All orders on AliExpress, similar to all other online e-commerce stores and marketplaces, that are shipped internationally go through export and import customs clearance processes.
During the customs clearance process, all orders are inspected by customs officials to ensure they comply with export and import regulations. This process includes verifying the declared value, assessing any applicable duties or taxes, and checking for prohibited or restricted items.
If the customs clearance is successful, the AliExpress orders are released to the delivery agent which then collects the orders and transports them to a sorting center, before they are delivered to the customer.
Where Is “Customs Clearance Successful” In the Shipment Process?
All AliExpress items shipped internationally must clear customs upon arrival in their destination country. You’ll be able to see each stage below for further reference.
- Order Completed
- Outbound in Sorting Center
- Hand Over to Carrier (Air/Sea)
- Clearing Customs (Export)
- Departure at Origin Country
- Arrival at Destination Country
- Clearing Customs (Import)
- Customs Clearance Successful
- Out for Delivery
When packages from AliExpress arrive at the destination country, they are inspected by customs. On AliExpress, you’ll see the status as “Clearing Customs”.
The “Customs Clearance Successful” message will show in the same status field, as you can see in the screenshot above after the customs office has completed several tasks. These tasks include vetting the documents such as invoices, packing lists, and other relevant paperwork associated with the item.
Customs officials will then determine if any duties and taxes apply to the item based on its declared value, item type, and country of origin. They may also physically inspect the items to ensure they comply with local regulations.
Once the order has been deemed to comply with all regulations and standards and all outstanding import duty taxes have been cleared, the customs officer inspecting the order may then declare it as passed, and the shipment status on AliExpress will show as “Customs Clearance Successful”.
What Happens After Your Order Has Successfully Cleared Customs?
Once an AliExpress order has been successfully customs cleared, it’s handed over to a local delivery agent. Upon retrieving the packages, they are either delivered to a sorting center or delivered directly to the recipient.
Below, you’ll find more information on what happens after an AliExpress order is successfully customs cleared.
It’s Picked Up By the Local Delivery Agent
Customs clearance is typically conducted at airports, seaports, borders, or other types of terminals. Once orders are carefully inspected by customs, they are cleared and made available for pickup by the appointed local delivery agent.
It’s Moved to Local Distribution Center
Your package is then moved to a local distribution center where ground personnel inspects the items for any damage before sorting and placing them in temporary storage. During this stage, packages from various buyers are consolidated according to the final delivery location.
Last Mile Delivery Is Arranged
Packages are then scheduled for delivery. Orders may be batched or consolidated to optimize delivery routes and increase efficiency for the delivery agent.
The total delivery time will vary based on your package’s size, delivery location, and whether any special delivery requirements are requested. In some cases, orders are scheduled depending on the received availability (typically when the delivery agent has been assigned to collect import duties).
This is the final stage where your package is delivered to your doorstep. You can check the tracking portal and verify that your order status changed from “out for delivery” to “delivered”.
You then have the option to use the confirm receipt function on AliExpress to close the order and leave feedback on the seller.
Delivery Timeline After Successful Customs Clearance
Numerous factors influence the timeline your package experiences after successfully clearing customs. This includes your location, the shipping method you chose when you completed your purchase on the AliExpress website, and the delivery agent’s efficiency.
In most cases, you should receive your package anywhere from a day to a full week after it has cleared customs. Most packages clear customs without any issues and no additional follow-up is required.
If you are experiencing prolonged delays, you may take the initiative to contact the seller or your local delivery agent to verify the reason for the delay and the estimated delivery time.
How to Ensure a Successful Delivery After Your Order Clears Customs?
As most AliExpress orders clear customs without any issues (apart from restricted goods or incomplete shipping documentation) you are not required to take any action unless prompted by the customs agency or the delivery company.
However, to ensure that the import clearance process is as smooth as possible, we’ve shared some best practices that you can follow.
What Buyers Can Do
You should monitor your order’s shipment status through AliExpress’ tracking feature, in order to ensure that your package is progressing through each stage without any issues.
It is especially important to check the package’s progress once it has cleared customers and ensure you have provided the correct delivery details.
What Sellers Can Do
As a seller, you should track the package at each stage to ensure there are no hold-ups or delays. You should keep a close eye on whether it has cleared customs and provide the buyer with up-to-date tracking information.
It’s understandable that AliExpress sellers with high order volumes are not able to monitor each package individually. In this scenario, we advise that you manage each exception separately through the AliExpress Seller Portal, and reach out to your service providers if your buyer experiences any form of delays or issues.
You should also ask the buyer to confirm when they have received their package and request their feedback if they have not confirmed the receipt on the AliExpress platform.
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Co-Founder & Writer
About the Author
Gerrit is a certified international supply chain management professional with 16 years of industry experience, having worked for one of the largest global freight forwarders.
As the co-founder of freightcourse, he’s committed to his passion for serving as a source of education and information on various supply chain topics.