Ordering or shipping packages internationally is complex, even when using a courier service like UPS.
Because shipments have to be cleared by customs as they enter or leave each country, there is always the potential for issues to arrive.
If you see a message on your tracking page that says ‘clearance information required’, this unfortunately means that something went wrong while clearance was in progress. Thankfully, this message is actually pretty straightforward, and is usually resolved quite quickly.
So, in this article I’ll be covering what ‘clearance information required’ actually means, what causes it to appear, and what you need to do to solve it!
What Does ‘Clearance Information Required’ Mean On UPS?
If UPS tracking shows a message stating ‘clearance information required’, this means that additional information is needed before the shipment can clear customs in the country it’s currently in.
This information may need to be gathered from either the shipper or the recipient of the package, depending on the exact information needed.
Unfortunately, the shipment cannot progress until the required information has been acquired, so the package will remain stuck until UPS is able to obtain it.
Note that due to the complex process of clearing customs, there is a wide variety of issues that may cause delays. Let’s look over some of the potential reasons why UPS may need more information, so we can determine what is necessary to solve it!
What Sort Of Clearance Issues Would Cause This Message?
In order for a shipment to clear customs, a lot of paperwork and information is required. Some of this may include:
- A commercial invoice, detailing the shipment’s value.
- A detailed description of the shipment’s contents, that identify what exactly is in the shipment.
- A waybill.
- UPS customs forms.
Additionally, the shipper and recipient’s information must be accurate and up-to-date, and duties / taxes may need to be paid before the shipment is released.
If anything is filled out incorrectly or is missing information, this can cause additional work, delays, and contacts with either you or the other party.
Again, clearing customs can be thought of as a legal process in many ways, so there is no margin for error. The paperwork is either done correctly, or the shipment isn’t cleared.
Thankfully, UPS handles a lot of this on your behalf, in order to simplify the import / export process. This may also include paying any necessary duties on your behalf, and then billing you for them later.
When something goes wrong however, UPS will need to collect the necessary information before the customs clearance process can continue – hence the message stating that clearance information is required.
Will UPS Attempt To Reach Out To Me?
So, how does UPS handles clearance issues? Will they reach out to you, or do you need to reach out to them instead?
In most cases, UPS will reach out to whichever party they need information from. Depending on the specific issue delaying the shipment’s clearance, this may be either the shipper or the receiver of the package.
Of course, if you aren’t the person that UPS needs information from, they won’t bother reaching out to you.
Keep in mind that if UPS does reach out, they will typically do so by phone. So, you will need to make sure that you’ve provided an accurate phone number to the person shipping your package. If the phone number you gave the shipper is inaccurate, than UPS may not be able to make contact if it’s necessary.
In these instances, it may be a better idea to proactively reach out to UPS to let them know. I’ll talk more about how to reach the right people at UPS in just a moment.
For now, just know that if UPS needs information from you, they will attempt to contact you by phone – so watch out for any phone calls you may receive!
The Package Still Hasn’t Moved! What Should I Do?
So, if your package has been stuck on ‘clearance information required’ and UPS hasn’t reached out to you, what should you do?
First things first, it’s important to understand that this may be normal, depending on the exact issue that is preventing the shipment from moving forward.
It’s possible that UPS only needs to contact either the shipper or the receiver, but not both of them. So, the information they need may not require them to reach out to you. In these instances, it still may take several days for the shipment to clear customs, so this is normal.
However, if you are concerned, than I highly recommend contacting UPS’ customer support number at 1-800-782-7892.
This number is specifically for international shipments, and has people trained to help with all sorts of customs clearance issues.
At the very least, they will be able to look into the shipment, and provide detailed insight beyond what you’ll find on the UPS tracking page. More importantly, if there is information needed from you, they’ll be able to get it sorted out immediately so the customs clearance process can continue.
When calling UPS’ international support number, be sure to have the tracking number for the shipment available for them, so they can look up the shipment in their system.
Thankfully, UPS customer support has been pretty great in my experience, so it shouldn’t take long!
When UPS states that clearance information is required, they will need to reach out to either you or the shipper for additional information. Unfortunately, customs clearance can not proceed until this happens.
If UPS tracking remains stuck on this message or more than a few days, I recommend contacting UPS’ international shipping number at 1-800-782-7892 for further assistance.
I hope that this article has answered your questions, and your package will end up clearing customs soon.
If you have any other questions about shipping internationally with UPS, please ask them below and I’ll be happy to help.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister