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US Customs holding my package – what do I do?

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Photo Courtesy: aprilbell

Updated Post:

U.S. customs is holding my package, what do I do?

Customs detaining packages is a common occurrence in the trade sector.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) holds the authority to detain, seize, and even destroy cargo they find unsuitable for entry into the United States.

This authority extends to all small to medium packages dispatched via USPS, DHL, FedEx, UPS, and similar express carriers. Whether for personal or commercial use, all incoming packages are subject to examination by U.S. customs upon arrival at the port of entry.

If your package is detained, consider the following steps:

1. Monitor your package's status online for updates.

2. You should receive a notification from the express carrier notifying you of the hold.

3. Reach out to the carrier to inquire if customs requires any additional information, such as documentation, samples, authorization letters, and other requirements deemed necessary as part of the review.

Here are the contact numbers for popular express carriers:

- USPS: (800) 222-1811

- DHL: (800) 225-5345

- FedEx: (800) 249-2953 or 1716

- UPS: (888) 742-5877

If you encounter further difficulties, consider hiring a customs broker who can provide further assistance and assist in expediting the release of your package.

Need assistance with a shipment that's currently under customs hold?

We can help!


Disclaimer: Please note that all information provided in this post is for reference purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with a qualified professional for specific inquiries or concerns. This website is not comprehensive and does not encompass all the necessary aspects of import procedures. 

If you need Customs Brokerage assistance, contact our main company, Elleo Global today!


Original post:

When U.S. Customs holds a package or parcel that was sent to you, the reasons that it happen is very similar to any larger scale import cargo. Most of the time your item is illegal, not allowed to enter the country or you need a specific license.

Regardless whether your package is a “gift” or if it’s something you purchased through the internet, as long as it comes from another country, Customs have the authority to open and inspect the package.

Most likely you will receive a letter from Customs with contact information, your best bet is to contact them and figure out whether or not you’re able to get your package.

For small and personal packages like this, you do not need Forwarder, Agent or Customs Brokerage to represent you.


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