What Does “Clearance In Progress” Mean for Your UPS Package Delivery?

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Seeing the status “clearance in progress” for your UPS package can be confusing if you’re expecting a package delivery. This status means your package is going through a routine customs clearance process. Understanding what clearance in progress means can help you know what to expect next with your UPS shipment.

When a package is shipped internationally, it must go through customs to enter the destination country. The clearance process simply verifies the contents, ensures proper documentation, and confirms the package follows regulations. This inspection is standard protocol and is not cause for concern.

While your package is awaiting clearance, you can expect some short delays. However, this does not necessarily mean something is wrong. The customs process is dependent on many factors. Continue reading to learn more about what clearance in progress means and how long it takes so you can stay informed on your UPS shipment status.

What Does “Clearance in Progress” Specifically Mean?

The “clearance in progress” message is an update from UPS that your package has arrived in the destination country and is undergoing standard customs processing and regulations checks before release. This scan means your package was received by customs and is being inspected before final delivery.

Why Would a Package Have Clearance In Progress?

International packages always go through mandatory customs clearance upon arriving at the border. This is not specific to UPS shipments. Customs checks every package to verify:

  • Contents match provided shipment paperwork
  • Package meets import regulations
  • Taxes and duties paid appropriately
  • Goods are authorized for entry

No action is required on your end. Clearance in progress is a standard process all international shipments go through.

How Long Does Clearance in Progress Take with UPS?

There is no set time frame for how long clearance in progress will take. On average, the UPS clearance process takes 24-72 hours. However, it can vary significantly.

Some packages may clear customs in just a few hours. Others may take 3-5 days if more detailed inspection is required. Numerous factors impact customs clearance time:

  • Shipment destination
  • Type of goods
  • Accuracy of documentation
  • Severity of inspection required

Shipments to certain countries like Canada or EU nations tend to process faster than other destinations.

What Happens After Clearance In Progress?

Once clearance completes, UPS will resume delivery of your package. The next tracking update after clearance in progress will typically be “Package available for clearance” or “Clearance processing complete.”

This scan means your package passed inspection and has exited customs. Final delivery to the destination address will be the next step after clearing customs.

Tips For Expediting Clearance Process

While UPS doesn’t control customs time frames, there are some tips to help your package clear faster:

  • Provide accurate shipment details – Double check item description, HS codes, values, etc. Matching paperwork helps packages pass inspection quicker.
  • Label package contents – Clearly detail all items inside. This allows customs to identify goods faster.
  • Check prohibited items – Avoid shipping illegal or banned items internationally to prevent delivery delays.
  • Confirm duties pre-paid – Pay any owed duties during arranging shipment. Pre-paid packages tend to clear faster.
  • Check destination rules – Some countries have specific customs regulations that impact process time.

Following these best practices allows for a smoother customs process to help expedite clearance.

What If Package Stuck In Clearance for Too Long?

If your package remains in clearance in progress status for over 4-5 days, you may want to investigate further. While delays are common, an extended holdup may signal an issue. Some possible reasons include:

  • Missing/inaccurate paperwork
  • Selected for additional inspection
  • Problems verifying declared value
  • Need for permit/license for the goods

First, contact UPS directly to inquire about the hold up. They can contact the customs agency handling your package for more details on the delay.

If needed, UPS can submit paperwork corrections or provide any additional shipment details to customs. This may help push your package through the clearance process if information was missing.

Is My Package in Customs Seizure or Confiscated?

Rarely, packages may be seized by customs if found in violation of import laws. Some reasons include:

  • Prohibited or illegal contents
  • Undeclared hazardous materials
  • Undervalued goods to avoid duties
  • Counterfeit products

If you suspect your shipment was seized, UPS can help determine next steps. You may need to provide additional documentation to claim contents. But in severe cases, customs can confiscate goods and refuse delivery.

Thankfully, seizure in customs is extremely uncommon. Most delays in the clearance process are routine and eventually released like normal.

Clearance In Progress Scams to Watch For

Some scammers attempt to take advantage of customers seeing a clearance in progress scan. Be cautious of anyone reaching out claiming your package is being held until you pay additional customs fees.

UPS will never contact you to request payment outside of their app or website. Any calls, emails or texts demanding money to release your shipment in clearance are fraudulent.

Never give personal information or pay unexpected customs fees. Report the scam attempt and let UPS security handle fraudulent activity related to your package.

Can I Track My Package Through Clearance?

Yes, UPS provides updates at each step of the customs clearance process so you can closely track your package’s progress:

  • Arrived at facility – Package has reached the UPS customs-controlled warehouse for processing.
  • Clearance in progress – Shipment entered inspection by customs authorities.
  • Available for clearance – Passed inspection and exiting customs.
  • Released by gov agency – Cleared customs and released for delivery.
  • Package ready for UPS – Handed back to UPS after customs to resume delivery.

UPS tracking tools like their website, email alerts, text messages, and mobile app provide ongoing customs updates as your package clears. Signing up for text or email tracking provides proactive notifications if your shipment is delayed in clearance.

How Long In Clearance Does It Take Before I Should Take Action?

Most packages pass through clearance within 24-72 hours without issues. You only need to take action if your package shows no tracking updates for several days after arriving in the destination country.

Here are some recommendations on when to follow up:

  • After 3 days – Call UPS for a tracking update
  • After 5 days – Have UPS contact customs for status
  • After 7+ days – Open investigation into delays

Waiting a week or more in customs before taking action is excessive. The majority of delayed packages get resolved within 3-5 days after inquiring with UPS on the hold up. But the sooner you can address any problems, the faster your package gets back on track for delivery.

Will UPS Deliver My Package on Time?

UPS builds standard customs delays into estimated delivery dates. So clearance in progress typically won’t impact promised delivery times.

But if exceptional delays occur, UPS may adjust the delivery date accordingly. Make sure to check the progress and delivery ETA frequently as your package clears customs. UPS will proactively update you on any changes impacting expected arrival.

While clearance in progress may cause short holds, rest assured UPS still does everything possible to deliver your package safely and quickly through the international shipping process.

Key Takeaways on UPS Clearance in Progress

  • Clearance in progress is a routine customs procedure all international packages go through. It simply means your package is undergoing standard entry inspection.
  • Typical customs clearance takes 24-72 hours, but delays of 3-5 days are not uncommon depending on destination and goods.
  • Always provide accurate shipment details and descriptions. This helps packages clear customs faster.
  • Track your package’s progress online and via text/email alerts to monitor clearance status.
  • Contact UPS if your package is stuck in customs for 4+ days to have them investigate the specific delay.
  • Don’t panic if your package takes longer than expected to clear. The majority of shipments pass inspection and resume delivery soon after.

Knowing what to expect with international clearance in progress allows you to stay informed on your package’s status. With proactive tracking and communication, you can ensure your UPS delivery makes it through customs without excessive delays.

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