What should I do if my shipment get stuck in customs ?

Today it is common to make purchases in foreign online stores: the latest generation Smartphone, that “invention” without which you cannot live or any other interesting item at a good price, but the shipment does not arrive… and at that moment we ask ourselves: Will my package be held in customs?

As a buyer, before making a purchase you must inform yourself of the taxes and expenses that can be assumed for purchases made outside the country since there can always be extra expenses in tariff concepts plus processing costs.

When you go shopping, keep these things in mind to calculate what the package is really going to cost you, since it is not very pleasant to receive these scares when you are about to receive something that makes you very excited.

DocShipper Alert: Need to unblock your parcel urgently from customs? Contact us now! Our agents on site have already helped many shippers to clear their shipment, and in a few days only.


How to release a package held in customs?


Removing a package from customs is quite chaotic. The procedures are very slow and heavy, but do not get overwhelmed! The first thing you have to do is check that it is retained through the tracking number or the delivery note provided by the transport company that has managed your shipment.

Enter it on their own website and once you have verified that the package is withheld, they will send you international shipping instructions with the DUA request with the instructions to release the package.

In addition, the carrier has to send you a letter in a week or so.

You have to correctly fill in all the fields requested, scan them and send them as soon as possible. Based on customs regulations, you have 15 days from the moment your items arrive at customs to complete and return the documentation before your package is sent to a storage warehouse or returned to its origin.

When you have sent the documents, it is time to wait for them to review them in case you have forgotten any information or in case something is missing. The time for them to review is variable, if you do it as an individual and everything goes well it would be approximately a week.

Easy tracking of the order is also available, on checking on the website you may see some changes now. That means that they have already emailed you the amount you have to pay to release it from customs.

If you are importing goods from India, there are many top-rated exporters that are providing these services without any hassle like DocShipper and ExFrO.

DocShipper Advice: Because we know how customs clearance can be time-consuming, FNM is here to help you by handling this step thanks to our experience as freight forwarders and logistics experts. Don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.

Trick to prevent the shipment from being held in customs

If you have exported merchandise abroad to give away, sell or return, it is very important that you inform yourself well before sending any type of product to the consulate or customs of the country of destination because there are restrictions that prevent or restrict entry depending on the type of merchandise and country of reception.

To reduce the chances that your shipment will be retained, there is a procedure that speeds up the identification and verification of the content of the package, and packing list.

There are other reasons that can cause customs to retain the shipment, such as the documentation presented is incorrect or incomplete, the customs agent requiring additional documentation to release the shipment (dispatch authorization, dual-use letter, etc.), or either that it has not been possible to contact the recipient, or he has not formalized the payment of customs taxes at the destination.

DocShipper Alert: DocShipper is an international freight forwarder. Our shipping services are here to support you during the exportation/importation of your goods, no matter if it’s by air, sea, or road, our experts are here to help you save time and money. Contact us for more information!

How much will I have to pay at customs if my package is detained?

customs-packageA package in customs is neither more nor less than a shipment that has had to cross one or more countries on its way from the point of origin to the point of destination. However, when we send or receive something from another country, we do not always take into account that we have to pay customs, and this lack of foresight can lead us to suffer a good scare when we find the invoice in our mailbox.

Usually, packages in customs have to face a VAT payment (of 21%, 10%, or 4%, depending on the type of product) and an amount that ranges between 0% and 17% in terms of duty.

Example-The first thing to know about paying customs is that the duty or tax involved in crossing borders between countries of the European Union only applies to packages with a value greater than 22 euros (except goods subject to special taxes). Likewise, the tax rate to be applied varies considerably depending on the countries involved and the type of merchandise.

What happens if I do not pick up a package at customs?

If you don’t pick up the package held in customs or are not willing to do so, then, under normal conditions, the order is usually sent back to the sender in about 20 days. So you will not be able to recover it unless you agree with the opposite, so keep this in mind to avoid future surprises.

What does it mean by processing the package by custom clearance?

You can ensure about the same if you find the status code of your international shipment that the package is being processed by custom clearance. This means that your package is in the customs process and will soon be released after that.

DocShipper info: When you are importing/exporting goods, you have to be well organized from the first logistic operation to the last. Because doing it all by yourself could be challenging and time-consuming, finding a logistic partner to ensure a successful logistics process could be a precious help.  If you need more information about logistics, don’t hesitate to ask our experts!

How can we know that a package is held in customs?

Usually, when a package is held in customs, the carrier with which we are making the shipment will notify us of this new situation so that we can manage it, so simply having the tracking number on hand and carrying out a check in the tracking tool shipment tracking, the tool itself will reflect this new situation of our shipment.

How long does it take for customs to clear the package?

Usually, a package held in customs can take between 5 and 30 days to be released, depending on many factors, among them, the saturation that customs has at that time, for example, in times of heavy transit of shipments, such as being New year or Christmas, the deadlines can be increased due to this factor, so we cannot provide a specific duration, even so, if your shipment takes more than those 30 days mentioned above, it may be due to some problem, so we recommend that you contact your customs agent to try to solve it as soon as possible.

Additional data is required to continue the customs clearance process – What does it mean?

customs-autoritiesIf you receive this notice “additional data is required to continue the customs clearance process” it means that for any reason, it is necessary to present some type of additional documentation to the one already carried by the shipment for clearance, so we must contact with the customs agent to provide all the information that is required of us.

Docshipper Tip: More than a help for your customs clearance, FNM is able to handle all the supply-chain operations. Our experts can help you find your suppliers, do the quality control, transport your goods, do the custom clearance and even provide a warehousing service. Our 360° offer is here to help you save time and money! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more information and a free quote.

DocShipper Advise : We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product? Enjoy our sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier? Ask our experts to do quality control to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics? Our international freight department supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution? Our 3PL department will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!


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