What Does “Inbound Into Customs” Mean on USPS Tracking?

Inbound Into Customs

What does it mean if you are expecting a package from abroad and come across the status “Inbound Into Customs”?

Should you be concerned? Let’s find out!


All incoming items from abroad have to go through a customs clearance process. For example, suppose you are expecting an international package through USPS.

In that case, the package will follow the same protocol and go through the customs clearance stage before it can be released for final delivery.

The status “Inbound Into Customs” indicates that your package has landed inside the country and is now waiting to be cleared by customs.

Read on to learn more about the tracking status “Inbound Into Customs” at USPS to better understand the process of your international packages.

Inbound Into Customs at USPS

Inbound Into Customs

If you have traveled across the border, you might have passed security clearance, where they checked your passport and luggage. It’s the same case for these packages.

According to the law, every item that comes from abroad into the country has to go through customs clearance.

As for incoming postal packages, the customs clearance process occurs inside an International Service Center (ICS).

If USPS handles your international package and it reaches the customs clearance process, the tracking system will update the status to “Inbound Into Customs.”

During this process, the customs officer will screen every package and check its paperwork to ensure it follows the country’s laws.

Each package goes through a scanner or x-ray machine, which checks the products inside and allows the officer to cross-check its description on the paperwork. After this information, you’ll wonder whether customs will open your package.

There’s nothing to worry about; the customs officers won’t open your package unless they have a valid reason.

Package Opening

Customs have the absolute right to tear open your package if it’s suspicious and does not align with the paperwork.

So to avoid this situation, declare the item correctly in your paperwork and avoid prohibited products.

Delayed Packages at Customs

Delayed Packages At Customs

A few factors could cause your package to be held up at customs and prevent its successful clearance.

Here are some of the factors:

1. Incorrect Paperwork

Paperwork plays a significant role in the clearance of packages. This is because it declares the value and description of the contents inside it.

If the paperwork is missing or incorrect details, your package might be held up at the customs office for further investigation.

So make sure that you provide the details correctly to avoid this situation.

2. Unpaid Duties

Every inbound item is subject to customs duty. If the taxes against your package are not paid, it might be held off at customs until further notice.

The customs will only release the item once the duties and taxes are paid.

3. Prohibited Items

Each nation has regulations that permit the shipment of certain items within its borders. However, some items, like firearms or alcoholic beverages, might not be allowed in some countries.

So if your package contains any such item that is prohibited, you will not be able to get that package until you have some legal paperwork to clear that product.

So make sure you know the rules to avoid such troubles.

Closing Word

If you are expecting a package from abroad, it has to go through customs clearance before it is released for final delivery.

If you expect your international package through USPS, you will most likely come across its status, “Inbound Into Customs.”

This status indicates that your package has successfully reached the country and is now waiting to be cleared by customs.

It’s important to ensure you declare the correct information about your package on the paperwork and pack it correctly.

If the paperwork is incorrect or missing, the customs officer will open your package to verify it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do All Packages Have To Go Through Customs Clearance?

Yes, all the incoming items that are shipped from abroad are required to go through the customs clearance process.

If the product is not cleared, it’s declared a smuggled item, which is illegal to keep.

How Long Do the Customs Clearance Processes Take To Clear the Product?

The clearance time of the product depends on its size and value. The more expensive products will undergo thorough screening, which might take a little longer.

In most cases, the process gets delayed due to incomplete or missing paperwork.

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