You’re expecting an international delivery from UPS and have received a “Your Package is Prepared for Clearance” 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: Your Package is Prepared for Clearance
The “Your Package is Prepared for Clearance” status alert means that UPS passed on the details of the shipment to the relevant customs agency. Essentially, the shipment has been prepared for clearance through customs, however, the process has not yet taken place.
Your Package is Prepared for Clearance – Guide
This is a standard alert sent by UPS to inform customers that the clearance process is due to begin very soon.
The border agency has details of the shipment within its database. It may even have the physical item within its jurisdiction.
However, the clearance process has not yet begun, so the package will not have fully cleared customs at this point in time.
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Where is your package when you receive this update?
The location of the shipment will depend on whether the alert is sent during the export or import process. Clearly, on import, the package is arriving in the destination country.
This means that the package will be somewhere between the linehaul operator or carrier that was responsible for transit into the destination country, and the border agency of that country.
The important issue is that customs are aware of the shipment and that clearance will take place very soon.
After customs has finished with the package, it will be released to UPS so that transit toward the recipient’s address can continue.
In situations where the alert is triggered during the export process, the package will be at the very last point of the UPS delivery network inside the origin country.
The next step will be outbound customs, before cross-border or overseas transit.
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Package Stuck on “Your Package is Prepared for Clearance”
Let’s face it, you are probably reading this article because your tracking is stuck on this alert and there have been no new updates on the progress of the shipment.
First, it is important to understand that backlogs at customs (either outbound or inbound) are common. A package entering the clearance process, (i.e around the time this update is sent), can easily be held for several days waiting to be processed.
These are often the main international hubs after all. Essentially, your tracking might be stuck simply because the package is being held in a warehouse awaiting to be cleared and released by customs.
Also, customs staff does not scan items with the end result of tracking updates being sent.
You will only receive another update once UPS has the physical package back inside the delivery network.
On top of a delay during clearance, your package may then be in transit with a line haul operator to the destination country, (where UPS is using one), and only on landing, clearing import customs, and being handed over to UPS will you receive any new information.
Looking at it that way, you might not receive a new alert for a week or more, and nothing actually be wrong with the shipment.
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What To Do When Package Tracking is Stuck?
If more than a week passes and you are starting to think something has definitely gone wrong, you have a couple of options open to you.
The first is to simply check the tracking with an International tracking app.
It’s rare, but UPS might not be relaying any status alerts that are being created by the line haul operator.
However, if scans are being taken, using a universal tracking app such as 17track or Parcelsapp will search hundreds of carrier databases in search of any potential details.
This way you might find new updates after the “Your Package is Prepared for Clearance” alert.
Your second option is to call UPS customer services. There are a few options available, however, talking to a human will hopefully help you get to the bottom of the delay.
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Overall, the “Your Package is Prepared for Clearance” is a standard update used by UPS to inform you that shipment details have been passed to customs in preparation for clearance.
Your package will be at the point just before being handed over to customs, however, any backlog in terms of processing will potentially cause a delay.
If this happens to you… patience will be required.