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Import Scan UPS – What it Means & What to Do

You’ve received an “Import Scan UPS” tracking update. What does this mean exactly?

Is your package in the destination country? When will it arrive? And what should you do if your package remains stuck on this update?

Let’s take a look.

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Import Scan UPS – Meaning

The Import Scan UPS tracking update means that the shipment has cleared import procedures within the destination country.

What to do When You Receive an Import Scan UPS Tracking Update?

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Generally, receiving this update is good news. Your package has arrived in the destination country and has cleared through the customs process.

If there have been any issues with customs clearance you should already have been notified. (UPS Clearance Information Required is a typical alert if a problem was encountered)

Essentially, your package is now cleared for the next leg of its journey.

In most cases, this will mean being dispatched to a UPS facility (regional or local depending on where the package is in relation to its final destination) where it will be sorted for onward delivery to the recipient.

Package Stuck on Import Scan UPS Tracking Update

Import Scan UPS

Occasionally you may encounter a situation where the tracking update is stuck on Import Scan.

This can be frustrating and leads to an issue where after contacting UPS you are told that the item is still going through the customs process.

This of course is in direct contradiction to what the update means, i.e that the package has cleared import procedures.

What Can you do if Your Package is Stuck on this Update?


You should contact UPS regarding the issue, however, they will likely tell you to wait. 

They will have little more information to provide as essentially the item is still within the customs clearance process and not inside the UPS delivery infrastructure.

Another option is to contact the original shipper. UPS is more likely to look more comprehensively into a delay if it is the shipper making contact.

Furthermore, if you have bought something online from the shipper, they will want to look into why a delay is occurring. Bad feedback is never good business.

Tracking Alternating Between “Warehouse Scan” + “Import Scan” UPS

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A similar situation to the tracking update being stuck is alternating alerts between “Warehouse Scan” + “Import Scan”.

We have talked about the “Warehouse Scan UPS” here. In an import/export context, this is simply stating that the item has arrived at the warehouse in preparation for customs clearance.

If your package alerts are alternating between these two updates it does mean that a clearance issue is arising.

Again, contacting UPS and the original shipper are the steps you should take.

Difference Between “Import Scan” & “Arrival Scan” UPS?

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Although an arrival or import scan update may seem similar in terms of language, there is a distinct difference.

An “Arrival Scan” update simply means that the shipment has been received at a UPS facility.

A package will often travel through a number of UPS facilities on its way from shipper to recipient.

An arrival scan does not mean that it has arrived at an import or export facility.

However, as we have covered, an “Import Scan” can only take place in an import situation.

It means that the package has successfully cleared import procedures within the destination country.

How Long After Receiving an “Import Scan” Will I Receive my Package?

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Assuming your package does not end up stuck on this alert, your package should arrive within just a few days of receiving the update.

Service speed and your location in relation to the import facility (i.e, where your package entered the country) will have an impact.

However, the next steps of UPS Hub to a destination facility close to your location should not take long. After that, the package will go out for delivery to your door.

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