What is the Customs Procedure Code (CPC)? A Complete Guide

Every state in the UK is paramount to acquiring new ways to speed up cross-border trade and facilitate traders. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) created the Customs Procedure Code (CPC) to speed up this procedure. For traders, these codes provide a structure that simplifies transactions.

This article offers a thorough explanation of the CDS CPC code and how it helps importers and exporters carry out smooth trade activities. It explores the importance of CPCs, their implications, and their major support of UK customs trade and economic growth in general.

What are Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs)?

A Customs Procedure Code (CPC) functions similarly to a unique code employed in international trade. It assists customs in understanding the origins of goods entering or leaving a nation.

They serve as guidelines for customs inspectors for what to do with the products, so they are more than merely codes. These codes apply when importing products into the UK from outside the EU, sending goods out of the UK, moving goods between customs zones, requesting approval from customs, and filling out customs documents.

The truth is that CPCs are about more than just identification. They decide whether certain fees must be paid or whether certain things qualify for tax discounts. They are essential for customs to handle the financial issues related to commodities.

CPCs deal with a variety of scenarios, including determining whether products are eligible for tariff reduction or whether import duties can be postponed. They also inform HMRC of the appropriate way to collect charges if necessary.

There are many different codes, each signifying a specific activity or process required for customs. They are essential to maintaining smooth trade and ensuring that all regulations are followed.

Components of CPC

  • In common, customs procedure codes consist of 7 to 8 digits  8-digit
  • Every digit or two describes the various details of goods to the customs officials.
  • CPCs govern customs operations like warehouse transfers, free zone entry, and OPR exports with a 2-digit community code.
  • The first two community code digits give an outline of what kind of customs procedures are being applied.
  • In the next two numbers, “00” indicates that your goods are fresh.
  • The last three digits of the CDS CPC code describe a nationwide coding system that provides more specific information about community headings.

Different Types of Custom Procedure Codes (CPC)

CPCs are codes that provide information about the state of goods and also aid in determining the total amount of tax or duty that must be paid on the item.

There are numerous CPC codes to choose from. Here are a few examples:

05: Importing products under a unique processing arrangement.

07: Receiving products and keeping them in a warehouse.

10: Permanently shipping items abroad.

21: Shipping products overseas for processing on a temporary basis.

22: Sending products out for a different type of processing for a short while.

23: Temporarily shipping items with the intention of returning them unchanged.

31: Shipping products that haven’t been granted formal entry clearance.

40: Bringing items in for regular use.

41: Bringing items in for use with the intention of sending them out afterwards.

42: Bringing products in for usage with the intention of transferring them to another party free of taxes.

Visit the UK government’s Customs Procedure Codes page for an exhaustive list of these codes. These codes make it easier for all parties engaged in trade to comprehend the exact state of the goods.

What is the Use of CPC?

For both imports and exports, the Customs Procedure Code (CPC) is an essential tool in international trade. When it comes to imports, CPCs give customs officers precise instructions on what has to be done with arriving products. CPC codes import are essential in classifying different import processes, differentiating between imports that are temporary and permanent or that are intended for particular processing before being reintroduced into the market. Customs procedure codes import also figure out the relevant taxes and tariffs for these imported commodities.

Similarly, CPCs guarantee that exported goods meet all legal and regulatory criteria. They guarantee correct documentation and compliance with export laws, and they assist with the assessment of taxes and duties on these commodities leaving the country. Additionally, export CPC codes provide an organised structure for managing exports effectively by defining the particular processes controlling the outgoing commodities.

The CDS customs procedure codes collaborate to provide the trader with a good experience with the customs declaration. It works like an instructor who manages information about the cargo goods and several other useful details.

1-Easy Declarations

CPC codes for import provide a clear guide to an effective declaration experience for the trader. CPCs are like quick routes via bureaucracy. Instead of spending hours creating detailed product descriptions, just use a short code.

2-Fluent Customs Language

When you declare your goods, using the right CPC is like sending a clear message to customs about what your goods are and what are the compliance requirements. It also gives the customs officials a clear path to pass the cargo onto the ports.

