What Is the DHL Clearance Event? (All You Need to Know)

Whenever goods move from one country to another, whether it’s a care package from home or a pallet of goods from an eCommerce company, they must pass through customs clearance.

This process mainly involves double-checking the shipment’s paperwork and assessing whether any taxes are due. DHL informs customers of this event by using the tracking update “Clearance Event.” To learn more about this update, keep reading!

What Is the DHL Clearance Event in 2024?

“Clearance Event” is a DHL tracking update that indicates a package is being cleared through customs in 2024. Usually, this involves checking and/or determining customs duties. If the paperwork is in order and no fees are due, packages pass through this stage in 2- 3 days. However, if further action is required, a DHL representative will get in touch.

You may still have questions about what to do when you see a Clearance Event pop up on your tracking information, so make sure you finish this article!

What Does “DHL Clearance Event” Mean?

Seeing DHL Clearance Event on your tracking information indicates that your package is being cleared through customs.

In general, there are two main customs clearance events that take place. They are as follows:

  1. Customs clearance paperwork check – In this event, customs paperwork for the shipment is being checked by customs personnel to ensure that everything is in order. This is a normal procedure and does not indicate any problems.
  2. Determining Customs Duty – This event means that a package is being checked to determine whether a customs duty is due. If duties are due, the amount will be calculated and the recipient will be informed of the amount they owe.

How Long Does a DHL Clearance Event Take?

You can expect your package to be held at customs for about 2 to 3 days on average.

That said, it’s just as likely that a package clears customs in more or less time, depending on its contents, where it’s headed, and how busy the customs office is.

What Can I Do After Receiving a DHL Clearance Event Update?

What Can I Do After Receiving a DHL Clearance Event Update?

If you check your tracking information and see a DHL Clearance Event, then the first step is to check for more information.

Below the main clearance event notification, you should see a tab marked “Further Detail.”

Clicking on this tab will give you more information about the clearance event related to your shipment.

Beneath the main notification, there is a “Further Detail” tab. If you click on this, it will provide details of the actual clearance event related to your shipment.

For instance, if a paperwork check is necessary, you will see a message stating “Further clearance processing is required.”

From there, you can click on the “Next step” section of your tracking screen to get information on what’s required.

Usually, this screen will say something like “A DHL representative shall attempt to contact the importer or shipper if additional requirements are necessary.”

This section will also suggest that the recipient or shipper should contact DHL if a company representative fails to make contact.

To put it another way – if the clearance event pops up due to missing or incomplete customs documentation or paperwork, DHL will be in touch.

If not, the shipper or recipient should call DHL.

If you’re receiving this update due to unpaid customs duties, the “Further Detail” tab will mention this fact. However, this screen won’t tell you how much is due, or who needs to pay.

Rather, the “Next steps” section will state that a DHL representative will get in touch with you.

If you click on the “Further Detail” tab, and no additional information is revealed, you’re in luck!

This means that the package is passing through the standard customs clearance process and that no issues have occurred up to that point. 

What If the Update is Stuck on “DHL Clearance Event?”

If your tracking information shows “Clearance Event” for more than 48 hours, then you should follow the advice provided in the section above.

This involves checking the “Further Details” tab in your tracking information to see what the issue is and getting in touch with DHL directly.

What Does “Uncontrollable Clearance Delay” Mean at DHL?

“Uncontrollable Clearance Delay” is an update associated with a Clearance Event.

Seeing this update means a more complicated issue has occurred during the customs clearance process.

When clicking on the “Further Detail” tab, you may see a note saying “A clearance other than standard Customs entry is required for this shipment.”

Similarly, the “Next step” section might indicate that further processing will occur.

As well, it will state that a DHL representative will contact the shipper or the recipient if further information is required.

If you see this update, you can wait for DHL to contact you, or you can be proactive and contact DHL yourself to see what needs to be done.

What Happens After a DHL Clearance Event?

After a Clearance Event, the next tracking update you’re likely to receive is “DHL Customs Status Updated.”

This update usually comes with a note in the “Further Detail” section, indicating that the shipment has been given release by customs.

Essentially, this means your package has passed customs clearance and is making its way to the final destination.

To know more, you can also read our posts on DHL Ecommerce, what does DHL mean, and how late does DHL deliver.


Seeing the “Clearance Event” tracking update is a normal part of sending or receiving an international package. In most cases, your package will be cleared in 2 to 3 days before continuing its journey.

However, there will be instances where additional paperwork is required or fees are due. If your tracking information indicates this, then you can either contact DHL or wait for a representative to contact you.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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