What Does “Clearance Information Required” Mean With UPS Shipments?

ups processing at facility

If you’ve ever had a package shipped internationally via UPS, you may have tracking updates stating “Clearance Information Required” or “Clearance Delay.” This likely leaves you wondering what it means and what to do next. This comprehensive guide covers all the key questions around UPS clearance issues to demystify the process.

When shipping internationally, packages must clear customs before final delivery. Clearance refers to this customs process, ensuring proper duties, taxes, and regulations are met. If any required information is missing, UPS cannot clear customs, hence the “Clearance Information Required” notice.

While frustrating, this is standard for international shipping and just means some paperwork or data is lacking. By understanding the various reasons it occurs and how to resolve it, you can get your UPS deliveries back on track quickly.

What Triggers the “Clearance Information Required” Tracking Alert?

UPS cannot obtain customs clearance without complete data on the shipment contents, values, and recipients. The “Clearance Information Required” alert signifies information is missing, often:

  • Incorrect/Incomplete Paperwork – The shipping manifest, commercial invoice, packing list, or other docs are wrong or missing data needed for customs.
  • Missing Recipient Information – Valid contact info, tax IDs, and other data must confirm the recipient.
  • Prohibited/Restricted Items – Special clearances or exceptions are needed if shipping hazardous, sensitive, or regulated goods.
  • Inadequate Product Descriptions – Descriptions must provide enough detail on contents to assess duties and restrictions.
  • Unclassified Commodity Codes – Shipments require HTS codes to categorize products and look up tariffs.
  • Other Documents – Some sensitive goods require special permits, licenses, or certificates to clear customs.

Without fixing these issues, UPS does not have the required details to process and release the shipment across the border.

How Do You Clear a UPS Delivery Stuck in Customs?

If your UPS package has a “Clearance Delay” or “Clearance Information Required” notice, here are tips to get it moving again:

  • Contact the Shipper – The sender is responsible for customs paperwork and info accuracy. Ask them to provide any missing docs or data.
  • Verify Recipient Info – Make sure the shipper has your full name, address, tax IDs, and contact info correctly filed.
  • Supply Needed Documents – You may need to provide special permits or paperwork if shipping restricted goods.
  • Confirm Product Details – Ensure the description, HS codes, and values match your actual shipment contents.
  • Get a UPS Importer of Record Account – Acting as the importer expedites clearing packages addressed to you.
  • Pay Any Required Duties/Taxes – UPS may not yet have enough info to calculate final costs due for customs release.
  • Wait it Out – Minor delays can clear within a few days once UPS contacts shippers for missing information.
  • Contact UPS – If issues persist, call UPS customs brokerage to see how they can assist with getting your package released.

How Long Will It Take for a UPS Shipment to Clear Customs?

Most UPS packages clear within 1-3 days, but delays vary case-by-case:

  • Routine shipments with complete docs often process within 24 hours.
  • 1-3 days for many shipments if paperwork needs corrections or taxes/duties paid.
  • 3-10 days for more complex customs checks, restricted items permits, or missing recipient info.
  • Weeks or longer if prohibitive issues are found or legal matters investigated.

Once all required information is provided, UPS brokers the customs release as quickly as possible. But the process cannot be rushed if paperwork problems exist or compliance verifications are warranted. Stay patient and keep communicating with UPS to get your package successfully across the border.

Does “Clearance Information Required” Mean My Package is Stuck in Customs?

Seeing the “Clearance Information Required” notice does not necessarily mean your package is undergoing intensive customs checks or inspections. Oftentimes it simply indicates paperwork corrections or clarifications need to happen before standard release and delivery can take place.

However, in some cases it can signal:

  • Customs inspection due to prohibited/restricted contents.
  • Opening for physical package and product examination.
  • Delay for duties/taxes calculations if values are missing.
  • Legal holds or seizures if serious customs violations are found.

Unless you shipped illegal, hazardous, or sensitive goods, your package is unlikely stuck due to heightened screening. Contact UPS to see specifically why clearance cannot proceed and how to address it.

Why Does UPS Need Clearance Information to Release My Shipment?

UPS must comply with all destination country import regulations to legally broker shipments across borders. Every package cleared requires:

  • Filing accurate, complete trade/transport documents.
  • Paying any applicable duties, taxes, and fees.
  • Complying with product restrictions and special permits.
  • Confirming valid, authorized recipients.

Without the right paperwork and data, UPS risks non-compliance, fines, shipment delays, cargo confiscation, and more. Requiring clearance information protects UPS and ensures your items ship through customs legally.

What Information is Required for UPS Customs Clearance?

To clear customs, UPS needs a comprehensive picture of your shipment:

  • Commercial Invoice – Lists shipment contents, values, exporter/importer info, etc.
  • Packing List – Specifications on package types, quantity, weight, contents.
  • Recipient Tax IDs – Importer tax number or registration (EORI, SSN, etc).
  • Product Descriptions – Detailed contents specifics to confirm restrictions met.
  • HS Tariff Codes – Standard 10-digit codes classifying products shipped.
  • Country of Origin – Where products were manufactured/obtained.
  • Value Declarations – Total values for assessing duties, taxes, and insurance needs.
  • Special Permits – Licenses or certificates for restricted goods.

Providing this complete data enables seamless customs brokerage and release to UPS for final delivery.

Can a Recipient Clear a UPS Shipment Stuck in Customs?

If a UPS delivery addressed to you has a “Clearance Delay” in your country, you can often help expedite release by acting as the importer. Being the Importer of Record with UPS enables you to:

  • Provide any missing recipient contact data needed.
  • Pay duties and taxes to customs upfront.
  • Supply required licenses or certificates.
  • Verify product details and customs codes.
  • Finalize any supplementary paperwork lacking.

Becoming the importer puts the clearance process in your hands so you can get UPS shipments out of customs faster.

Who is Responsible for Customs Clearance with UPS Deliveries?

The original shipper is ultimately accountable for providing complete and accurate data to UPS for customs brokerage. However, several parties share responsibility:

  • Shipper – Must file correct customs paperwork detailing contents, values, parties, etc.
  • UPS – Brokers customs release based on shipper-provided trade compliance data.
  • Importer – Must supply any additional details on request to clear packages addressed to them.
  • Customs – Reviews documentation and clears compliant shipments to enter the destination country.

The process functions smoothly when all stakeholders ensure prompt information sharing for releases. If issues arise, collaboration is key to get import shipments back moving quickly.

Key Takeaways on UPS “Clearance Information Required” Tracking Notices

  • It indicates mandatory customs data is incomplete, preventing clearance.
  • Typical causes are incorrect paperwork, missing product details, or unknown recipient info.
  • Shippers must provide requested info, else UPS cannot legally broker the shipment.
  • Delays range from 1-10+ days depending on complexity to resolve it.
  • “Clearance Information Required” alone does not guarantee a package inspection.
  • Stay patient and keep communicating with UPS to get your shipment released.

Understanding common clearance issues that trigger delays empowers you to act appropriately to get your package smoothly processed and delivered. With some legwork to supply missing details, you can beat frustrating UPS customs holds.

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