Help | Index

  Glossary of terms, letter C


Civil Aviation Authority - which is a public corporation, was established by Parliament in 1972 as an independent specialist aviation regulator and provider of air traffic services.


Customs Action Code - a code which indicates the action taken by Customs on either an entry or a request for removal.


Central American Common Market - members of (CACM) are: Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Panama; Honduras and Nicaragua.


Common Agricultural Policy - the set of legislation and practices jointly adopted by the nations of the European Union (EU) in order to provide a common, unified policy framework for agriculture.

Capital Goods Scheme

A scheme that requires the adjustment of input tax, to reflect the extent of changes in taxable use over time for certain items of capital expenditure. Affects businesses that make exempt supplies.


Central Accounting Point Officer.

Cash Accounting

A method of accounting for VAT on the basis of cash paid and received, rather than on tax invoices issued and received. Use of the method is subject to conditions.


Customs Action Text - an expanded description of the Customs Action Code (CAC).


Community Customs Code - the basic Customs rules applying throughout the European Union (EU). The Code was established by Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2913/92. This regulation has been amended several times since it was passed, but it remains the basis of the EU Customs system. Another regulation, Commission Regulation (EEC) No. 2454/93, sets out provisions for the implementation of the Code.


Customs Co-operation Council - the former name of the World Customs Organisation (WCO). The WCO was known as the Customs Co-operation Council between 1952 (when the organisation was first established) and 1994.


Consignment Control Label Number - a unique 12 digit number on a control label allocated to a consignment note CIM by which the consignment note, its country and station of issue can be identified.


Cross Country Pipeline.


Cargo Community System - the computerised cargo processing system that controls goods in an inventory linked environment. It consists of a central database and a 'switch' to transfer messages between the various computer systems connected to it.


Central Community Transit Office.


Central and Eastern European Countries - the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) include: Latvia; Estonia; Lithuania; Romania; Bulgaria; Hungary; Poland; Czech Republic; Slovakia and Slovenia.


The Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.


Civil Evasion Penalty - a penalty for dishonest evasion of VAT.


Customs Freight Simplified Procedures - simplified procedures for the importation of third country goods, including the Simplified Declaration Procedure (SDP) and the Local Clearance Procedure (LCP).


Clearing House Automated Payment System - an electronic method of payment.


Charities are non-profit distributing bodies established to advance education; advance religion; relieve poverty, sickness or infirmity or carry out certain other activities beneficial to the community.


Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight - HM Customs and Excise computerised system for processing import and export declarations.


Convention International Marchandises Chemins de Fer - international rail carriage receipt.


Customs Information Processing Requirements in the 21st Century.


Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species - regulatory body which oversees the international movement and trade of endangered species.


Customs and International Trade Operations.


Goods are cleared when HM Customs and Excise have accepted a declaration for them and formally released them for import or export.


Convention Marchandises Routiers - conditions for the international carriage of goods by road.


Combined Nomenclature - the European Union (EU) system for classifying and defining goods. It is based on the Harmonised System (HS) and is laid out in the Tariff.


Combined Consignment Note and Customs Declaration - a single document which serves as both a Customs declaration and a consignment note. The CNCD is used for traffic to and from the Channel Islands.

Combined Bingo

Bingo which is promoted at one place and, for the purpose of a particular game, combined with bingo played at another place and promoted by another person. This is so that the players at both places share in the chance of winning a prize contributed partly by one promoter and partly by the other. Also known as Linked Bingo.

Commodity Code

The code that identifies the description of individual goods or items in the Tariff. The full code is either 10 or 14 digits long, but for many purposes only the first 4 or 8 digits are used. Also referred to as Combined Nomenclature (CN) code.

Common Stock

The storage or mixture of goods which have been imported under a relief eg End-Use relief or Inward Processing Relief (IPR) with other goods that share the same Commodity Code to 8 digits and the same technical and physical characteristics.

Compensating Products

All products obtained from Inward Processing Relief (IPR) processing operations.

Compensatory Interest

Interest charged by HM Customs and Excise when Inward Processing Relief (IPR) suspension goods are diverted to Free Circulation.

Compounded Settlement

An offer by HM Customs and Excise not to pursue criminal action in return for a penalty payment made by the person charged with an offence.

Conditional Sale

The sale of goods where the price is payable in instalments. The goods remain the property of the seller until the full price is paid or the customer meets another condition.

Confirmation Code

This is a code issued to a customer’s email address. The customers uses the code to activate their email and allow us to issue General and Service specific emails to their chosen email address. HMRC will be unable to provide email messages unless the customer confirms they are willing to receive email communications from us.

Consideration (for a supply)

Any form of payment in money or in kind for a supply of goods or services, including anything that is in itself a supply.

