What does “clearing customs” mean on AliExpress?

As you probably know, all AliExpress orders go through different statuses during shipping and it is not always easy to decipher what they mean.

If you have checked the status of your order, you get the message “clearing customs” and you don't know what it means? Today we are going to help you with it.

Remember: you can go directly to the most updated status of your AliExpress order by clicking here and clicking on “Track Order”.

What does “clearing customs” mean on AliExpress?

“Clearing customs” means customs clearance, so when you see this in your order status, it indicates that your package has already arrived in your country and customs control has started (relax, because this is completely normal).

Within “clearing customs” you will find three possible scenarios:

  • Clearing customs: started customs clearance.
  • Clearing customs: import clearance failure.
  • Clearing customs: customs cleared.

Clearing customs: Started customs clearance process

Main article: Started customs clearance process

All orders arriving from outside your country, go through customs clearance. However, this does not mean that your package will be retained.

This inspection is done randomly by customs agents at the same airport or seaport where your package arrived. It is the government's way to control the entry of forbidden objects, counterfeits and also to check that you have paid the corresponding taxes of your country.

Clearing customs: Import clearance failure

It is not common, but if you get the message “Clearing customs: import clearance failure” it means that your package has been inspected during customs clearance.

If you have already paid the corresponding taxes of your country (usually VAT or duties) you don't have to worry or do anything, in a short time, customs will release it and you will see in the status of your order “customs cleared”.

Customs will contact you in case of a “held by customs” package

In case the package is detained, customs will contact you to inform you of the documentation you need to present.

The best thing to do is to track your package with an international tracking website, such as ParcelsApp, Postal Ninja or Track17 . There you will be able to see in more detail what has happened.

Remember that you can read more about how to pay customs for a retained package in our article How to pay customs on AliExpress.

Clearing customs: cleared customs

Main article: “Customs cleared” on AliExpress

If in the status of your order you already see “customs cleared”, then it's very good news: the package has already finished the customs control and will be received by the courier company that will take it home.

In most countries, AliExpress works with the local carriers to deliver letters and small packages, unless you've chosen an express delivery by private courier such as UPS, DHL, EMS…

VAT and customs on AliExpress

Don't you worry! In most countries, packages tend to fly right past customs, but only if they're light and small.

The disadvantage is that products from China will be a little more expensive because we will have to pay VAT and the advantage is that we will forget about customs and that there will be more and more local AliExpress stores.

However, we believe that everything has an upside. Despite this VAT increase, AliExpress will continue to have very competitive prices and will surely make campaigns more often with discounts, coupons and very juicy discount codes to try to compensate us.

If you want to read the latest information on this topic, read our article: EU VAT and AliExpress.

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