Does Fedex tracking currently show a message stating clearance in progress?
This message is quite common, but it isn’t exactly obvious what it’s supposed to mean – especially if you’ve never seen it before.
So, what does ‘clearance in progress’ mean, and there is anything that you need to do in order to ensure your shipment is able to arrive quickly?
In this article, I’ll be answering all of these questions and more!
What Does ‘Clearance In Progress’ Mean On Fedex?
If Fedex tracking shows ‘clearance in progress’, this means that your package is currently being cleared through customs in one of the countries it’s traveling through.
At the very least, this will occur at the country it was originally shipped from, as well as the destination country the shipment is being sent to.
This process is entirely normal, and is a legal requirement for goods to be imported or exported to other countries.
That being said, issues occasionally do pop up that will require your attention.
So, let’s look a bit more into how international shipments actually work, and what will happen if something goes wrong.
How International Shipments Work
Shipping a package internationally is a lot more complex than shipping a package to another address within the same country.
This is because different countries have their own laws and regulations regarding what’s able to be brought into or taken out of the country.
So, shipments need to be checked to ensure that a record of imports or exports can be maintained, no prohibited goods are being brought in, and any applicable duties and taxes can be paid. Additionally, products imported for resale will need to comply with all local laws and regulations (for example, children’s products need to meet safety testing requirements.)
As you can see, the agency responsible for clearing items through customs has a very important role!
Therefore, in order to ensure the process goes smoothly, the shipper will work with Fedex to provide all necessary paperwork and information for the shipment. Fedex will also do everything to clear the item through customs on their behalf.
This includes paying any duties necessary. Duties can be thought of as a tax on imports and exports, and different types of items may have different rates.
Although Fedex will handle the direct payment, duties are typically the responsibility of the recipient of the package, unless the shipper has indicated they will be the ones paying the duties. So, they may not release the shipment to you until they’ve been paid.
If you plan on shipping package internationally yourself, it may be helpful to watch this brief instructional video provided by Fedex:
How Long Does It Take For Fedex Shipments To Clear Customs?
The exact length of time it takes for a Fedex shipment to clear customs, depends on a few factors.
The first is whether or not there were any issues that will cause delays.
Clearing customs is a complex process, and if it’s done incorrectly or any information is missing, the clearance may not continue until the issue is sorted out.
For example, part of the paperwork necessary is declaring what is actually in the shipment, as well as the value of the contents. If the description of the contents is vague or doesn’t accurately represent what’s inside the package, this can cause delays.
Additionally, some shippers may lie about the true value of the shipment to lower the amount of duties that need to be paid, which can also cause issues.
That being said, most items are processed and cleared by customs just fine. If there is an issue like this, Fedex tracking will usually update to say ‘clearance delay’, so you’ll know if there is a problem.
Another factor that can affect the total time is the specific country that the shipment is in.
Not every country is as efficient at processing shipments, and surges in package volume can also cause additional delays.
With all that taken into account, clearance time can range from as little as 24 hours to a week or more. That being said, most shipments are cleared by customs in 24-72 hours.
Do I Need To Do Anything?
In the vast majority of cases, no (other than paying any customs duties or fees you may be responsible for.)
Fedex is exceptionally good at helping packages clear customs smoothly, without any issues whatsoever. Additionally, most online stores / merchants shipping items internationally have done this plenty of times before, and know everything they need to do for the product to continue through customs without issues.
That being said, problems do happen, particularly with first-time shippers, or people who are mailing packages to friends and family, who may not have experience handling exports correctly.
Thankfully, part of Fedex’s service is handling the clearance of the shipment on their behalf.
If there are any issues that need to be sorted out, Fedex will contact either you, or the shipper to find out the information necessary.
So, continue checking the tracking page periodically – chances are, it will update from ‘clearance in progress’ soon!
If Fedex shows ‘clearance in progress’ on your tracking page, this is nothing to worry about.
All shipments will undergo clearance events when moving between countries, so this is completely normal for international shipments. Of course, if there are any issues preventing the item from clearing customs, Fedex will contact either you or the shipper for more information.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s answered all of your questions.
If you have any other questions about shipping internationally with Fedex, please ask them using the comment form below and I’ll be happy to help.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister