Customs Clearance Status Updated Meaning [DHL]

customs clearance status updated meaning

I have been using DHL for 12 years now and there are many updates I have received to date. One of the most recent common ones is, “Customs clearance status updated. Note – The Customs clearance process may start while the shipment is in transit to the destination.

The last time I encountered this was rather inconvenient as this notification stayed that way for a whopping 10 days. 

What could this mean? Read on. 

Customs clearance status updated meaning

A DHL customs clearance status updated notification means that a package has undergone or is undergoing clearance processing at the customs office. This process can take place at the destination country or the country of origin. 

2 circumstances under which you may receive that update

1. When a package is undergoing customs clearance processing

When DHL updates on the tracking page “customs clearance status updated,” it could mean that the package is already in the customs office and clearance is ongoing. 

This update is especially important as DHL clients can know that their parcel is in the hands of customs. Intended to keep the client updated that their package isn’t moving, recipients can know that it may take some time before they eventually receive their package since clearance can take several days. 

It’s crucial for you to click on the “Further Detail” prompt under that update to know the outcome of the package after it has undergone customs processing. If there is any action needed from you, that is the tab to direct you.

When you receive the  “Customs clearance status updated. Note – The Customs clearance process may start while the shipment is in transit to the destination” notification, it means that the customs office has approved the package to undergo the entire customs process. 

2. When a package has undergone customs clearance 

Again, when a package has undergone customs recently, DHL sends the status of the package as “customs clearance status updated” on the tracking page. 

Below that update, you will see a “Further Detail” prompt which will let you know that your shipment has passed through the customs process.  

After a package has undergone customs clearance in the destination country, you can rest assured that it’s getting to you sooner. You will need to wait further if that process took place in the origin country, though. 

When this process is over and the package starts moving, DHL updates the tracking page with the “shipment has been given a release by customs” update. 

It is possible to receive several of these updates

Some DHL users wonder how they are able to receive the “customs clearance status updated” notifications more than once. 

Well, some packages have to undergo customs clearance from the country of origin and the destination country. 

When a package has to undergo customs processing from the country of origin, it may take several days for that to be sorted out. When that very package has to undergo customs processing in the destination country as well, you can then see how DHL manages to keep sending these updates.

Also Read: The real Customs Status Updated DHL meaning.

What do I do in case I receive the clearance status update?

Under normal circumstances, there is nothing you need to do when you receive that update.

However, when the tracking page status for your package stays the same for more than a day and the “Further Detail” tab shows that your package is undergoing customs processing, it’s important for you to contact DHL in the quest to know about the status of your package. 

It happens sometimes that when this delay is beyond a day, the customs office has some information to seek from the sender or the client. Unless you provide this info, customs won’t process your shipment. 

The problem at this point is that DHL rarely calls their clients to let them know that there is the information needed from the customs office. 

Customs clearance status updated. Note – The Customs clearance process may start while the shipment is in transit to the destination Meaning

Customs clearance status updated. Note - The Customs clearance process may start while the shipment is in transit to the destination

I started seeing the Customs clearance status updated. Note – The Customs clearance process may start while the shipment is in transit to the destination” update in late 2022 and it seems many DHL clients are seeing it frequently. 

As we mentioned above, DHL usually sends this update when a package has been pre-allowed to undergo the clearance process. 

What that means is that there is no more information needed by the customs office and that the package will go through the entire customs clearance process without impediment. 

After customs processes the package, it now lands in the hands of DHL, where they will start the transit process toward the recipient’s destination. 

How long will the customs process take to be completed?

There is no standard timeframe for the customs clearance process to go through, but as I have observed, DHL packages through Cincinnati customs take relatively longer to clear. 

The situation is even worse when there is further information needed from the shipper/package recipient, which could sometimes stretch the delay to up to 15 days. 

When there is no further information to seek about a package, the customs process averagely takes a day to be completed and have the package moving. 

Why have I had the Customs Clearance Status Updated notification for long?

1. There is more information needed

When the customs office needs more information from you, the clearance process can end up taking longer as the package won’t be released before you provide those details. 

I have to blame DHL here to some extent. When they send that automated update to a client, they sometimes never bother to message or call a client. Until a client calls them in the quest to know why their package has been delayed, basic information from DHL is mostly lacking. 

If the client takes longer to call DHL to find out if there is the information needed, then the package is always stockpiled at their offices. 

Effective communication from DHL’s side would shorten this delay tenfold. 

2. The Customs staff is overwhelmed 

Times such as the Holidays seasons are massively overwhelming to customs staff. 

At times like those, there are piles of packages awaiting to be cleared and since customs offices aren’t always packed to capacity with staff, processing delays are bound to happen. 

A package can stay under the “clearance status updated” for several days before DHL goes on and updates the client, “customs clearance status updated. Note – the customs clearance process may start while the shipment is in transit to the destination” to show that the package has started moving once more.