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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…

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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.

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

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Airport Terminal (By Me, MidJourney)

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”

International Shipment Release Import

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 into JFK airport).

And 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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