Some of the links may be affiliate links, earning us a small commission if you decide to use them, allowing us to continue creating content. Read our FTC Disclosure

DHL “Clearance Event” – What Does it Mean?

What does the DHL Clearance Event mean? You’re expecting an overseas package and have received this tracking update.

Is it time to stress? Let’s take a look.

SUMMARY: DHL “Clearance Event”

  • The DHL “Clearance Event” tracking update means that a package is being cleared through customs.
  • The Clearance Event taking place is usually a customs paperwork check or determining whether customs duty is due.
  • If additional customs details are required, or customs duty needs to be paid you should be notified by DHL
  • If a DHL “Clearance Event” update remains for over 48hrs you should contact DHL for more details.

What Does DHL “Clearance Event” Mean?

customs clearance checking packages

DHL “Clearance Event” means that a package is being “cleared” through customs. The two main customs clearance events that can take place are as follows:

Customs clearance paperwork check

This simply means that the related customs paperwork for the shipment is being checked by customs personnel.

It does not mean that a problem has occurred. It just means that details are being checked to ensure everything is in order.

Determining Customs Duty

Here, a clearance event means that the package is being checked to determine whether any customs duty is due. If so, the amount that is due will also be calculated.

What to Do When You Receive a DHL “Clearance Event” Tracking Update?

When you receive a DHL “Clearance Event” tracking update the first step is to check your tracking details for further information.

DHL Clearance Event Tracking Page

As you can see from the screenshot above, a “Clearance Event” update has been received.

Beneath the main notification, there is a “Further Detail” tab. If you click on this is it will provide details of the actual Clearance Event.

More Information is Required for Customs Clearance

man buried beneath paperwork

The details of the clearance event will vary, however, if more information is required you will see a “Further clearance processing is required” within the “Further Detail” tab.

The “Next step” section of your tracking screen will provide information on what is required.

Very often this will state: “A DHL representative shall attempt to contact the importer or shipper if additional requirements are necessary,” (or words to that effect).

DHL Clearance Event what to do

In other words, if the clearance event is a check on the customs documentation and paperwork is missing or incomplete, DHL will be in touch.

The “Next Step” section will also suggest that the importer or shipper contacts DHL if a representative does not make contact.

Customs Duty is Due

taxes and duties fees

The same “Further Detail” tab will include information if customs duty is due.

You will not be notified via the tracking update on what amount is due, or whether the shipper or importer needs to pay it.

However, the “Next Steps” section will state that a DHL representative will attempt to make contact.

No Further Information

information button

If after clicking the “Further Detail” tab, no further information is revealed, this is good news.

This means that the package is going through the standard customs clearance process (i.e clearance events), and as yet, no issues have occurred.

Update Stuck on DHL “Clearance Event” for Several Days

Clearance Event on DHL Tracking

A package will receive multiple DHL “Clearance Event” tracking updates if no action is taken.

As you can see from the screenshot above, the notification is being repeated over several days. The package is stuck at customs.

Here, the DHL customer has not acted on the information provided and/or has not been in contact with DHL.

Essentially, if you are stuck on a DHL “Clearance Event” update you need to follow the steps from the section above. Check the “Further Details” tab to see what the issue might be, and contact DHL directly.

What Does DHL’s “Uncontrollable Clearance Delay” Mean?

girl confused

An associated update connected to a DHL “Clearance Event” is “Uncontrollable Clearance Delay”.

Unfortunately, if you receive this update a more complicated issue has occurred during the customs clearance process.

The associated “Further Detail” tab may read: “A clearance other than standard Customs entry is required for this shipment.”

The “Next step” section in this scenario will read something like: “Further processing will occur as instructed by the regulatory authority. A DHL representative shall attempt to contact the importer or shipper if further information is required.”

Again, rather than wait to be contacted, you can always contact DHL for further explanation of this clearance event and what needs to be done.

What Happens After a DHL “Clearance Event” Tracking Update?


The next update that you will likely receive after a clearance event is “DHL Customs Status Updated”.

We have created a full guide here.

However, the “Further Detail” section of this update will hopefully read: “Shipment has been given release by customs”.

Essentially, your package has passed customs clearance and is on the next stage of its journey toward final delivery.

If the package remains in the clearance process, you will need to review the tracking details to see if any further information is provided.

Final Words

Sending or receiving a package from overseas will not always go as smoothly as we want. The customs clearance process is an inevitable part of the package journey.

A DHL “Clearance Event” tracking update is simply telling you that the shipment is going through the clearance process.

It is important to pay attention to the “Further Detail” and “Next Step” notifications just in case additional steps need to be taken.

Leave a Comment