You don’t get to deliver international items every day, do you? Well, if you are in a position where you are expecting an international package, then understanding the tracking updates as soon as you receive it might not work in your favor. For instance, a tracking update claiming USPS Inbound Into Customs is a bit difficult to comprehend, unless you are a frequent international mailer. You might certainly know what international customs are but do you know how the mails traverse through the customs, how long will they remain there and what can you do if the mails are stuck at customs? In this guide, we have curated the answer to all these questions for our newbies who have zero idea of how usps handles international mails.
USPS Inbound Into Customs
As globalization is the primary means of generating revenues for major companies, the need to have faster and cost-effective means of international transport is expanding like never before. Be it a startup or a renowned enterprise, everyone is dependent on a reliable means of international shipping service. USPS international shipping services have helped many online businesses in sending mails to their customers across the globe. As a customer who barely receives any international mail, understanding tracking statuses with little to no knowledge is almost impossible. If you are a customer awaiting an international mail from usps, then you will definitely come across the USPS Inbound Into Customs tracking status.
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What Is the Meaning of USPS Inbound Into Customs, and When Do You Receive This Mail?
Mails that are shipped from countries outside the USA, will have to go through international customs clearance to safely cross the border and enter into the United States. This is a mandatory process, as any harmful contents present in the mails will be disposed of by the United States Government and a hefty fine will be imposed on the sender. With USPS Inbound Into Customs tracking status, the USPS services are letting you know that your packages have reached the International Sorting Center.
The International Sorting Center located in New York is the largest USPS sorting facility. It serves the purpose of an international customs clearance for sorting and scanning every mail that comes into the country from overseas. This ISC sorts every mail, letter, envelope, and package that is sent from abroad. When you receive USPS Inbound Into Customs message, it simply means that all the mails are directed to this sorting facility for scanning before they are rerouted to the destination countries.
The USPS Inbound Into Customs is received by the customer as soon as the mails reach the United States. As mentioned earlier, every mail has to go through this checkpoint regardless of where they are routed to. Once the customs clearance process is complete, mails are rerouted to the destination state.
How Do the Mails Travel Through International Customs?
Every mail that comes from outside the 50 states of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia must go through customs. The following are exempted from customs clearance:
- Mail directed to the foreign ambassadors and ministers
- Mails that are directed to the offices of diplomatic missions
- All mails that are addresses to the US official government
When the mails arrive at the facility, the postal employees are responsible for scanning all the items and then reporting them to the officials. The mails that contain prohibited items are either disposed of or are returned to the sender. In some cases, the USPS authorities might also impose a hefty fine for mailing prohibited items. In the case of sealed mails and registered mails, the presence of the postmaster or any other designated authority is a must. Once the letters and envelopes are scanned, they are resealed by the postal authorities.
If any shipment is found to be improper or in bad order, then the postal services are responsible for reconditioning the shipment. Any shipment that does not have an international customs form on the parcel is presumed to be cleared through the customs process. Unless your mails haven’t completed the scanning process, the USPS inbound into customs status will not change.
How Long Will It Take for the Usps Inbound Into Customs Status to Change?
Once the mails arrive at the USPS customs facility, the change in the USPS Inbound into customs tracking status will only change upon successful scanning. Until then, it is nearly impossible to determine how long will it take for the packages to remain at the New York International Service Center. Considering that every foreign mail is dropped off at this point, there is a tremendous flow of incoming mails on an everyday basis. Scanning and processing these mails using automation machines take quite a few days, perhaps weeks.
Although most of these mails are sorted using automated machines, some mails are processed by hand. Mails such as registered mails need to be processed by hand. Sometimes, the restricted mails are also processed by hand. As the amount of incoming foreign mails never ceases to slow down, you are meant to encounter usps inbound into customs delays oftentimes. To speed up the process a bit, USPS ISC works round the clock to ensure that the customers receive all their important mails at the right time. In extreme cases, the mails might take more than a week or two to leave the ISC.
Problems You Are Likely to Encounter While Your Mails Are at Usps Inbound Into Customs for Scanning?
While you are waiting for your mails to get scanned at the Internation Service Center, you might come across some problems which leave you frustrated. Some of the problems that you might face are:
Usps Customs Delay
If the packages are held at the USPS ISC facility, then you can drive to a conclusion that you might be experiencing usps customs delays. Now, what does it mean when the package is encountering usps inbound into customs delays. When a package overstays its welcome at the ISC with or without being scanned or processed, then it can be said that the package is undergoing usps customs delays. Some of the reasons why your mail might be held at the ISC facility are:
One of the most common reasons why your mails are held back at the facility is because of improper documents or incomplete documentation. Some common documents that are necessary to get your mails past the customs clearance are common documents such as commercial invoices or other forms of documents which are bills sent by the seller to the customers who purchase the goods. Commercial invoices help determine the value of the goods. Other forms of documents are transportation documents, origin documents, or other kinds of shipment documents.
