How Long After Item Clears Customs (And Why)?

How Long After Item Clears Customs (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After about 5 business days

Customs can be defined as the taxes imposed on goods and materials which are transported from one country to another. This is especially for packages which are destined to cross borders of their own country and reach to another. Clearing customs is a very difficult process that every package has to go through. It can be easy at times when the correct procedure is maintained with all the precautions.

Every package at the customs of a particular country is checked to know whether the package stands up to meet the eligibility criteria or not. Hence, one should be very careful regarding this. One should not try to send prohibited items in the customs because they aren’t allowed and would lead to some unforeseen circumstances for the sender. Every minute details regarding the package and the method of clearing customs should be clearly known to the individual.

How Long After Item Clears Customs

How Long After Item Clears Customs?

Maximum Time2-5 business days
Minimum Time10 business days

During checking parcels, the taxes to be levied on such goods are also determined. Even humans have to pay customs during international travels. One must be asked beforehand about the personal details depending on which he must have paid for customs. If one wishes to have a fast clearance at customs, one needs to ensure that the package is eligible to be sent via customs along with all the details.

At the customs office, not every package sent is checked for information. It is done on a lottery basis. Hence, one should ensure the correct details of the package before sending failing to which the package would fail to clear customs and would either be seized or be returned. But, every parcel has to undergo scanning via X-rays to verify its properties as mentioned in the information slot.

The time taken by a parcel to clear customs completely depends on the country to which the parcel is being sent. It even depends upon the package and its ability to meet the country’s eligibility requirement. While, in some countries, customs approve quickly, in other cases, parcels have to go through a long procedure for approval which may be tiring not only for the sender but also for the receiver.

The WCO said that every country’s customs throughout the world have to face the burden of small packages before the arrival of e-commerce. The customs are specially established to transport a large number of products from one country to another. But, with time, people even started using it as a medium to send small packages of personal use to others. After the growth of e-commerce, the burden of these small packages has lessened comparatively.

Why Should One Wait So Long For Items To Clear Customs?

At the same time, keeping in view the country’s security and the economy started upgrading their rules and regulations regarding customs, which proved detrimental for people sending small packages via customs. E-commerce helped the new transporters find the fastest way to deliver their parcels at reasonable prices. Had it not been so, much money would have been wasted by individuals on package and customs.

Various factors may be responsible for the package not clearing customs. The first and most important of them is the missing paperwork. The declaration form by the customer and the invoice of the parcel is most important for the package to clear customs. At the customs office, these documents would be used to determine the taxes to be imposed on the goods for clearing customs.

Missing paperwork may create problems for the officers in the customs office thereby leading to the cancellation of the package. The parcel invoice should include the price of each unit of the parcel and the total cost, including the shipping charges paid by the customer, the country from where the parcel has originated, and the description of the item in the parcel. Improper paperwork may even lead to a suspect in the package thereby leading to its checking.

The second factor which might hinder the package from clearing customs is the improper submission of taxes. There are two options available to the sender. Either one can pay the taxes and then send the parcel to the destination or send it to the destination, leaving the task of payment on to the receiver’s hands. Hence, it is very essential to choose wisely and even submit the taxes properly after proper calculations.


The shipping of prohibited items should not be attempted because they would be discarded at the customs office as they would not be able to meet the requirements of the country. For example, In UK, the shipping of firearms are restricted. In Germany, restrictions are even imposed on few food items. Similarly, in France, electronics and food items manufactured outside the European Union are not allowed.

Every nation has its own certain rules and regulations regarding customs which should be cleared by every package landing into its territory. The packages destined from a remote nation to a foreign nation should have appropriate and correct documents and should be rechecked to ensure that they are eligible for clearing customs. Before sending a parcel, one should check the prices, the eligibility criteria and the necessary documents to be submitted on the genuine website of the customs.



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