What does clearance delay mean in international shipments?

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Most international shipments are required to go through a customs clearance procedure. When this happens, a clearance delay may occur which slows down the clearance process.


When something is shipped internationally, a standard customs clearance procedure occurs in most shipments. This is a process where packages are checked to ensure the contents within. Packages shipped through licensed customs brokers typically experience faster clearance procedures than those shipped outside of a licensed broker. Once a package is cleared, the shipment of the item continues until it reaches its destination. Clearance delays slow this process drastically.


Items that are unusual or of high value can be stopped through the customs clearance procedure, which causes a clearance delay. Many companies hire an expert in the exporting and importing field who assists the company in accurately following international shipping procedures.


Items being shipped internationally can also be stopped through the customs process, causing a clearance delay if all the appropriate paperwork is not in place. International shipments usually require an original invoice, packing list, bill of landing, insurance certificate, and import or export license. Including all the appropriate paperwork helps avoid a clearance delay.

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