3-Tax and Duty Clarity

Customs can determine how much tax or duty is owed if they have the correct CPC code. It guarantees that you pay the appropriate amount and prevents you from being overcharged.

4-Risk management:

The customs officials employ CPCs for risk evaluation. Some products are more likely to fail or be unsafe during the declaration process. Customs officers may prioritise inspections and interventions depending on the products’ customs VAT and excise regimes by analysing CPC customs.

5-Follow Customs Protocols

Each customs procedure code import corresponds to a specific procedure. Whether you’re importing, exporting, or moving goods between specific zones, the CPC ensures customs knows exactly what steps to follow.

How Does the Customs Procedure Code Benefit Traders?

In the above section, we discussed the workings of customs procedures codes; here we tend to explain how CPC helps the customs traders.

Firstly, CPC codes are responsible for transparency in calculating accurate duties and taxes with respect to goods descriptions. A 2-digit community code in CPCs defines the category of the products that are shipped.

Secondly, with the help of customs codes, traders have the relief of managing a bulk of paperwork. Moreover, CDS software also has the responsibility of dealing with customs documentation with smart automation.

In a nutshell, it enhances your trade operations, making cross-border transactions smoother. This boosts the customs trader’s reputation and potentially increases profits. CPCs are your passport to hassle-free commerce and international success as a UK customs merchant.

Impact of Customs Procedure Code on the UK Trade Economy

  • Improving the Flow of Trade
  • At the border, CPCs serve a similar function as traffic signals for products. They make sure that the movement of commodities is smooth, which cuts down on delays and improves the flow of imports and exports. This efficiency helps bring in new business partners and prepares the path for larger trade volumes.

  • Low-Cost Methods of Production
  • When CPCs are used, the process of clearing customs may be completed more quickly and with greater accuracy. This reduces the costs involved with storing items and any delays or additional charges. Traders in the United Kingdom may take advantage of more cost-effective operations, boosting their international competitiveness.

  • Expanding Markets
  • The process of expanding into new markets is made more accessible by CPCs. Because the customs processes are so clearly laid out, merchants may securely expand their operations into uncharted territory. Because of this variety, the British commercial sector is not too dependent on any one particular market.

  • Accords to ease international trade
  • Due to its efficient and well-organised customs system, CPCs encourage international investment in the UK. They provide transparency and predictability, which contribute to the creation of a stable market environment, which in turn encourages investment and economic expansion.

  • Finding Investors
  • The implementation of CPCs brings conformity to the norms that govern international commerce, which in turn helps trade facilitation agreements run more smoothly. This strengthens the trading contacts of the UK, which in turn creates additional prospects for business people.


    The Customs Procedure Code (CPC) is an important tool in international trade, serving as a guide for both imports and exports. When it comes to imports, CPCs give customs officers specific guidance on what has to be done with arriving products. They are essential in classifying different import processes, differentiating between imports that are temporary and permanent or that are intended for particular processing before being reintroduced into the market, and figuring out the relevant taxes and tariffs for these imported commodities.

    Are you having trouble figuring out the Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs)? No need to search any further! At iCustoms, our speciality is providing knowledgeable advice and services catering to your import and export requirements. Allow us to assist you in navigating the CPC world with ease for more seamless trade experiences. Get in touch with iCustoms right now to improve your trade endeavours and streamline your customs procedures!

    People Also Ask

    What is a customs procedure code?

    An alphanumeric code known as a Customs Procedure Code (CPC) outlines the steps or processes necessary for importing or exporting goods.

    How to find a customs procedure code UK?

    Consult the UK government's Customs Procedure Codes page or request help from HMRC to locate a Customs Procedure Code in the UK.

    What is the importance of customs procedure codes?

    Customs Procedure Codes play a critical role in ensuring seamless international trade by streamlining customs procedures, determining taxes, and ensuring regulatory compliance.

    What happens if the incorrect CPC is entered?

    Incorrect codes may result in inaccurate taxes, delays, or problems with compliance. It is important to get it right in order to avoid issues.

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