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Common questions about USPS packages from the United States

Table of Contents

  1. My USPS package was sent back to the USA from Frankfurt
  2. According to the USPS, my package is already in Germany. But not according to DHL.
  3. Payment of charges appears in USPS tracking

My USPS package was sent back to the USA from Frankfurt

When tracking USPS, it often happens that status reports from the USA are "posted" after arriving in Germany. This is a well known phenomenon and nothing to worry about. The shipment is still in Germany and was not returned.

The shipment is probably waiting in the parcel center in Frankfurt (or Speyer or Niederaula) for clearance by German customs. With bad luck, this can take several weeks, but usually no longer than 1 week. Keep an eye on the tracking at and at If you wish, you can find more information in the guide to customs clearance.

Example from USPS shipment tracking: After arriving in Germany, a status message from the USA appears by mistake.

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According to the USPS, my package is already in Germany. But not according to DHL.

Such programs are difficult to assess, but they do occur again and again. The arrival in Germany is already displayed under, while according to the package is still on the way to the destination country.

The fact is that USPS did not come up with the status message about the arrival in Germany. Such messages are based on real scans. In this respect, one must assume that the shipment is actually already in Germany when USPS indicates this.

If DHL Deutsche Post's tracking does not yet show an import status, it could be that the shipment is standing around in a container at the airport that has not yet been unloaded. But that's purely speculative - we don't know exactly.

If it is a small parcel or registered mail (i.e. not a parcel), it could also be that the shipment has received a new, German shipment number. Parcels and registered mail can usually be recognized by the fact that they cannot be traced under but under In this case, you can call the Post's special hotline for international letters and find out whether a new consignment number has been assigned: 0228/4333118

If the hotline cannot help but also claims that the shipment has not yet arrived in Germany, then unfortunately there is nothing you can do other than wait and see.

Example: The identical package on the USPS and DHL tracking websites. Much more detailed reports appear on than on

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Payment of charges appears in USPS tracking

The status text "Payment of charges - Item being held, addressee being notified" means that import duties are due. You can determine their approximate height with our customs calculator.

Because USPS does not operate its own "scan stations" in Germany, the status message must have been sent from DHL to USPS. It is noteworthy that the message does not appear in the shipment tracking at or It is only displayed in USPS tracking.

The consignment is either delivered to the recipient's home address or it is deposited at a customs office nearby for collection. More information here in the customs guide.

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Your question about USPS packages

Before asking a question, please read:
► Track your shipment at If the status is Non-EU shipment - preliminary check for import, the shipment is waiting for customs clearance (mostly in Frankfurt). This can take 4 weeks. If you wait 4 weeks or more, the probability that the shipment will be lost is quite high.

Post hotline: 0228/4333118. There you can find out whether the consignment in Frankfurt has received a new, German consignment number.