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Damaged and Prohibited/Restricted Items
If any of the mails are damaged or broken due to shipping, then the postal services will need to evaluate these documents with care. As most mails get damaged during transit, the postal service spends much time examining these kinds of mails.
Prohibited or restricted items will also be held back at the ISC facility if your mail contains any harmful contents which possess a threat to the USA government.
Another reason which is also pretty much common is that the customers fail to pay the right customs fee for their packages. If the USPS officials found that the customs duties are not adhered to, then they have the right to hold your mails at the facility. Only after paying the correct duty fee, the mails will be moved to the destination.
Another frustrating issue is broken or damaged packages. If you are shipping internationally, then packages are likely to be damaged during transit as the mails have to cross many facilities for inspection. Sometimes the mails are damaged during transit whereas sometimes the mails are damaged at the sorting facilities if the workers don’t handle the mails with care.
As every mail has to go through customs, most mails are opened for inspection and aren’t resealed properly. Due to this reason, many customers have complained about missing, damaged and empty mails.
What Can Be Done if the Package Is Stuck at Customs for Too Long?
Having your mails at the USPS Inbound Into Customs is not something you need to worry about as mails might take a week or two, to have the mails scanned and sorted. However, if the packages have spent more time at the customs clearance, then there is something going on for sure. If you own a business organization that is mailing to customers worldwide, then these delays will frustrate the customers, leading to a lower business rating. And if you are awaiting important documents or medications, then having your mails waiting in line at the customs will have a drastic impact. If you are unsure of the u.s. customs package wait time and want to know what can you do to speed up the delivery process, then follow these steps given here:
Keep Contact With the Third Party Service Provider
The third-party provider is the person who has shipped your goods. As the shipper stays in touch with the seller, contact the seller and ask for the details regarding your shipment. It is better to ask the seller if there have been any discrepancies in the shipment documents which is leading to the delay in the delivery of the shipment. You can have the seller contact the shipper to ask for any further information needed. Additionally, make sure to ask the seller for the tracking ID of the shipment.
Try to Get in Touch With the Carriers
If you are using an express service, then the shipments will have the customs cleared within a day or overnight. For other mailing classes, you need to get in touch with the shipper as they will help you know what went wrong while the mails were USPS Inbound Into Customs. To help the shipper track your package, provide the shipment tracking number. Sometimes the mails are transported using other third-party carriers. For example, if you are shipping using FedEx, then this service sometimes hand over the pallets of mails to USPS for transporting the mails from one location to the other. If any third-party carriers have dispatched your mails at the New York ISC, then talk to them as well.
Ensure All Your Taxes Are Paid
Some countries impose taxes on shipments that have a certain value. If these taxes are not paid on time, then the USPS ISC will hold the mails at the facility unless and until the taxes are duly paid. Certain shipping services pay the taxes for the shipping and such mails clear the customs without being held for long. If the size of your shipment is large and expensive, then you will have to arrange for the customs broker. The customs broker will arrange for the tax payments and have the mails cleared from the customs.
Check for Any Missing or Incorrect Paperwork
As mentioned earlier, most of the delays caused at the customs are when the customers do not file their paperwork properly. The type of documentation required for your shipments varies based on the size, value, and many more attributes. Even the slightest mistake such as entering incorrect values on the customs application forms will lead to huge delays. If you believe that the usps inbound into customs delays are due to missing paperwork, then giving a call to the shipper should be the first thing on your to-do list.
What Are Customs Forms?
Customs forms are important documents that are attested by the foreign national customs while sending a shipment to another country. The customs forms are also used to assess the taxes paid on the shipment. These forms must be appropriately completed, otherwise, the mail will be held at the facility. Customs forms are required if the shipment sent by the foreign country is beyond the given value emphasized for the goods. As every country follows certain rules for duties and taxes, make sure to visit the official website to get to know more about the taxes and duties.
Shipping an Item to a Foreign Country From the Usa
If you are shipping an international package to any foreign country from the United States, then you need to have a customs document for every shipment. The only exception lies for the First Class International Mail letters and large envelopes, which weigh below 15.994 ounces. You can use the USPS official website to print and fill the customs forms, or you can do it at the airport as well. Along with the customs form, you can also use the USPS Click and Ship service to pay for the postage and also print the international shipping labels. For more information on International Customs, check out the official website.
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Having to manage the tracking information of the incoming international mails is a big headache. Most of the time, you do not understand what messages these tracking statuses want to convey. USPS Inbound into customs is one such status that lets you know that the mails have reached the customs facility located in the New York state, which is responsible for sorting all the foreign incoming mails. Although the ISC is not considered to be the primary customs clearance facility, every foreign mail is dropped at this location to complete the scanning procedure. Once all the mails are properly scanned and sorted into pallets, they reach the next facility for further sorting the mails for delivery.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
If the package is delayed in customs, then it means that due to some reasons such as improper documentation, underpaid taxes, etc., the packages have been held at the facility. Sometimes the delay is also because of the extreme surge in the number of mails arriving per day.
This is a tracking status that is received when the mails from the foreign countries reach the USA for carrying out the customs clearance process.