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What Does “Import Clearance Success” Mean? (Tracking Guide)

You’re expecting a package from overseas and have received an “Import Clearance Success” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Is it as self-explanatory as it seems or is there more to it? And how far is your item from delivery when you see this update?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Import Clearance Success

The “Import Clearance Success” tracking alert means that the shipment has successfully passed customs clearance inside the destination country. The package will then be handed over to the local postal service or carrier for final delivery.

Import Clearance Success – Guide

Import Clearance Success

Essentially, the “Import Clearance Success” status update is a good one to receive. It means that the potentially difficult process of customs clearance within the import (destination) country has been successfully completed.

Customs staff has now handed the package over to the carrier or postal service responsible for the next section of the transit journey.

It is this service that has scanned the item upon receiving it from customs and therefore triggered the “Import Clearance Success” alert.

Where is my Package When I Receive the “Import Clearance Success” Alert?

Import Clearance Success

Usually, the shipment is still inside the International Service Center (USPS) or carrier facility at the import location.

In other words, it is inside the warehouse connected to the customs facility of the destination country.

Next Steps After the “Import Clearance Success” Tracking Update

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As mentioned, customs staff have handed the package to the local postal service or carrier when you receive this update. This service will then sort the item for dispatch to the delivery location.

If the carrier is responsible for final delivery, the shipment will likely make its way through one or more regional sort facilities before arriving at the post office or sorting center in the vicinity of the recipient.

From there it will be loaded onto the truck for last-mile delivery.

If the carrier is not responsible for final delivery, a similar process will take place (i.e, the package will pass through one or more regional facilities toward the delivery location) before being handed over to a service such as USPS for last-mile delivery.

How Long Until Delivery After the “Import Clearance Success” Alert?

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The good news is your package is getting close to delivery when you receive the “Import Clearance Success” status alert.

A carrier inside the destination country has the item, and there have been no issues with customs. Taking delivery in the U.S. as an example; the item should be dispatched from the import facility to a regional facility or sorting hub within 24 to 48hrs.

Even if the shipment has to pass through another facility before it reaches the local post office to the recipient, (another 24-48hrs on top) before going out for last-mile delivery you should expect your item between 2 to 5 business days after receiving the “Import Clearance Success” tracking update.

My Tracking is Stuck on “Import Clearance Success”

Import Clearance Success

There is one main issue that will prevent you from receiving your package inside the aforementioned 2 to 5 business-day delivery window.

This is the speed at which the carrier dispatches the package from the import facility. 

USPS International Service Centers and their European equivalent (Royal Mail International Center at Heathrow and Liege, Airport in Belgium), are somewhat notorious for delays and high shipment volumes causing backlogs.

In other words, after the package has been handed to the carrier within these facilities, it can take several days (sometimes even weeks) for the item to be loaded onto a truck for dispatch toward the region of delivery.

Whether items are disappearing on warehouse shelves, or just joining the back of a long line of shipments waiting to leave, it can cause the package to be stuck in limbo with tracking that doesn’t update.

Low-priority, economy shipments from China are especially susceptible to this. In fact, you may well have reached this page due to a missing shipment from AliExpress. So what do you do in this situation?

What to do When Your Tracking is Stuck?

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If your shipment is an order from China, the first step is to be patient and make yourself aware of your buyer protection period.

The combination of the fact economy shipping services from China take a long time, and that items often get held up inside international service centers (even after successfully clearing customs), means that having to wait is all too common.

Even though your package is clearly inside the destination country, patience is still a virtue.

e-Commerce platforms such as AliExpress provide a 60-day buyers protection period. If you try to complain to the seller or AliExpress too early, they will tell you to wait longer.

As a frame of reference, the standard delivery time for an AliExpress shipment is 15 to 45 business days.

Your best option if your tracking is stuck on “ Import Clearance Success” is to wait it out. Hopefully, it will start moving soon.

However, if your 60-day window is reaching an end, contact the seller and open a dispute with AliExpress. This way you will be able to claim a refund or replacement item sent, in the event, the package never arrives.

Final Words

Under normal circumstances, receiving the “Import Clearance Success” tracking update is great. It means that the shipment has cleared customs in the destination country and will be coming to the recipient’s address very soon.

In the event of any delays or the tracking becoming stuck, you will need to be aware of your buyer protection period. If the item does not arrive within this window, you will need to have opened a dispute to make a claim.

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