China Supplier asking for your EIN number?

The US Internal Revenue Service use EINs to track and collect duties and taxes.

An EIN, or Employer Identification Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, is a sequence of nine numbers.

Locating an EIN

If you are unsure of your Employer Identification Number, you can locate it easily. Contact the Internal Revenue Service and request a copy of the number. Review bank and accounting records, looking for a nine-digit number sequence. Look at previous 1099s from companies you supply for. All 1099s must include the vendor or business’s identifying numbers.

Apply for a new number if you have none by filling out the EIN form on the IRS.gov website. You can also request a paper form to be sent to your home or business address. Completely fill out the information then return the form to the IRS office.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) require the Ultimate Consignee ID number for all formal entries at the time of entry or release. The Ultimate Consignee ID number is the Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued to most business entities, or the Social Security Number (SSN) issued to individuals.

Ultimate Consignee

As per the U.S. CBP, the Ultimate Consignee at the time of entry or release is defined as the party in the U.S. to whom the foreign shipper sold the imported merchandise. If at the time of entry or release the imported merchandise has not been sold, then the Ultimate Consignee is defined as the party in the U.S. to whom the overseas shipper consigned the imported merchandise.

Non-U.S. Consignee

If the merchandise has not been sold or consigned to a U.S. party at the time of entry or release, then the Ultimate Consignee is defined as the proprietor of the U.S. premises to which the merchandise is to be delivered. In instances when imported merchandise is consigned to an Ultimate Consignee that is not based in the U.S. (e.g., when goods are imported by foreign parties for use at U.S. trade shows or conventions), the Ultimate Consignee must be identified with a CBP-issued Ultimate Consignee number.

Consolidated Shipments

Shippers who consolidate multiple orders into one export shipment must provide the Ultimate Consignee ID number for each item in a consolidated entry that equals or exceeds USD$2,500. If the number is not provided at the time of entry or release, entry of the merchandise will be denied.

In some instances, entries valued at less than USD$2,500 may be released on a manual entry using only the Ultimate Consignee’s name and address. However, to mitigate any shipment delays or returns, FedEx encourages shippers to provide the Ultimate Consignee ID number (EIN or SSN) for all U.S.-bound shipments, regardless of value.

For additional information, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.