Fedex Package Available for Clearance – What It Means and How Long It Takes

fedex at destination sort facility

Seeing the status “Fedex package available for clearance” can be confusing if you’re expecting an international delivery. This article will explain what clearance means, why your Fedex package needs customs clearance, how long it usually takes, and what you can do if it’s delayed.

When a package is shipped internationally via Fedex, it must pass through customs clearance in the destination country before being delivered. “Clearance” refers to the process where customs officials inspect the paperwork and contents of the package to ensure compliance with regulations. So “available for clearance” simply indicates your Fedex shipment has reached the destination and is now awaiting customs clearance.

What Does “Fedex Package Available for Clearance” Mean?

When a Fedex package is in transit internationally, the tracking status will update to “available for clearance” when it arrives in the destination country. This means your shipment has reached the local Fedex facility and is now waiting for customs clearance before it can be delivered to you.

Some key points about the “available for clearance” status:

  • It means your package has entered the destination country and is at the Fedex hub.
  • Fedex cannot deliver it until customs has cleared the shipment.
  • The package is now in the queue waiting for customs to inspect it.
  • It does NOT necessarily mean there is any problem or delay.
  • After customs clearance, Fedex can release the package for final delivery.

So you should not be concerned if you see this status. “Available for clearance” is a standard step for all international Fedex shipments and simply means it is waiting its turn for customs processing.

Why Does My Shipment Need Customs Clearance?

Customs clearance is mandatory for all packages entering a country, whether with Fedex or any other carrier. Authorities need to verify the contents for a few key reasons:

  • To ensure proper duties and taxes are paid on imported goods.
  • To check if items are permitted for import as per regulations.
  • To prevent prohibited or dangerous goods from entering.
  • To stamp out smuggling and check for illegal shipments.
  • For statistical purposes and trade reports.

To ensure compliance, officials inspect the paperwork filed by the sender. They may also open and physically inspect the package contents. Only once customs signs off can Fedex deliver your shipment. So “available for clearance” is a required step before you can receive your international Fedex delivery.

How Long Does Customs Clearance Take with Fedex?

Unfortunately Fedex does not provide an estimated time for clearance, and your package status may not change during the waiting period. Here are general timelines:

  • In the USA – Clearance typically takes 24 hours or less for Fedex shipments. Most packages clear in a business day.
  • Other countries – Can take 1-3 days depending on local customs procedures.
  • Delays – Some shipments get flagged for additional inspections, which adds clearance time. Weekends and holidays can also slow down processing.
  • Stuck shipments – If Fedex requires more documents from the sender, clearance is held up until they are provided.

While most Fedex packages sail through customs in a day or two, exceptions above can lengthen the process. Contact Fedex if your shipment has not cleared in 3 business days to check if there are any pending issues.

Is My Package Stuck in Customs if Status is “Available for Clearance”?

Seeing no change in your Fedex tracking after the “available for clearance” update does NOT necessarily mean your package is stuck or having issues getting customs clearance. Here are some reasons it may be taking longer than expected:

  • Customs workload and backlogs
  • Physical inspection being conducted
  • Waiting for additional documents from sender
  • Weekend/holiday delays at customs facility
  • Random enhanced checks on contents

Unless Fedex informs you otherwise, assume your package is still going through the standard customs clearance process. Be patient for up to 3 business days. If still pending after that, kindly contact Fedex for an update on your shipment.

How to Get Your Package Cleared Through Customs Faster

There is unfortunately no way to expedite customs procedure when using international delivery services like Fedex. Every package must go through the same process. But here are some tips to avoid potential clearance delays:

  • Ensure sender provides complete and accurate customs paperwork. Missing or incorrect information can slow things down.
  • Ask sender to proactively share any special import licenses or certificates required for the goods.
  • Promptly provide any additional documents requested by Fedex or customs during the clearance process.
  • Avoid contacting Fedex frequently to check on status, which can distract them from clearing shipments.
  • For urgent deliveries, see if sender can use Fedex Express instead of Ground or Freight since Express typically clears customs quicker.
  • Shipping domestically within the same country avoids customs delays altogether.

What to Do if Your Package is Delayed in Customs Clearance

If your Fedex package remains stuck in “available for clearance” status for over 4 business days with no updates, you can take the following steps:

  • Contact Fedex support and kindly request status on your delayed package. Ask if any information is needed from you.
  • If feasible, email or call customs department of destination country and inquire about your shipment with tracking number in hand.
  • Request sender to contact Fedex and customs from their end as well and find out if any paperwork or information is outstanding.
  • Provide any documents (licenses, certificates etc) requested by Fedex or customs to get your package released.

Continue following up every few days until the package clears and gets delivered. Hopefully it is just a random delay and will be released soon. Keep monitoring that tracking status field!

FAQs About “Fedex Package Available for Clearance” Meaning

Q: Does this status mean my package entered the destination country?

A: Yes, “available for clearance” means your Fedex package has arrived in the destination country and is at the local Fedex facility awaiting customs processing.

Q: How long can a package be delayed in customs clearance?

A: Most Fedex shipments clear within 1-3 business days but delays can occasionally extend this to 4+ days.

Q: Can I call Fedex to expedite customs clearance?

A: No. Fedex cannot control or speed up the rate at which customs clears packages.

Q: Will I get a refund if my package is delayed in customs?

A: Fedex is not liable for customs delays. You can get compensation only if actual shipping time was delayed between origin and destination airports.

Q: Does this status mean my package was opened and inspected?

A: Not necessarily. Customs may have only inspected paperwork. But they can open and inspect contents at their discretion.

Q: How do I know if customs needs more documents to clear my package?

A: Fedex will contact you or the sender directly if any additional certificates or paperwork are required by customs to release your shipment.

Summary: Understand the Customs Clearance Process

In summary, the “Fedex package available for clearance” status simply means your international shipment has arrived in the destination country and is now awaiting mandatory customs inspection. This clearance process generally takes anywhere from a few hours to several business days. While most Fedex packages breeze through within 1-2 days, some face longer delays depending on variables like destination country procedures, physical inspections, backlogs, holidays etc.

There is unfortunately no way to expedite clearance, but you can stay in touch with Fedex and customs to check if any paperwork is needed from you or the sender to help release your package. With some patience and persistence, the package should clear soon and resume journey to your doorstep!

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