What Does CUSTOMS CLEARANCE Mean in AliExpress?

As you already know, all AliExpress orders go through different states during shipping and it is not always easy to figure out what they mean. If you’ve just checked the status of your order, you get a “Customs Clearance” message and you don’t know what that means. Today we’re going to solve it for you.

What does “Customs Clearance” mean in AliExpress?

“Customs Clearance” means “Customs Clearance”, so if you see this in the status of your order, it means that your package has already arrived in your country and customs control has started (relax as this is completely normal).

Under “Customs clearance” you will find three possible scenarios:

  • Customs clearance: Start of customs clearance
  • Customs clearance: Customs clearance error
  • Customs clearance: Customs clearance completed

Customs Clearance: Start of Customs Clearance

All of our orders arriving from outside the European Union are subject to customs clearance, but this does not mean that your package will be held.

This check is carried out on a random basis by customs agents at the same airport or seaport where your package arrived. In this way, the government controls the entry of prohibited items, counterfeits and also verifies that you have paid the relevant taxes in your country.

Customs clearance: Customs clearance error

It is not common, but if you see a “Customs Clearance: Customs Clearance Error” message, it means that your package has been checked during customs clearance.

If you have already paid the relevant taxes (in this case VAT or customs duties) in your country, you do not have to worry about anything, customs will release them in a short time and you will see “Customs clearance” completed “in the status of your order. In case you didn’t know, from July 1st, 2021, AliExpress will be responsible for all orders coming from outside the European Union. But we’ll tell you better about that below.

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Customs will contact you in the event of a “retained package”

If the package is retained, customs will contact you to find out which documents you need to provide. It is best to track your package on an international tracking website such as ParcelsApp, Postal Ninja or Track17. There you can see exactly what happened. Remember, you can read more about how to pay customs on a Retained Package in our How to Pay Customs on AliExpress article

“Customs clearance: Customs clearance completed”

If the status of your order says “Customs Clearance Completed“, this is very good news: the package has already cleared customs and is being received by the courier company that will bring it home. You can choose express delivery by a private courier company such as UPS, DHL, EMS)

VAT and customs from July 1st, 2021

On July 1, 2021, the way customs and AliExpress work will change: AliExpress will now charge you VAT directly on products under € 150. The downside is that products from China are a little more expensive because VAT has to be paid; The upside is that we forget about customs and there will be more and more local AliExpress warehouses.

We believe that we will win overall: Despite this VAT increase, AliExpress will continue to have very competitive prices and will certainly try to compensate us more often with very juicy discounts, coupons and discount codes.