Why Is My Package Stuck in Customs: How to Solve It?

Why Is My Package Stuck in Customs: How to Solve It?

A package stuck in customs situation may ruin the purchasing experience for your clients and cost you money in missed revenue. In this post, let’s find out why the package is stuck in customs and how to solve it when dropshipping.

Why Is My Package Stuck in Customs

It's crucial to ascertain the cause of the package being stuck in customs first. This will enable you to develop a sensible plan of action. Having stated that, let's check out the most frequent causes of parcels becoming held in customs.

Uncompleted or Incorrect Documents

An importer or dropshipper from other nations must provide comprehensive and complete business documentation to Customs and Border Protection. The most typical types of business documentation are:

  • Commercial invoice: An invoice that specifies the products being purchased, their origin, supplier, and buyer.
  • Package list: A document that lists the number, weight, and dimensions of the items.
  • Arrival notice: A document issued by the carrier informing the party of the location and availability of the goods for customs release.

Duties or Taxes

If there are unpaid taxes and fees, this is still another frequent basis for customs detention. For shipments that are worth more than a particular amount, the majority of nations will charge you import taxes and fees. Delivery duty paid (DDP) shipment, in which the appropriate duties and taxes are prepaid, might avoid this kind of customs delay.

DSers dropshipping

Get Started Now to Grow Your Online Business with the Best AliExpress Dropshipping Tool - DSers!


Merchants may also use bonded warehouses for business shipments until they are prepared to make the required tariffs and taxes. This is especially typical for shipments with significant economic value.

Incomplete Invoice

The importer files a customs declaration using the whole business invoice. To make sure that all Customs requirements are followed, it is crucial that all of the information correctly represents the transaction. The commercial invoice for admission must at least have the following information:

  • Description of the products
  • Quantity
  • Classification
  • Weight
  • Buyer
  • Seller
  • Shipper
  • Country of origin of each product
  • Ship from
  • Ship to location
  • Value
  • Currency

Since the broker is obligated to disclose the information on the Customs entry before release, any missing information might cause the package to get stuck in customs.

Unclear Country of Origin

Where a product is made, produced, processed, or cultivated is known as the country of origin. The nation from where the items were sent or the country where simple assembly of the goods took place is commonly mistaken by importers as the country of origin.

Simple assembly, such as packaging, painting, or washing of components, does not establish the place of origin since the product must undergo significant alteration before being regarded as coming from that location. Every item on the business invoice has to have its country of origin noted.

Prohibited or Restricted Items

The least desirable cause of a customs holdup is cargo containing materials that are either illegal, harmful or deemed dangerous. This may include items such as:

  • Weapons, explosives: Other potentially flammable or flammable chemicals without a particular authorization are also restricted.
  • Illegal medicine: Foreign businesses may manufacture substances that are illegal in other nations due to health risks, as well as goods that can only be obtained with a prescription and careful testing.
  • Harmful-to-environment products: Archaeological discoveries with a high level of historical or cultural relevance are an example, as are artifacts whose sale is restricted to protect the environment and wildlife.
  • Unauthorized plants or animals: For instance, there are fatty plants that may only be imported with the appropriate certification and whose sale in the EU requires prior authorization.
  • Drugs: Due to the ability to get around drug usage restrictions by using various frauds, the internet drug industry is continually expanding. The rules in this regard are becoming odd and are specifically targeted at internet drug trafficking.
  • Food and drinks: Because it is important to safeguard the public's health and safety, food and drinks are also subject to stringent regulation.

How to Know When My Package Is Stuck in Customs

How to Know When My Package Is Stuck in Customs - DSers

Here is how to know whether your package is stuck in customs or not. Let’s follow the steps as below:

Check your mail for a letter of detention from customs: For a notice from Customs and Border Protection saying that your shipment has been held, check your business mail. Officials usually contact you within a few days if the department is holding your property, but it may take up to 30 to 45 days.

Observe the instructions in your letter of customs detention: As quickly as possible, comply with any conditions outlined in your detainment letter from Customs. When shipments are delayed, it can result in consumer unhappiness and even lost sales. Quick delivery keeps your customers and associates satisfied.

Using your courier service, track your package: Since Customs lacks the capability to track shipments, you must use the courier service you are using to receive or send the package to track it.

Contact your courier service: If your tracking code wasn't successful, get in touch with the courier provider to inquire about the whereabouts of your shipment. The status and current location of your package should be recorded by the courier. Additionally, think about utilizing auto sync tracking software to keep your upcoming shipments and orders organized.

