You have recently sent a package via Canada Post and have received a “Shipment Picked up by Canada Post” tracking update.
What does this mean exactly? Where is the parcel when you see this update and is there anything you need to do?
Let’s take a look…
Summary: International Shipment Has Arrived in a Foreign Country
The “International Shipment Has Arrived in a Foreign Country” tracking update normally means that the package has arrived at the destination country. However, sometimes the alert can be triggered when a package reaches an intermediate transit country.
International Shipment Has Arrived in a Foreign Country – Guide
First, let’s take the most common reason the alert is sent.
When an international shipment arrives in the destination country and is unloaded from the plane, it will trigger an “International Shipment Has Arrived in a Foreign Country” update.
This is basically telling both parties, (sender and recipient) that the package has safely arrived in the destination country.
That being said, customs clearance and dispatch to the postal service or carrier responsible for the next stage of the shipment will still need to take place.
The former, of course, can present problems if clearance paperwork is incomplete or duties are applicable.
- Related Content: Electronic Information Submitted by Shipper – Canada Post
The Less Common Reason
Occasionally, you will receive the “International Shipment Has Arrived in a Foreign Country” update when the package arrives in a foreign country that isn’t the destination country.
This is because some packages will pass through an intermediate transit country en route to the final destination.
When comprehensive scanning takes place, (i.e the shipment is unloaded from one plane, scanned, and loaded onto another), an alert of this nature may be sent.
How Do I Know Where My Package Is?
It is straightforward to ascertain which of the above scenarios has taken place.
On your tracking page, the information alongside the “International Shipment Has Arrived in a Foreign Country” alert will state the location.
You may need to Google search the acronym used, (in the example screenshot above USJFKA is the code for the USPS ICS New York), however, since both parties obviously know where the destination country is, it is easy to determine whether it has been reached.
- Related Content: What Does USORDA, USA Mean? (A Complete Guide)
Tracking Stuck on “International Shipment Has Arrived in a Foreign Country”
You will need to give the shipment time after you have received this update, (unless an expedited international delivery speed was purchased).
This is because the next step is customs clearance. Correction, the next step is actually a period of time in a warehouse as the shipment goes into a queue waiting for clearance.
Even when everything is in order, this can take multiple days. Add backlogs, or problems with the actual shipment and the wait is even longer.
That being said, clearance failure or issues such as tax and duties owed should be reported within your tracking.
- Related Content: Tracking Guide: “Item Processed” Canada Post
It Really Isn’t Moving!
If several days to a week should pass with the package stuck on the “International Shipment Has Arrived in a Foreign Country” update, I would begin making inquiries.
I recommend three steps:
1. Use Alternative Tracking Methods
Canada Post may no longer be tracking your package at all.
Instead, punch in your tracking details into the database of the local postal service or carrier responsible for delivery in the destination country.
They may have your package now and it is in transit toward the recipient’s address. Tracking updates are being created.
If you don’t know which carrier is responsible, try a universal tracking app such as 17Track and ParcelsApp. These free services will scan the databases of hundreds of carriers to see if new updates exist.
2. Contact Canada Post
You will want to contact Canada Post as this is the service that was originally responsible for the shipment.
However, the fact that it is now inside the destination country means that Canada Post may be less than helpful, (online forums are full of disdain for CP customer services).
In other words, you should report the issue but don’t necessarily expect much help.
3. Contact the Local Carrier / Postal Service
You will likely get more assistance from the local carrier responsible for this next stage of delivery.
Inform them that you have a package that is seemingly stuck at arrival (i.e import) and that they are due to deliver it. Hopefully, the service will be able to get to the bottom of why the item isn’t moving.
- Related Content: Tracking Guide: Shipment Picked up by Canada Post
Essentially, the “International Shipment Has Arrived in a Foreign Country” tracking update means that the package has arrived in the destination country.
With any luck, it will pass through customs and be on its way to the destination address in just a few days.
Delays and hold-ups at customs are common, so do not be surprised if it takes a lot longer.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