Customs Status Updated • What does it mean in an International Shipment?

When we are going to receive a package from abroad, the whole process can be stressful or frustrating. One of the alerts is Customs Status Updated, which gives vague information and can generate many doubts about your shipment.

This is a stage that all packages coming from another country may go through. Sometimes the package is simply updated, clears customs, and continues on its way. But in other cases, this is not the case, and we must know how to proceed in these cases.

What does Customs Status Updated mean?

This is a notification used by different companies such as DHL or UPS. It indicates that the package is about to enter customs clearance processing. The notification may appear when the package leaves the country of origin or when it arrives in the country of destination.

This status will normally be accompanied by additional customs status information. In most cases, additional information will not be available, and this can be a good thing. If no additional information appears, the package will continue on its original journey to its final destination.

However, if some kind of additional information requirement appears, they may need more information. In these cases, the following may occur:

More information required

If a package is updated to Customs Status Updated, the authorities may require additional information. If the information required for the export or import process is not complete, you will be asked to complete it. This may also happen if documentation has been misplaced during the process.

The specificity of the information they need can be very variable. Normally you have to contact the courier to provide the details they are requesting, and the package will be held until additional information is received.

In these cases, the status may be updated to further clearance processing is required. Parcel companies usually contact the shipper who will need to provide more information about the package.

What does Pending Completion of Customs Inspection mean?

This is another alert that can occur when Customs Status Updated appears. In these cases there is no need to worry, the shipment has simply been selected for physical inspection. This is standard procedure, and will not cause any problems with your package.

Customs agents perform this type of inspection on a random basis. It can happen to any package found during the clearance process. If additional information is needed, the parcel carrier may contact the importer.

How long will it take to receive the package after the alert?

This will depend on the situation your package is in. There are three possible scenarios:

No further information is required

If when you upgrade to Customs Status Updated no additional information is needed, your package will continue on its way. In these cases, it will complete the customs clearance process and will arrive in the time frame that was established from the beginning.

Information required

If a request for information appears, the package will be held until you provide the necessary information or documents. The time it takes to provide the information will directly affect the speed of the shipment.

Customs inspection

In cases where there is a customs inspection, you are likely to experience some delay. This will depend on the traffic at customs, and the number of packages entering the country.

Physical inspections at customs can be quick and take only one day, or take several days. In these cases, the package will end up arriving later than the original delivery date you intended to receive it.

Possible problems that may occur when you receive the Customs Status Updated update

There are many possibilities why packages may be inconvenienced when this notification appears. Not all items will follow the same rules at customs, and in some cases delays are unavoidable.

There are three cases in particular that may cause a delay in the customs processes, which are:


This is a common problem that can cause the package to be delayed by the time of delivery. These types of packages may be delayed until customs can physically inspect them.

If there is an unexpected change in volume, it can be difficult to prevent when the package will be cleared. It is not an ideal situation, but normally the package ends up on its way as long as there is no limitation on the goods it is carrying.


It is possible that the packet passes through a checkpoint that cannot process the volume of incoming packets. This can be due to many things, and will also depend on the number of agents ready to process the packet.

In case of any kind of unexpected circumstances, it is possible that your shipment may be delayed more than expected. This can be avoided if you specify to the carrier the type of route your package should follow in order to choose the best one and avoid delays.


There are some cases where the items being shipped by these companies require a high level of scrutiny. This is because the destination has different regulations depending on the type of goods being shipped. The most common cases may be:

  • Agricultural products: these types of products may trigger diseases, or may generate ecological impact in different regions. Not all shipments of this type are processed equally and some require more time in customs than others.
  • Weapons: many things can be considered weapons, not just guns and missiles. There are many regulations on the shipment of weapons, so delays can occur in these situations.
  • Embargoes: Regulations indicate that packages from certain origins must undergo special processing. Therefore, it is important to inquire about these regulations before the package is shipped.

There are different situations in which packages will simply end up in a seizure warehouse. This is because entry into the country is not allowed by the regulations set forth in the law.