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International Shipment Release Import – FedEx Tracking Guide

You’re expecting an overseas delivery from FedEx and you have received an “International Shipment Release Import” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Is the shipment having problems and is there anything you need to do?

Let’s take a look…

Summary: International Shipment Release Import

The “International Shipment Release Import” tracking update means that the shipment has been cleared through customs in the destination country and is authorized for release to FedEx for delivery to the recipient. 

International Shipment Release Import – Guide

Essentially, this update is a good one to receive.

The fact the suffix “Import” is added to the tracking alert means that the package has arrived at customs in the destination country. It is being imported.

Furthermore, the fact that FedEx has stated “International Shipment Release” means that the package has been released from customs.

In other words, customs staff has given authorization for the shipment to be released back to FedEx so that delivery to the recipient can take place.

Importance of the “International Shipment Release” Status Alert

customs staff checking packages

1. Timely Delivery

The “International Shipment Release” status serves as a signal that the package has cleared customs, reducing the likelihood of delays associated with bureaucratic processes.

This is especially crucial for businesses and individuals who rely on timely deliveries for their operations or personal needs.

2. Transparency and Visibility

man smiling on phone

The alert provides customers with real-time visibility into the progress of their international shipments.

I mean, who doesn’t want to receive a notification that the package is making progress?

This transparency allows you to plan and prepare for the arrival of their packages. Overall customer satisfaction can only improve as a result.

3. Customs Compliance

The release status indicates that the shipment has met all the necessary customs regulations and requirements.

This not only expedites the shipping process but also ensures that the package complies with the laws and regulations of the destination country.

4. Security Assurance

security and restricted items

By reaching the “International Shipment Release” status, the package has undergone thorough scrutiny during customs clearance.

This scrutiny helps ensure that the contents of the package are legitimate and pose no security threats.

It contributes to the overall security of the global shipping network.

5. Proactive Issue Resolution

custom forms

In the event of any unforeseen issues during customs clearance, the alert system allows FedEx and the customer to address and resolve problems proactively.

This might include missing documentation or issues with declared values, preventing further delays in the delivery process.

What Happens After the “International Shipment Release Import” Alert?

airport terminal

Your package is still at the entry point into the destination country when this alert is triggered.

Normally, the item will pass from customs clearance into a vast warehouse situated at the import location, (a FedEx international hub based at an airport for example, or a USPS ISC if the U.S. postal service is responsible for delivery).

From here it will enter the FedEx delivery network of the destination country and make its way toward the recipient’s address.

Tracking Stuck on “International Shipment Release Import”

roadblock in watercolor

Sometimes delays after customs clearance can cause the shipment tracking to remain stuck on this update.

Although FedEx should scan and send tracking alerts once they have picked up the item from customs and it begins the next stage of delivery, backlogs can delay this process.

It is understandable, just think of the high volume of international shipments entering the U.S. every day, (over 1 million alone at JFK airport).

International Shipment Release Import

Although it can be frustrating if you are waiting on a delivery and/or if an expedited FedEx service was used, I would recommend that you exercise patience at this point.

Essentially, the international shipment has finished the difficult part of its journey, it has arrived in the destination country and passed through customs.

However, if between 2 to 3 days pass with no new updates, you certainly have grounds to contact FedEx for information on the delay.

What Does “International Shipment Release – EXPORT” Mean?


The “Export” version of this update is less frequently sent.

It means that the shipment has successfully cleared customs within the origin (export) country, and has been released for international transit.

However, the fact that customs are generally less stringent on items exiting a country, the update is used less often by FedEx.

Final Words

Receive Item at Office of Exchange

Overall, the “International Shipment Release Import” tracking update from FedEx is a welcome one to receive.

It means that the package has been cleared through customs in the destination country and has been released to FedEx for final delivery.

Your parcel is now on the last part of its journey to you and should be delivered within a matter of days.

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