Package Stuck in Customs | How Long Will It Be Held For?4 min read
package stuck in customs

Package stuck at the customs: why and how to avoid it

Shipments going through international borders go through customs, and the process can sometimes be lengthy. In this article, you will find out how long customs clearance takes and how long they will hold your package.

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Why is my package stuck in customs?

A package may be stuck in customs or held by the authorities for longer than planned for many different reasons. The main causes of a package held by customs authorities are the following.

Poorly filled paperwork

Incorrect or incomplete information on customs forms can delay package processing. Always make sure all details are accurate and avoid giving false information.

Missing document

In the case of missing documents or data, customs officers may ask you to provide the missing paperwork. Always double-check you provide a proforma or commercial invoice and all the other required documents.

Fees and taxes

During the customs clearance process, the authorities will calculate the duties and fees that are required for the import of your goods. Unpaid duties or taxes can cause your package to be held in customs until you pay them.

Dangerous or prohibited goods

Customs will block every shipment containing dangerous items or goods that are illegal or not allowed in the country. Before sending a parcel, verify that its content complies with the destination country’s regulations.

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How long will my package be held in customs?

The customs procedures and the time a parcel is held at the customs office depend on different factors, each on its own, and often country related. For instance, different rules may apply for packages held in customs in the UK, Germany, France, Spain or other countries. How long the customs hold a package could be a process lasting from days to weeks to months:

  • If the items you are transporting are on the list of prohibited and restricted items to be shipped. In some cases, the package might not just be held in customs, but it can even be even destroyed if you fail to provide the required documentation that the customs officers will ask you for.
  • If you fail to provide all the necessary documents the customs clearance process might be longer than expected.
  • The longer it takes you to pay the taxes, the longer the package will be stuck in customs.
  • The customs clearance process can also depend on the transport mode (air, road, rail, sea).

How long does it take to clear customs in the UK?

When shipping from Europe to the UK after Brexit, your package will go through customs and customs procedures. This means that the package may take longer to arrive than expected. Especially if you had trouble providing all the necessary documentation for customs clearance. You will know how long it takes for the UK customs authorities to clear packages after the inspection. The customs process can take a few hours, days or weeks in extreme cases.

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Who should I contact to find out if my package is stuck in customs?

Your package is stuck in customs, but you are not sure how to check on the package and what is its status. The easiest way to do so is to you contact the logistics provider in charge of your shipment. Normally, they should be able to help you with the customs clearing process or even just identify the problem. Before contact, make sure you have the tracking number to give it to the courier to check its status.

If you are shipping with Eurosender and you want to get updates about your international shipment, check its status on our online tracking tool or contact our customer support team.

More about customs procedures

Understanding customs procedures is essential to avoid getting your parcel stuck in customs for too long,

Cargo and parcels sent within the EU, for example, will not undergo customs procedures.

Always make sure you provide all the documents required and follow the national legislation about imports.

To be updated on customs procedures you can check our dedicated pages.