Copper catalysed oxidative coupling reaction of formamides with β-keto esters and 2-carbonyl-substituted phenols successfully proceeded through direct C–H bond activation of formamides. The corresponding carbamates were formed with high stereoselectivity under mild reaction conditions. This protocol was successfully applied to the synthesis of three novel halogenated carbamates and a carbaryl insecticide derivative. Our results suggest the use of 6.0 equiv. TBHP is crucial for this type of reaction.