Millions of packages are sent internationally each year, all of which must pass through various postal checkpoints.
When leaving and entering a country, some packages are flagged and can be withheld by the government for further inspection. In the United States, outgoing and incoming packages that raise suspicion or lack proper documentation are withheld by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure no illegal items are being shipped.
Follow the steps below to find out if your package has been withheld by Customs or if it is just taking a long time to reach its destination.
Check your mail for a written letter from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection stating that your package has been detained. If Customs is holding your item, officials will notify you in writing within 45 days and will provide a reason for detainment, as well as what you can do to get your package released.
Fulfil any requirements that are mandated in your detainment letter from Customs. The quicker you respond and comply with Customs, the sooner your package will be released and sent on its way.
If you do not receive a letter, your package has not been detained by Customs. All couriers, from the United States Postal Service to Federal Express, have a "Tracking" option on their website that you can use to track your package. Use the tracking code you received when you shipped your package to see where it is located. Type your tracking code into the designated search field and hit return to view the results.
Contact the courier service to inquire about the status of your package if your tracking code didn't work. The courier should have on record the status of your package and its location.