You’re expecting an international delivery and have received a “Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office” tracking update.
What does this mean exactly? Where is your package when you receive this alert and what do you do if it is stuck?
Let’s take a look…
Summary: Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office
The “Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office” status alert means that an international shipment has been cleared by an overseas customs office that isn’t inside the origin country where the shipment order was made.
Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office – Guide
On the face of it, this alert can be confusing. Exactly where is the foreign export office?
Essentially, when a shipment order is made any country other than the origin can be classed as a foreign country.
So, when you are checking the tracking page of say a Shein order when the “Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office” is triggered, you know that the shipment is outside of China.
It could be that the package has been cleared by a Foreign Customs Office inside an intermediate country.
My packages from Shein to Croatia land in Europe in Holland. Holland is, therefore, an intermediate country on the route toward my address).
The foreign customs office can also be inside the destination country. Again, using my Shein orders and example, this would be Croatia (Zagreb airport to be more precise).
The “Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office” is triggered once the package has left the airport customs office and handed over to the carrier that is responsible for the next stage of the journey.
- Related Content: What Does “Import Clearance Success” Mean? (Tracking Guide)
How Close is Delivery after a “Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office” Alert?
As mentioned above, it is counterintuitive to think of the foreign customs office as the recipient.
In most cases, that customs office is in fact the one that is inside the destination country, (i.e the country where you live).
The good news is, your package is getting closer after you have received this update.
The stages of transit that can cause the most potential complication, (export out of the origin country, overseas transit, and import into the destination country), have all been completed.
The carrier responsible for delivery now has the package. The shipment may pass through one or more facilities on its way to the recipient’s address, but essentially, delivery is only two or three days away.
- Related Content: What Does “Import Clearance Failure” Mean (AliExpress Shipments)
Tracking Stuck on “Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office”
There are times when the tracking might end up stuck on this alert.
As mentioned, my Shein orders very often land in Europe via Holland. Yes, customs could clear my parcel there, (hence triggering the “Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office” update), however, it could then end up stuck there for many days while transit toward the destination country (again, in my case Croatia) is arranged.
This has happened to me.
My package has been stuck in Holland even though customs cleared without a hitch. There is always a risk of this with economy shipments.
And let’s face it, any order you make with the likes of Shein or AliExpress is shipped with basic, economy carriers.
- Related Content: Port of Destination Arrival – Tracking Guide
So What Should I do if the Tracking is Stuck?
If your tracking is stuck on an order such as this, you have to be patient.
Both AliExpress and Shein have long delivery windows. If you have not reached the end of this window, contacting customer services will only lead you to be told to wait longer.
When they do draw to a close, contact the relevant platform where you made your order to begin making inquiries.
- Related Content: What Does “Outbound in Sorting Center” Mean? (AliExpress)
Overall, the “Package Cleared by Foreign Customs Office” is a standard alert used by a limited amount of carriers to communicate that customs has been cleared.
The foreign customs office in question is that outside of the origin country.
This means that the alert can be triggered after customs in both an intermediate country and the destination country.
In most cases, the shipment will begin the next leg of its journey within a short time of the update.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