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UPS “Clearance in Progress” – How Long Will it Take and More?

You’ve just received a UPS “Clearance in Progress” update for a package you are expecting. 

What exactly does this mean and how long will it take? Let’s take a look.

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What Does UPS “Clearance in Progress” Mean?

UPS “Clearance in Progress” means that your package is in customs and that it is awaiting clearance by border patrol. Relevant customs paperwork will be checked and the package could be subjected to physical inspection. 

How Long Does UPS “Clearance in Progress” Take?

time and clock

How long a package takes to pass through the customs clearance process varies.

The contents of the package, the documentation provided, and the border patrol in possession of the item, are all factors in processing time.

After receiving the UPS “Clearance in Progress” update it can take anything from a few hours for your package to clear, right up to a week or more.

Breaking that down…

The best-case scenarios usually occur when all relevant paperwork has been completed correctly, the item is of a non-problematic nature (i.e something imported regularly like apparel or consumer electronics) and the customs border office is not experiencing a backlog.

That being said, even where these same variables are present and correct it can take between 24-72 hours for a package to pass through the clearance process.

In other words, anything up to 2 or 3 days can still be considered a normal processing time.

Update Stuck on UPS “Clearance in Progress”

UPS “Clearance in Progress”

As mentioned, the update can remain for several days while your package awaits inspection.

If your tracking is stuck on this update passed a reasonable amount of time, you should contact the shipper or UPS to see if any details are available.

However, at this stage, if it has only been a few days they will often ask you to wait longer.

If after inspecting your package, customs decides it violated some import issue relevant parties will be notified.

This will be made apparent via an update such as “UPS Clearance Information Required” (Click here for our full guide), and/or direct contact from UPS or Customs to the shipper/recipient.

When this occurs action will need to be taken to resolve whatever issues customs have had with the package during clearance.

How will I know it has passed Clearance in Progress?

man on telephone

Once your package has successfully passed clearance you will receive a “customs clearance processing complete” update.

This essentially means that the inward customs formalities have been completed. The package is ready for collection by UPS (or the courier responsible for onward delivery) and will begin the next leg of its journey.

Potential Scam

email scam

We recently reported on an email scam being sent out by hackers that replicate a UPS-branded email.

This states that UPS attempted to deliver a package. The scam tries to lure the unsuspecting individual to click a link within the email that can cause harm to their device.

If you are not expecting a package from overseas and you receive a UPS email containing customs clearance updates it could be a scam.

If this is the case UPS has a webpage and email address specifically for fraudulent activities, and you should report the issue there.

2 thoughts on “UPS “Clearance in Progress” – How Long Will it Take and More?”

  1. Hi,
    Could you please check the status of my package?
    It said that it was out for delivery yesterday and it has not delivered yet. My tracking number is1ZX188480176461467.

    Thank you

    • Hi there, according to 17Track your item is being processed at Aliso Viejo, CA, US. It has been there for two days which isn’t unusual. I would advise that you wait a little longer for now. If you receive another out for delivery alert and UPS are unable to do so, you should contact UPS to make arrangments so that delivery can successfully take place.


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