It can be frustrating when tracking your international package and the status reads "held in customs" or "customs clearance delay." While this situation is not ideal, it's a common occurrence in international shipping. This article aims to help you understand why your package may be stuck in customs and what you can do to resolve the issue.
Why Packages Get Held in Customs
Several reasons might cause your package to be held in customs:
Insufficient or incorrect paperwork: The sender must provide a completed customs declaration form detailing what's inside the package, its value, and its country of origin. If this information is missing or incorrect, it can cause delays.
Duties and taxes payment: Most countries require the recipient to pay duties and taxes before the package can be released from customs. If the package was shipped Delivery Duties Unpaid (DDU) and these fees are not paid promptly, it could result in the package being held.
Prohibited or restricted items: Every country has a list of items that are restricted or prohibited from import. If your package contains such items, it could be seized or held until further action is taken.
Random inspections: Sometimes, packages are selected at random for inspection. This can cause a delay, even if everything is in order.
What Can I Do If My Package Is Stuck?
If your package is held in customs, here are some steps you can take:
Pay any outstanding duties and taxes: If duties and taxes are due, you need to pay them before the package can be released. The local customs authority should provide information on how to make payment.
Provide additional information or documentation: If the holdup is due to missing or incorrect information, you'll need to provide the correct details. This could involve filling out a form or providing proof of the package's contents or value.
Reach out to us!: If your tracking page shows that your package is being held in customs, we are often notified and are proactive in getting the documentation together to have it released. Occasionally, we are not notified but can still investigate the hold and help get the package cleared as soon as possible.
Having a package held at customs can be a stressful experience, but understanding the possible reasons and the steps you can take to resolve the issue can make the process easier. Remember, in international shipping, dealing with customs is part of the process, and occasional delays are normal.