPT on customs clearance? No problem-here you go.

If you would like individual advice, you are welcome to book a free consultation appointment.