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FedEx “Clearance Instructions from the Importer are Required”

You’re expecting an international delivery from FedEx and you have received a “Clearance Instructions from the Importer are Required” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Which instructions are required and where can you find them?

Let’s take a look…

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FedEx “Clearance Instructions from the Importer are Required” – Meaning

The “Clearance Instructions from the Importer are Required” update from FedEx means that the package is being held at customs clearance awaiting import information from the original shipper.

What to do when you receive a “Clearance Instructions from the Importer are Required” update?

What you do here is dependent on whether you are the recipient or shipper and what information is required. We’ll take both positions in turn.

The Recipient

You are likely to see this tracking update first as you will have been looking for details on when your package might arrive.

The first thing you need to do as the recipient is to check your tracking update to see if further information about the missing instructions is available.

Sometimes FedEx will be quite detailed in providing notes on what is required, (see screenshot in the section below).

With this information, you will then need to contact the shipper directly and explain what has happened.

The responsibility is on them to provide the missing clearance instructions and send them across to FedEx.

The Shipper

As the shipper, you may have been contacted by the recipient, FedEx, your customs broker, or discovered the issue yourself.

Either way, you will need to take action for the package to pass customs clearance and be successfully delivered.

This will involve checking the status update for what is required, and more than likely, contacting the FedEx customs clearance department too, (1800gofedex).

Reacting to the issue in a timely manner is important for both customer relations with the recipient and overall good business practice.

What kind of clearance instructions are required?

Clearance Instructions from the Importer are Required

The type of clearance instructions required can vary widely. There is all manner of different variables when it comes to import/export.

Failure to complete a commercial invoice, missing package content details, incorrect address, value, duty details, the list really does go on.

Each case will differ on its own terms, which is why it is important to look at the details FedEx has provided. Very often the tracking page will very specific about what is needed. The shipper should also contact the clearance team if in any doubt.

My package is part of a larger shipment – what to do?

In some scenarios, your package could be one of many within the same shipment being held at customs clearance.

An example is a situation where many individuals had Motorola mobile phones held at customs and were all receiving the “Clearance Instructions from the Importer are Required” update.

It turned out that a full batch of 3,000 phones was stuck at customs due to Motorola not sending sufficient instructions.

The issue was fast-tracked through Motorola customer support, with presumably the import/export team needing to react quickly to rectify the situation.

I raise this to highlight the fact that even when ordering an item from a large multinational company, you could still see this update from FedEx.

If that happens, you will need to contact the company and be patched through to the relevant department to have the situation resolved. It might not always be particularly easy.

How long will my tracking be stuck on “Clearance Instructions from the Importer are Required”

Clearance Instructions from the Importer are Required

This all depends on how quickly the shipper reacts to the problem and sends the required instructions.

Hopefully, this should just take a day or two. An independent shipper dragging their heels over the situation could take much longer, however.

Until it is resolved, your package will remain stuck in the clearance process and you will see this update for as long as it takes for the correct instructions to be sent.

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