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What does “Inbound out of Customs” Mean? (USPS Tracking Guide)

You’re expecting an international delivery from USPS and you have received an “Inbound out of customs” tracking alert.

What does this mean exactly? Is your package on its way to you? How soon will it be delivered after you receive this update?

Let’s take a look…

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What Does “Inbound out of Customs” Mean?

“Inbound into customs” is good news, it means that the package has passed through the US customs clearance procedure and is now with USPS. The next step will be dispatch to USPS facilities closer to the recipient’s address before final delivery.

Where is My Package When I Receive the “Inbound out of Customs” Alert?

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Your package is still within a USPS International Service Center, however, it is no longer in the hands of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The customs process is finished, which means the consignment is officially cleared for entry into the U.S.

USPS now has control of the item, (hence you receiving an updated scan alert) and will sort the shipment for dispatch to a regional facility closer to the delivery location.

Inbound out of Customs

How Long Until Delivery After an “Inbound out of Customs” Alert?

If the USPS delivery process goes smoothly, delivery should be three to four days away once you receive this update, (sometimes sooner).

As mentioned, after leaving the ISC the package will be transported to a facility closer to the recipient’s location, (a USPS regional facility).

From here it will be sorted and dispatched to the post office that services the delivery address.

After being assigned to a driver, the package will be out for delivery the following business day.

My Package is Stuck on “Inbound out of Customs”

Inbound out of Customs

If your tracking status remains stuck on “Inbound out of customs” it is likely that the consignment has got held up in the ISC and has not been successfully dispatched to a USPS facility.

There are a few reasons this can happen, however, the majority of the time it is due to logistical errors on the part of USPS.

The item has basically “lost its way” amongst the tens of thousands of shipments that pass through the ISC every day. 

Unfortunately, customers have complained of items being held up on this update for days, sometimes weeks, without a real explanation.

(The situation is so bad at the Chicago ISC that the USPS Inspector General Office has recommended an investigation).

Ultimately, if your item is stuck on the “Inbound out of customs” for more than five business days you should begin the (arduous) process of contacting USPS to find out what has happened.

Final Words

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Essentially, “Inbound out of customs” is great news. Your package is in the US, it has cleared customs and is on its way toward final delivery.

With any luck, it is just a few days away. 

However, the fact it is still within the “black hole” of the ISC means problems may still arise.

If your tracking does not update within a reasonable amount of time, you will need to contact USPS for more information as to the delay.

3 thoughts on “What does “Inbound out of Customs” Mean? (USPS Tracking Guide)”

  1. My tracking for regularly ordered items from out of the country go to the USPS 1st, then inbound into customs, then outbound into customs…..and if they get stuck there, don’t bother wasting your time contacting the UPSPS, because they will tell you that there is nothing they can do if it’s not a package that originated in the US.


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