What Does a DHL Clearance Event Mean? Demystifying DHL Tracking Updates

dhl clearance event

Seeing a “clearance event” notification on your DHL tracking can be confusing and concerning. This article will explain what a DHL clearance event is, why it happens, and what to do about it. With the right information, you can better understand DHL tracking updates and clearances so your package arrives smoothly.

When shipping internationally with DHL, your package must go through customs clearance in the destination country before delivery. This allows the country to screen shipments and assess any applicable duties and taxes. A clearance event is part of this standard customs clearance process.

Clearance events indicate that your DHL shipment is undergoing additional steps for customs clearance and import into the destination country. This usually means that your package is being checked by customs personnel to verify all documentation, product details, and any customs duties that need to be paid.

While clearance events may cause delivery delays, they are routine and do not necessarily signal a problem with your shipment. As long as you provide accurate information and documentation, the package should clear and continue on to the recipient.

What Triggers a DHL Clearance Event?

There are a few different reasons why DHL may flag a package for further clearance processes:

  • Incomplete or incorrect customs paperwork – Any errors, omissions or discrepancies between the commercial invoice, packing list, and actual package contents can lead to a clearance event. All information must match for smooth customs entry.
  • Customs duties are due – If any import taxes, duties or fees apply to your DHL shipment, they will need to be assessed and paid during clearance. High value packages are more likely to incur duties.
  • Additional screening required – Some shipments get flagged for additional customs checks related to the product type, country of origin, recipient, or other factors. These are routine but add time.
  • Clearance paperwork not submitted – DHL’s systems will automatically flag shipments missing customs docs for clearance events so they can request the info.
  • Shipment on hold – Customs may put a shipment on hold if they require more information to verify product details, certifications, licensing, etc. DHL will contact the shipper for any additional details needed to clear the hold.
  • Uncontrollable clearance delays – Sometimes backlogs, staffing issues, or other circumstances at customs offices can slow down the clearance process. This leads to delays but is outside of DHL’s control.

If your DHL shipment shows a clearance event notice, don’t assume there is anything wrong. In most cases, it is simply undergoing standard customs checks and duties assessment all international packages go through.

How Long Do DHL Clearance Events Take?

There is no set timeframe for DHL clearance events. Some packages may clear customs within hours, while others take multiple days or even weeks in rare cases.

Several factors impact how long a DHL clearance event will take:

  • Customs workload and backlogs – When customs offices are overwhelmed, understaffed, or backlogged, clearances slow down. These customs delays are outside of DHL’s control.
  • Shipment volume – The more packages customs needs to process every day, the longer clearances take. Peak times like holidays see longer delays.
  • Language barriers – Packages without multilingual descriptions and paperwork may take longer to clear. All info must be understood.
  • Complex clearance requirements – Some products have more complex clearance procedures, duties calculations, certifications, etc. These take longer to verify.
  • Missing/incorrect paperwork – Incomplete or inaccurate paperwork must be re-submitted and verified, adding time. Proper docs speed clearance.
  • Package inspections – If customs opens and physically inspects a package, clearance gets delayed beyond the standard process.
  • Country regulations – Each country has its own import rules, restricted items lists, and processes. Some are simply slower and more thorough.

While most DHL clearance events resolve within 3-5 business days, it is possible for packages to sit awaiting customs entry for weeks in some cases. Again, this is due to volume and regulations – not an actual problem.

DHL Tracking Status During Clearance Events

When a DHL package goes through a clearance event, the tracking status reflects this through messages such as:

  • Clearance event
  • Further clearance processing
  • Undergoing customs inspection
  • Customs status updated

The shipment will remain stuck with this status message until the clearance event completes and package is released to continue to the delivery destination.

Even after a clearance delay, the package tracking will still show expected delivery dates. But these may get pushed back if clearance takes longer than DHL expects. The tracking status will continue to be updated with the latest timeframe based on clearance progress.

It’s important to remember that these tracking messages indicate routine customs processes – not problems or seizures. As long as required regulations and taxes are met, DHL shipments will clear and be delivered after any clearance delays.

How to Handle a DHL Clearance Event

First, don’t panic if your DHL package shows a clearance delay or event. This is simply a required part of the international shipping process. All you need to do is:

  • Check your tracking page – This will provide the latest status and any instructions if DHL needs additional info from you.
  • Have patience – Clearances take time but packages almost always get released within a few business days to a week. Avoid contacting DHL unnecessarily.
  • Pay any duties as required – If customs assesses duties or taxes on your DHL package, be prepared to cover these fees for delivery.
  • Provide requested info – If DHL requests any additional paperwork, information, or clarification, respond promptly so your package can clear faster.
  • Compare to past shipments – Review previous shipments to the same destination. Delays and clearance times will be similar if no issues are present.
  • Contact DHL if you receive specific instructions to provide missing documents or your package remains stuck in clearance for an abnormally long time compared to past shipments. DHL customer service can look into the status, though they may have limited details until customs releases the shipment.
  • Avoid abandoned shipments – Be sure to provide any requested info promptly so your package does not risk abandoned destruction if customs deems it unclaimed.

With preparation, patience, and understanding of the international shipping process, most DHL clearance events will resolve within a few business days and deliver the package safely. Checking your tracking will give you the most updated status.

Key Takeaways on DHL Clearance Events:

  • Clearance events are routine customs procedures required for international DHL shipments to enter the destination country legally. They do not necessarily indicate any problem with the package.
  • Several factors like incomplete paperwork, duties assessment, customs workload, and product regulations can trigger a shipment to go through further DHL clearance processing.
  • The time shipments spend in clearance varies widely based on customs office volume, staffing, specific regulations, and required package checks. Clearance delays are generally out of DHL’s control.
  • DHL tracking will update with messages like “clearance event” during the customs process. The shipment can get held at this status until cleared and released.
  • When a DHL shipment undergoes clearance, the best course of action is to wait patiently through the delay, provide any requested paperwork, and pay applicable duties for customs to release the package. Avoid contacting DHL unnecessarily.
  • Most packages clear within days or a week at most. If an abnormally long delay occurs, the DHL customer service team can look into the status and contact the shipper if needed.

Understanding clearance as a standard process, checking tracking frequently, and responding promptly to any customs requests will get your DHL package smoothly through to its destination. With the right insight on DHL clearance events, international shoppers can stay informed and proactively speed customs clearance for deliveries worldwide.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *