HS Codes and CPC codes, in combination, make up a set of instructions to customs when importing or exporting goods from/to Europe.
HS codes are used in ALL countries for imports and exports.
CPC codes are exclusive to Europe.
HS codes indicate what the goods are.
CPC codes indicate how to import / export the goods.
On import, these two numbers can determine how much duty / tax is owed, or in some instances, not owed at all. And when exporting, they indicate to customs which items are being exported, and for what reason.
Harmonized System (HS) Codes
The Harmonized System is used by customs globally to classify any and all products when assessing duties and taxes, and for statistics purposes.
Specific six-digit codes are assigned to each type of item.
Countries are allowed to add longer codes to the first six digits for further classification.
In the UK, for imports the number will be 10 digits (Usually the HS Code with four zeros on the end), and for exports it will be 8 (Again, usually the HS Code with two zeros on the end).
In the US, the number is always 10 digits.
COMMON HS CODES
9701.10.0000 - Paintings, drawings and pastels
9703.00.0000 - Original sculptures
9705.00.0000 - Collectors items (Originals)
9706.00.0000 - Antique items (Over 100 years old)
9702.00.0000 - Artist prints
4911.91.0000 - Photographs
Customs Procedure Code (CPC) Codes
A CPC code (Customs Procedure Code) is used to indicate the reason for import or export from/to Europe, in the form of either a seven digit number or a six digit number and one letter.
This explains the purpose of a shipment, determines how the shipment is processed and the way that duties and taxes are collected.
Using the correct CPC code is very important in order to avoid incorrect duties and taxes being collected and delays occurring
COMMON CPC CODES
See searchable database here (for UK Codes)
10 00 001 - Export from Free Circulation
40 00 200 - Import to Free Circulation, reduced VAT rate
40 00 000 - Import to Free Circulation, standard VAT rate
53 00 000 - Import to full authorisation TA
61 21 000 - Import of previously temporarily exported goods
61 23 F01 - Import of return goods (within 3 years)
71 00 000 - Import of goods to Bonded customs warehouse
31 71 000 - Transfer from TA to Bonded Warehouse
71 31 000 - Transfer from Bonded warehouse to TA
31 53 000 - Export from TA
31 71 000 - Export from Bonded Warehouse