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What Does “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” DHL Mean?

You’re expecting an overseas delivery from DHL and you have received a “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” status alert.

What does this mean exactly? Is your package on its way? How long will it take to arrive?

Let’s take a look…

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“Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” DHL – Meaning

This is one of the rare self-explanatory alerts that DHL sends out. The update literally speaks for itself. “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” means that Customs in the destination country has inspected the package and it has been cleared for delivery.

Where is My Package When I Receive the “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” Update?

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When you receive this update, your package has entered the destination country (i.e the country of the recipient) and has passed through the customs process.

This is great news. It means that customs have released the package and it is now ready to be picked up by the carrier responsible for the next leg of the shipment.

This could be the postal service within the destination country or the carrier (in this case DHL) that has been responsible for the shipment thus far.

For the former, you may well receive a “Forwarded to a Third Party Agent” update next.

If DHL has your package, an “Arrived at Terminal Location” could be the next alert you see.

Either way, the package is normally just a few days away from final delivery once the “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” update is sent out.

Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs

Is There Anything I Need to do After I Receive This Update?

No, there is nothing you need to do. The fact it has been cleared by customs means that the paperwork was in order and no tax or duties needed to be paid.

DHL will now organize final delivery to the recipient address, be it within its delivery infrastructure or through that of a third-party agent.

But My Package is Stuck on the “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” Status Alert

Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs

If your package remains stuck on this update, that is unfortunate.

For all intents and purposes, the shipment has gone through the process that normally causes the most problems, (i.e customs clearance).

That being said, if you are seeing the “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” alert with no further updates for more than three days, you should go through the following steps.

Use a Universal Tracking App


Where a shipment has been handed over to a third party, you may not receive further updates via the DHL tracking webpage.

To circumvent this issue, you should put your number into a universal tracking service that will search multiple carriers for tracking details.

Services such as 17Track and ParcelsApp are free to use and come highly recommended.

If there are further details on your package, you will find them with these services.

Contact DHL Customer Services

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If you still know nothing more about the progress of your shipment after the “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs”, you will need to contact DHL customer services directly.

They should be able to provide information on the location of your package and the reason for the delay.

Note: The next step (see screenshot above), “Unless there is an ad-hoc exam or a stop by another regulatory authority the shipment will proceed to delivery” very rarely causes any issues.

This is merely DHL contingency wording that covers the carrier should another regulatory authority other than customs officials step in at this stage.

Final Words

Essentially, the “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” status alert from DHL is good news.

It means your package has cleared customs within the country of the recipient and is on its way. With any luck, delivery should take place within the next three or four days.

1 thought on “What Does “Shipment Has Been Given a Release by Customs” DHL Mean?”

  1. Thank you for this explanation. I am now comfortable with my package status. Would you consider elaborating on the contingency wording about “third party”agents?


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