If you’ve ordered a package internationally and it’s being shipped via FedEx, at some point you’ll see a message saying ‘international shipment release import.’

But what does this message actually mean?

In this article, I’ll be answering that question. I’ll also cover what will happen next, when your package is likely to arrive, and what to do if FedEx tracking gets stuck on this message for several days or longer.

So, let’s get into it!

What Does ‘International Shipment Release Import’ Mean On FedEx Tracking?

Fedex Delivery Vehicle

If you see ‘International shipment release import’ on your FedEx tracking page, this means that your package has cleared customs on the country that it’s being imported into.

Usually, this is the destination country that it will ultimately be delivered to.

Therefore, this message is actually really great news!

Traveling from the original country to your country is often the longest part of your package’s journey. Additionally, clearing customs on the country it’s being imported into is one of the most complicated steps of the process, with the greatest possibility of something going wrong.

However, your package made it through successfully, without anything going wrong!

When FedEx first attempts to clear your package through customs, you’ll see a message on your tracking page that says ‘Clearance in progress.’ If something is wrong, you may see a message that says ‘Clearance instructions from the importer are required.’

However, now that your package has been cleared successfully, you don’t have anything to worry about – it is usually likely to be successfully delivered without any other issues!

What Happens Now – And When Should My Package Arrive?

Once your FedEx package clears customs, how long should you expect it to be before it arrives?

Ultimately, this will depend on the shipping service that your package was shipped with. However, most packages will arrive in 1-5 business days after they’ve cleared customs.

Keep in mind that once your package arrives in your country, it will effectively act similar to a domestic shipment.

This means it will be routed to a nearby FedEx sorting facility – and then get processed throughout other FedEx facilities throughout the country until it ultimately arrives at your local FedEx delivery facility.

For the most accurate estimate on when your package will arrive, look for the estimated delivery date on FedEx’s tracking page. If one isn’t available, look for the shipping service used on the tracking page, and reference the table below on when you can expect it to arrive. Note that these timelines are based on the date when FedEx first received the package from the shipper.

Shipping Service:Timeline:Location:Notes:
Fedex Home Delivery1-5 business daysDomestic3-7 business days if shipping to Alaska or Hawaii
Fedex Ground1-5 business daysDomestic
Fedex Express Saver3 business daysDomesticArrives by afternoon
Fedex 2Day2 business daysDomestic
Fedex 2Day A.M.2 business daysDomesticArrives by 10:30 to business, noon to homes
Fedex Standard Overnight1 business dayDomestic
Fedex Priority Overnight1 business dayDomesticArrives by noon
Fedex First Overnight1 business dayDomesticArrives by 8:00-9:30 A.M.
Fedex SameDaySame dayDomesticOnly available in some locations
Fedex International Ground2-7 business daysInternationalTo Canada only
Fedex International Economy2-5 business daysInternational
Fedex International Priority1-3 business daysInternational
Fedex International Priority Express1-3 business daysInternationalDelivery as early as 10:30 A.M to addresses in U.S or parts of Canada. Noon elsewhere.
Fedex International First1-3 business daysInternationalDelivery as early as 8 A.M to addresses in the U.S. As early as 9 A.M. elsewhere. (View List)
Fedex International Next FlightUnder 24 hoursInternational

As long as nothing else happens – such as an operational delay, a local delivery restriction, a weather delay,  or a failure to locate the recipient of your package, it should be delivered in accordance with the timeline above! 

Note: If your package arrives too far ahead of schedule, FedEx may hold it until it is due for delivery. Hence, referencing the chart above can be useful! That being said, you can always pick it up from them directly if you wish to do so.

Help! My Tracking Is Stuck On ‘International Shipment Release Import’

Let’s say that your package hasn’t seen any updates for several days, and the most recent message is ‘international shipment release import.’ Is this something to worry about?

If it’s been under 3 days, then the answer is no – unless of course, your package was already scheduled to be delivered according to the shipping service used.

It can take some time for packages that have cleared customs to reach the first FedEx hub, and you should start seeing more frequent tracking updates once that’s happened.

If it’s been longer than 3 days and you haven’t seen any new information on the tracking page however, it may be a good idea to contact FedEx customer service at 1-800-463-3339.

A FedEx customer support agent will be able to look into what’s going on, and may be able to provide more information on why your package doesn’t appear to be moving.

Sometimes, warehouses simply miss a scan, and your package is actually further along than it may appear.

So, try not to worry about it too much!

What Is ‘International Shipment Release Export?’

Sometimes, FedEx tracking will show a message that says ‘International shipment release export’, rather than ‘International shipment release import.’

So, what is actually the difference between these two messages?

They’re actually quite similar! However, instead of clearing customs in the importing or destination country, it has cleared customs on the country it is being shipped – or exported from.

For example, if you were ordering a package from the U.K to the U.S, you’ll see ‘international shipment release export’ on your tracking page when it clears customs in the U.K.

Of course, it will still have to travel to your country and clear customs there. And unfortunately, countries are usually more strict about the products being imported, rather than the products that are being exported.

That being said, most FedEx packages clear customs – both for exporting as well as importing, without any issues.


‘International shipment release import’ simply means that the product has successfully cleared customs, in the country that it’s being imported into.

Clearing customs is often one of the lengthiest and most complicated parts of the shipping process, so you should consider this to be good news! Unless there are any further delays, you should expect your FedEx package to arrive soon.

I hope that this article has cleared things up, and has answered all of your questions.

International shipping can be confusing, so if you have any other questions about shipping internationally with FedEx, ask them below and I’ll be happy to get back to you.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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