Inbound Out Of Customs: The Entire Guide

If you regularly use USPS for international shipments, you could have seen the “Inbound Out Of Customs” status on the tracking page, just under the Customs Transit Prompt. 

What does it mean? Is there anything you need to do to necessitate a faster delivery? Our today’s comprehensive guide seeks to clarify all that. 

What Does Inbound Out Of Customs Mean?

This status means that the Customs office has successfully processed a package and handed it over to USPS. 

Immediately after the package gets handed over to USPS, they update the tracking page with, “Your item cleared United States Customs.”

Most USPS users have complained over and over again that their package statuses stay stuck on “Inbound Out of Customs” for days, weeks, or even months, which is what we are going to look into in a short while. 

Why Is My Tracking Page Stuck On, “Inbound Out Of Customs?”

What Does Inbound Out of Customs Mean USPS

Lack of Scanning

I had my package status stuck on “Inbound out of customs” for 15 days. Surprisingly, the package was delivered when the Latest Update on the USPS tracking page was still, “Your item cleared United States Customs.”

Others have also confirmed that their package still showed up without any other update, which is certainly inconveniencing. 

It’s deeply disheartening having to rely on chance about when your international package will get delivered, instead of keeping getting updated on its transit journey. No Ands, Ifs, or Buts, USPS has to step up here. 

At other times, the scan goes from Out of Customs to ‘Delivered to your local post office,’ with no other scans in between that you can follow to know where your package is. 

Delays due to lack of scanning mostly happen at the Chicago Customs offices, and oddly, the tracking page gets updated the next business day or two after you have already received your parcel!

Also Read: Your Item Has Been Released From The US Customs Meaning

Delay in the International Service Center (ISC)

After customs hands over a package to USPS, it has to go through the International Service Center for delivery to the destination to be scheduled. 

Under normal circumstances, it takes a couple of minutes to just an hour for packages to get scheduled in the ISC, which is why USPS rarely bothers to scan that packages have gone through the ISC. 

Depending on the number of international packages awaiting scheduling, though, delays going to several days might happen, and while at that, the tracking page will stay stuck on Inbound out of customs. 

The situation gets worse when your package misses scheduling among the hundreds of thousands of packages that go through the service centers. It will have to get returned to the respective service center, when USPS finds it in another distribution center, for rescheduling. 

Customs Returned the Package to the Sender

Depending on what is getting shipped and if it can’t get confiscated, Customs sometimes decides to return the package to the shipper. 

What’s even more frustrating is that USPS shows that the package is out of customs, but then doesn’t go ahead to let clients know that the package has been sent back by Customs. 

Even worse is that Customs has no tracking page, and knowing the real status of your package is hard, especially when it has been sent back to the shipper is daunting. 

Also Read: In Transit to Next Facility, Arriving Late USPS Update

What To Do When Your Package is Inbound Out of Customs

Ask the Local Post Office

We highly suggest that you call your local post office when your package is stuck on that update for more than a business week, even when there are no scans made about the status of your package. 

As we have noted above, missed scans do happen and if the cause for your delay is a missed scan, it could be that your package was taken to your local post office, before getting to you. 

The reason why we encourage you to check the post office is that the package might be sitting there as the USPS staff focuses more on time-sensitive parcels. 

File a Missing Mail Request

When there is a delay, it’s not always necessarily that your package was lost or stolen. 

Filing a Missing Mail Request usually does the magic, where, it doesn’t even take more than 1 business day to see the tracking page getting updated with, “In Transit.”

This is especially true for packages that had initially been delayed due to a lack of scans or that had been kept in the final queue of priorities. 

USPS has provided simple steps you can follow to make a search request for your missing mail here

You may also need to seek the services of the sender and ask them to get in touch with USPS on your behalf. As I have gathered, USPS seems to prioritize senders’ missing mail requests than the recipient’s. 

Why Did My Package Go from “Inbound Out of Customs” to “Inbound Into Customs?”

If you were perplexed that your package was stuck on “Inbound Out of Customs,” wait till you behold what I saw in July 2023. The tracking status moved from Out of Customs to Into Customs. LOL!

Customs Transit

This happened in the New York International Center, and sadly, the tracking status for this package was stuck on that update for two weeks. 

I found that package statuses that go from “Inbound out of customs” to “Inbound Into Customs” are a result of scanning errors. 

Funny enough, my package was processed by customs that day, and no one at USPS bothered to scan it, despite it having gone through 5 more states before it was delivered. 

It got delivered after 3 weeks, and its status on the tracking page was still, “Inbound Into Customs.” If yours went through the Out of Customs then “Into,” know that scanning errors happened. 

How Long Does a Package Stay Under “Inbound Out of Customs?”

It takes anywhere between 2 business days and 60 days for packages that were stuck on “out for customs” to show up. 

Basically, the reason for this delay plays a crucial role in how long it takes for your package to make it to you. 

Since USPS has no major history of losing packages, rest assured that you will end up receiving your package, albeit later than expected, provided customs didn’t return it to the shipper. 

We Recommend Using the Priority Mail Express International Option

Depending on how fast you need your package and its value, we recommend that you use the Priority Mail Express International shipping option if you have the money. This is for the next international package, of course.

The customs process is usually more prioritized, and packages don’t just “sit” at the international distribution centers. 

When you use that option, USPS has to prioritize your package as they don’t want to bear the refund costs for missing the delivery deadlines.