How do Customs Procedure ‘Codes’ work?

            Customs Procedure Codes (CPC) consist of three parts. The first part is the Procedure “Category” Code (PCC), for example:

AHome Use Procedure
BNational and International Transit
CTranshipment Procedure
DTemporary Admission
EWarehousing Procedure
FStores Procedure
GTax Free Shops Procedure
HExport Procedure
ITemporary Export and Re-Importation
JInward Processing Procedure
KProcessing for Home Use
LOutward Processing Procedure

            The second part of the code is the Requested Procedure Code (RPC). This is the “Purpose” of the Customs declaration (examples to follow).

            The third part of the code is the Previous Procedure Code (PPC). This is the code of the “Previous” Customs declaration used in the movement of goods under Customs control.

“But don’t worry too much about the acronyms…”

            But don’t worry too much about the acronyms namely PCC, RPC and PPC. Your only real objective is to have a broad understanding of how the CPC and their intended use works. Here is an example of the three parts of a code for A11.00 (Home Use of goods, on imported goods):

Procedure CategoryRequested Procedure  Previous Procedure
Home UseHome use on goods, of imported goodsNone

*The “1”  series generally means Home Use goods

In this example, the Previous Procedure is “00”. Whenever you see a “00”, it means that there was no Previous Procedure. In other words, there was no previous Customs clearance for the goods being cleared.

            Taking this example further, if you had cleared the goods directly into a bonded warehouse (E – Warehouse Procedure), and you subsequently cleared the goods out of the warehouse as Home Use goods (A – Home Use Procedure), the codes would look as follows:

 Procedure CategoryRequested Procedure  Previous Procedure
First ClearanceE40*00
Ware-housingClearance of imported goods into a customs warehouse under the Warehousing procedureNone
Second ClearanceA1140*
Home UseHome Use of goods……previously placed under the Warehousing procedure

*The “4”  series generally means Warehouse goods

Notice the “40” in each of the two codes. In the first clearance, the “40” (because of its centre position) means that the goods are being placed into a bonded warehouse. In the second clearance the “40” (now at the end position) means that the goods are being taken out of the bonded warehouse where they were initially cleared. The “11”, which now takes precedence in the centre position, means that the goods are being cleared for Home Use. One needs to have an understanding of how the codes work and how the positioning of the codes affect the status of goods.

            For those accustomed to the traditional Purpose Codes, the first clearance (E40.00) would be WH (Warehouse) and the second clearance (A11.40) an XDP (Ex Duty Paid).

            In terms of the Customs clearance declaration, the Procedure Category is cleared at header level. The remainder of the code is cleared at line level.

            For a full list of codes visit the SARS website and search for “Customs Procedure Poster” under the link “Find A Publication” on the home page.

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