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Cleared and Awaiting International Departure – AU Post

You’re expecting a delivery from Australia Post and have received a “Cleared and Awaiting International Departure” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Where is your mail item when you receive this alert and what do you do if ends up stuck?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Cleared and Awaiting International Departure

This update from Australia Post means that the package has cleared customs in the origin country and is awaiting to be loaded onto an airplane (or cargo ship) for international departure to the destination country.

Cleared and Awaiting International Departure – Guide

Airplane being loaded

On the face of it, this is a simple tracking update to understand.

The alert is triggered once a package has been cleared through customs in the origin country (i.e the country of the sender), and it is now back with the carrier ready for overseas transit.

Depending on the service speed used, this mode of transit will either be an airplane or a cargo ship.

Clearly, transit times differ between the two.

There is also the issue of whether the shipment will be sent directly to the destination country or will pass through an intermediate transit country.

As we are looking at the “Cleared and Awaiting International Departure” alert in relation to Australia Post, it normally means the shipment will pass through one or more countries on the way, (assuming it is being sent to or from Europe or the USA).

Australia is just too far away for the shipment to arrive without some kind of transfer taking place.

Tracking Stuck on “Cleared and Awaiting International Departure”

Cleared and Awaiting International Departure

There are a number of variables at play that can cause the tracking to be stuck on this update.

Firstly, if the package is held at the export location inside the origin country it will remain stuck on “Cleared and Awaiting International Departure” until it is actually loaded onto a plane, (or even arrived in the destination country and is scanned for import).

During Covid, it was not uncommon for packages to show this update for several weeks.

Carrier capacity, lockdowns (especially stringent in Australia), and overall staffing levels meant that international shipments across all carriers were experiencing delays.


These backlogs took a long time to be mitigated and for carrier logistics worldwide to return to some semblance of normality.

Of course, as I write this international borders are open again.

However, the same issues in terms of package volumes and availability of aircraft will cause a shipment to be delayed.

And if your package is being shipped by cargo ship you should expect to wait several weeks for a new update as that is the nature of the shipping speed, (and the cost-effective price attached to it).

So How Long Should it Take?

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It really does depend on the shipping service purchased.

Australian Post Express shipping will provide you with an estimated delivery window. 

As the “Cleared and Awaiting International Departure” is close to the beginning of the package journey, I recommend that you contact Australia Post within 5 to 7 days of your tracking being stuck.

This allows enough time for overseas transit to take place.

Upon arrival into the destination country, you should receive an “International Arrival – Awaiting Clearance”.

This would alert you to the fact the package is moving as it should.

On budget shipping speeds you definitely need to wait longer before making inquiries.

Again, the estimated delivery time does provide you with a gauge, but I wouldn’t contact Australia Post for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Low-priority International shipping really is that slow.

Final Words

airplane wing in flight

Overall, the “Cleared and Awaiting International Departure” is a good alert to receive.

It means customs clearance inside the origin country has been completed.

Soon after the package should be loaded and dispatched for overseas transit.

Depending on the service speed purchased, it will mean that your package will arrive in the destination country in either a few days or a few weeks.

Keep an eye on your tracking and make inquiries accordingly.

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