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RM4SCC (Royal Mail 4-State Customer Code) is the name of the barcode symbology used by the Royal Mail for its Cleanmail service. It enables UK postcodes as well as Delivery Point Suffixes (DPSs) to be easily read by a machine at high speed.

This barcode is known as CBC (Customer Bar Code) within Royal Mail.

Royal TNT Post uses a slightly modified version called KIX which stands for Klant index (Customer index); it differs from CBC in that it doesn't use the start and end symbols or the checksum, separates the house number and suffixes with an X, and is placed below the address.[1]

There are strict guidelines governing usage of these barcodes, which allow for maximum readability by machines.

They can be used with Royal Mail's Cleanmail system, as an alternative to OCR readable fonts, to allow businesses to easily and cheaply send large quantities of letters.

As the example below shows, the barcode consists of a start character, the postcode, the Delivery Point Suffix (DPS), a checksum character, and a stop character.

Table showing the symbols used for Cleanmail.
A typical address containing the postcode encoded in RM4SCC.
The example postcode above decoded.

Encoding and checksum[edit]

Each character is made up of 4 bars, 2 of which extend upward, and 2 of which extend downward. The long bars of each half can be assigned weights of 4210 to produce a digit from 1 to 6. The combination of the top and bottom halves gives 36 possible symbols: 10 digits and 26 letters.

RM4SCC bar code symbols
Top Bottom (1=long bar, 0=short)
0011 0101 0110 1001 1010 1100
1 2 3 4 5 0
0011 1 0 1 2 3 4 5
0101 2 6 7 8 9 A B
0110 3 C D E F G H
1001 4 I J K L M N
1010 5 O P Q R S T
1100 0 U V W X Y Z

The check symbol is computed by summing the top and bottom half values separately, modulo 6, and combining the final sums into a symbol. In the example above, the top half values are 26114512. This sums to 22=6×3 + 4. This the check symbol has a top value of 4. The bottom half values are 64224625, which sum to 31=6×5 + 1. The check symbol's bottom half value is 1, so it corresponds to the letter I.

See also[edit]

  • PostBar – Derivatives of RM4SCC used in other countries (inc. Canada, USA, Australia)


  1. ^ "De KIX van TNT Post" (PDF) (in Dutch). TNT Post. January 2007. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 

External links[edit]

Related websites