Why would a package be held in customs?

Is your package being held in customs? The customs process can take some time, but if your package has been in customs for a few weeks, there may be something wrong. Here are a few reasons why a package would be held in customs:


Your documents may be the reason that your package is being held in customs. Attaching documents to the package that are incorrect or incomplete is one of the reasons that parcels are held in customs by officials. The documents that need to be submitted include the commercial invoice, packing list, transport documents (Bill of Lading), certificates of origin and so much more.


Have you paid your taxes and duties? If not, this could be the reason your package is being held in customs. Customs charges duties on all outgoing and incoming parcels. They will keep your package until they are certain that these duties have been paid. You can pay these duties by yourself or you can hire a customs broker to assist you.

Restricted items

When importing or exporting a package be sure to take note of the restrictions and prohibitions of the origin and destination country. The customs officials will normally only check the documents to get an idea of what is in the parcel and whether it is fragile, but sometimes they may inspect the contents of the parcel. If they find any illegal, restricted, or potentially life threatening contents in the package (such as an infected product) it will not be released and you may face charges.