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DHL “Customs Status Updated” – What Does it Mean?


What does DHL “Customs Status Updated” mean? That’s exactly what we will look into today.

It can be stressful and/or frustrating when receiving a DHL package from abroad. At some stage of the journey, the package will have to go through the customs process.

On most occasions, this should go smoothly. However, problems can occur and you are reliant on DHL status updates to know what’s happened.

The problem is, some tracking number updates are vague at best. “Customs Status Updated” seems to fall into that category. Until you know more…

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DHL “Customs Status Updated” – Summary

“Customs Status Updated” means that the package is going through customs clearance processing. A “Further Details (+)” will appear beside the update and will provide further information on the customs status if applicable. 

DHL Customs Status Updated – What does it mean?

Customs Status Updated is used to notify DHL customers that their package is going through customs clearance processing. 

This can happen when the package leaves the source country or reaches the destination country.

As mentioned in the summary above, this status update is accompanied by a Further Detail (+) tab that when pressed will provide more information on the customs status.

DHL Customs Status Updated – Further Detail Tab


So what information is revealed after you press the “Further Detail” tab of your status update?

Sometimes, absolutely nothing. But don’t worry, it is very much a case of no news is good news.

If no more information is provided, it essentially means that your package is going through the customs clearance process and no problems have occurred, (as yet).

However, it is wise to continue checking the update until you receive a notification that confirms the package has left customs clearance and is on its way to a local facility.

The update for this will be: “Shipment has been given release by customs“, or words to that effect.

DHL will also provide a small caveat with Next Step guidance too. In the case of the screenshot above, it states that “Unless there is an ad-hoc exam or a stop by another regulatory authority the shipment will proceed to delivery.”

For the most part, however, the package will be on its way to final delivery.

More information required


The Customs Status Updated – Further Detail tab is a way that DHL can communicate to shippers that additional information is required by Customs for clearance.

If there is missing information required for the export/import process, details will be issued here. The same goes for incomplete or missing documentation.

How specific the information is will vary. Sometimes, it will state what is missing, (package contents value for example).

In other situations, the shipper may be prompted to call DHL customer services.

Importantly, you will be made aware that the DHL shipment is on hold until more details are provided.

As you can see from the screenshot above, in this case, “further clearance processing is required“. DHL will make efforts to contact the shipper should more information be needed.

It is also advised that the shipper contact DHL regarding the shipment.

DHL Customs Status Updated – “Pending completion of customs inspection”


If your “customs status updated” alert reveals a “Pending completion of customs inspection” notification, there is no need to worry.

This means that your shipment was chosen for physical inspection at customs. This is a standard procedure and has nothing to do with any potential problems with your package.

Customs officers carry out spot-check inspections in a randomized manner. It can happen on any package going through the clearance process.

This DHL update will often be accompanied by an automatic alert along the lines of:

The status will be updated following customs inspection. A DHL representative shall attempt to contact the importer if additional requirements are necessary.

Note: wording can change according to DHL region and of course language.

This is basically telling you that you will receive an update after the inspection and if any additional actions are required, DHL will be in touch.

DHL Customs Status Updated – How Long Before Delivery?

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If you receive this DHL update, the length of time before delivery will vary.

No additional information

If the Customs Status Updated reveals no additional requirements, the shipment will leave customs clearance and be passed onto a facility for delivery in line with the service speed that you ordered. 

Additional information required

If the update asks for more information and additional documents, the onus is on the shipper to provide them.

The length of time this takes will impact the delivery speed considerably.

Customs inspection

If your Customs Status Updated reveals a “Pending completion of customs inspection” alert, you might have a wait on your hands.

Depending on the customs backlog and the import destination, a physical customs inspection can take anything from one day to several, to complete.

In the meantime, your package will be stuck in a customs warehouse. Delivery will definitely be later than the service speed the shipper requested.

DHL Customs Status Updated – Video Guide

Final Words

Thousands of DHL packages pass through customs every minute around the world.

When you receive a DHL customs status updated alert, it just means that this process is happening for your package.

Most of the time, there will be no additional actions required, which means your package will through the normal customs procedure without issues.

If extra information is required, you will be informed and can act accordingly.

If your package has been chosen for customs inspection you will be informed. Assuming everything is in order, you will have to wait for this to take place before you receive your package.

If additional actions are required after the inspection, a DHL operator will be in touch.

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