How Long Will My Package be Stuck in Customs

How Long Will My Package be Stuck in Customs - DSers

Customs processes and the length of time a package is kept at the customs office rely on a variety of criteria, each of which is unique and frequently country-specific.

For instance, in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and other nations, various regulations can be in effect for parcels detained at customs. A parcel may be held by customs for a period ranging from days to weeks to months.

How to Solve Package Stuck in Customs When Dropshipping

How to Solve Package Stuck in Customs When Dropshipping - DSers

The most crucial issue - how to solve packages stuck in customs when dropshipping and guarantee that the shipment is released for ultimate delivery- must now be addressed. Here are some concrete actions you can take to request customs to release your package.

Be Patient

It's crucial to realize that not all customs stays are caused by a problem with the shipment. Most nations have lengthy customs procedures that can take several days to complete. This becomes more clear if you choose a slower shipping option, like airmail.

Customs often inspect shipments to make sure the reported value of the items is accurate, and the contents match what is being declared. It's usually preferable to wait because there isn't much you can do to expedite these customs examinations.

Keeping your calm is a fighting skill. Keep in mind that your shipment will arrive eventually, so try not to worry too much about the delays. Hold on, it will come. Sometimes shipment tracking can be unreliable; packages might vanish and then resurface.

Contact Your 3PL Provider

The shipper frequently will only discuss the cargo with the seller for a variety of reasons. Ask the sellers or source providers about the status of the delivery and whether any crucial paperwork needed for customs clearance was overlooked.

Your dropshipping suppliers will be able to get in touch with the shipper and inquire further about your package and the stay at customs. To effectively monitor your delivery, you need also make sure that your seller provides you with a tracking code.

The courier's website is typically the ideal place to accomplish this since there, you can learn what is going on. If you believe a package is held at customs, your first stop should be the shipping sender.

Contact Your Carrier

Make sure your package is genuinely being held up in customs. Express shippers may frequently help your package get cleared through customs. The easiest way to contact carriers is typically by phone, but beware- carriers sometimes utilize premium-rate lines, which may add up rapidly.

You may find out whether there is anything you can do to shorten the time your package spends in customs by getting in touch with the shipper. Your tracking number will aid your shipper in finding your package, so keep it handy.

Undervaluing shipments can occasionally result in parcels being seized by customs officials, which is a major nuisance. While it would be convenient to avoid paying tax by undervaluing a cargo, you should take care to avoid this as it constitutes tax evasion.

You might be able to get your shipment released more quickly and prevent any potentially unpleasant problems by actively interacting with your shipper, reviewing the business invoice, and being aware of certain customs declaration scenarios.

Ensure to Fill out Outstanding Taxes

Many nations levy taxes on shipments over a particular value; if your shipment is subject to these taxes, it will be kept until the total amount is paid. If you ship your packages through the postal service or a normal express carrier, they will pay the tax on your behalf (DDU), clear them through customs, and charge you an administrative fee.

You will need a customs broker for more significant shipments (above $2500 in the USA), who will arrange for the taxes to be paid and the package to be released from customs. Although you may accomplish this on your own, it will usually cost you far more than hiring a specialist.

Otherwise, you run the danger of having the product returned to your warehouse or possibly destroyed. Make sure you are aware of the customs clearance procedure and the tax arrangements and that it is paid. We have a guide for further information on customs and taxes for overseas shipments.

Check the Paperwork Again

One of the leading causes of shipment delays is missing paperwork. The documentation needed may differ depending on the volume, value, and nature of your cargo. Simply minor errors like delivering illegal or restricted goods, neglecting to include an invoice, or even forgetting to include a CN22 customs form can result in lengthy delays for your cargo.

Finding out what is missing might be challenging, especially if you don't have the package. Contacting your shipper is a smart place to start if you are utilizing an expedited shipping service since they may assist you in recovering any lost documents.

They will be able to advise you best if you do, in fact, have a missing document; it could only be a matter of emailing them a copy. Make sure your documentation is in order and is not in a foreign language, since incorrect paperwork can be a major hassle for customs.

Final Words

Above are all the things you need to know about ‘package stuck in customs’ status and some simple ways to solve it when dropshipping. Note the important things down to make your dropshipping more smooth. Discover more dropshipping guides on DSers Blog.

Latest Articles

Back to top