Consignee (duty suspension)

The person to whom duty suspended goods are consigned and who accounts for those goods in the Member State of destination. This may be: a warehousekeeper who is approved to store the goods in duty suspension; a registered trader who accounts for duty on arrival or a non-registered trader who must have accounted for the duty to his fiscal authority before the goods are despatched.

Consignment Record

The record of an import or export consignment held on a computer inventory system.

Consignor (duty suspension)

The authorised person from whose premises goods are dispatched in duty suspension.


A procedure whereby a number of small consignments are loaded together to form a single, larger consignment. This must be carried out as part of a contract to transport the goods.


A container or vehicle, which has been built, equipped and approved to meet specific standards of construction and security.

Continental Shelf

Sea area extending beyond UK territorial waters sub-divided and allocated to a number of Countries including certain European Union (EU) Member States. Areas designated to the UK are called the UK Continental Shelf.

Contingent Discount

A discount granted by a seller to a buyer subject to the buyer satisfying certain conditions. For example, a discount might be dependent on the buyer making a certain minimum level of purchases within a stated period.

Continuous Supply Of Goods

Where the supply goods in the form of water, gas and electricity on a continuous basis and receive payments regularly, or from time to time. If this happens, there's a tax point every time a tax invoice is issued or a payment is received - whichever happens first.

Continuous Supply Of Services

For the supply of services on a continuous basis and receipt of regular payments or payments made from time to time, there is a tax point every time a VAT invoice is issued or a payment is received, whichever happens first.


Formal signed agreements, excluding service agreements and leases, enforceable by law.


Country of Origin.

Countervailing Charge

A charge which may be imposed by the European Commission (EC) either on certain goods from specified European Union (EU) Member States during some months of the year or as part of a minimum import price system.


Customs Procedure Code - a 6 digit code used on entries at import and export to identify the type of procedure for which the goods are entered and from which they came.


Customs Procedures with Economic Impact - a blanket term describing a number of Customs procedures which are specifically designed to aid European Union (EU) companies. The procedures involved are Customs Warehousing; Free Zones; Inward Processing Relief (IPR); Outward Processing Relief (OPR); Processing under Customs Control (PCC); and Temporay Import Relief (TI).

Credit Note

A document that a supplier issues to a customer, following a genuine mistake or overcharge, or an agreed change in the value of supply.

Credit Sale

The sale of goods, which immediately become the property of the customer, but where the price is payable by instalments.


Customs Registered Number - a unique 5 digit number assigned by HM Customs and Excise to an exporter or agent approved to use one or more of the following export procedures: Simplified Clearance Procedure (SCP); Local Export Control (LEC) and Period Entry.


Community Systems Provider - A company or organisation providing a system that supports a network of trade users and provides Human Computer Interface (HCI) and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) access to the CHIEF computer system.


Customs Statistical Reference - a code which identifies both the type of export consignment and the type of documentation that goes with the consignment.


Common Transit - used to describe Community Transit (CT) movements to, from or via European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Visegrad countries.


Community Transit - a documentary system of controlling the movement of certain goods across the territory of the European Union (EU) and that of other signatories to the Transit Convention.


Central Tariff Quota Unit.

Customs and Excise Warehouse

A warehouse separately approved for the deposit of goods liable to customs duty and excise duty.

Customs Approved Treatment Or Use

The placing of goods under a customs procedure; their entry into a free zone; their re-exportation from the customs territory of the European Union (EU); their destruction or their abandonment to the Exchequer.

Customs Duty

A tax charged on goods imported into the European Union (EU). It is based on the value of the imported goods (see - Ad Valorem duty) and the description of the goods. Remember that imported goods may be liable to other charges, such as Anti-Dumping Duty (ADD) or Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) charges. They may also be liable to Excise Duty and VAT.

Customs Release

The approval given by Customs that authorises a transit shed operator to deliver goods from the transit shed subject to such conditions the Commissioners may impose.

Customs Union

The Customs Territories of the European Union (EU), Turkey, San Marino and Andorra. The unions between the European Union and these countries enable most goods in free circulation to move freely between them without the need to claim import duty relief; subject to the production of any necessary preference or Community Transit (CT) documentation. VAT is still due on imports from Turkey; San Marino and Andorra, however, unless the goods are eligible for relief.

Customs Value

The value of imported goods for customs purposes.

Customs Warehouse

A place approved by HM Customs and Excise for the storage of goods without payment of import duty. Import VAT is also suspended during storage of warehoused goods. There are several different types of Customs warehouse. While most approvals are for specific locations, in some cases approval can be given to a company and its commercial accounting and stock control systems. In these cases the approval is not linked to a specific location.


Certificate of Veterinary Clearance - a document issued by the official Veterinary Officer at a Border Inspection Post (BIP) controlling Products Of Animal Origin (POAO) and live animals entering the European Union (EU).