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Shipment held – Available upon receipt of payment: What does it mean?

Currently working on different DHL tracking statuses. In this post, I will tackle the status, Shipment held – available upon receipt of payment.

Previously, I published a post regarding the DHL tracking status, “Forwarded for delivery“. And today, I’m going to tackle another status which is “Shipment held – Available upon receipt of payment“. Read on if you have a package with the same status!


A month ago, I placed an order on an online shopping website in South Korea. The box weighed around 25 kilograms and the total order value amounted to almost $1,000. As usual, I chose to have it shipped via DHL.

I knew for sure that customs will put the package on hold and that they will tax it.

The clearance was not smooth though because most of the items I purchased are regulated by a particular government agency. As a matter of fact, I had to get an import permit or clearance before they let go of the package. As a result, it took almost a month to deliver it.

I sent to DHL the permit as soon as I received it, then they immediately processed the release of my package.

On the day that I expected to receive it, it was when the tracking status updated to Shipment held – available upon receipt of payment.

shipment held - available upon receipt of payment

I thought I just need to wait for their courier to arrive and to receive my payment. One of their representatives told me via email. But nope! my anxiety led me to calling them. I had to clarify what will happen next.

What is Shipment Held – Available upon Receipt of Payment?

They confirmed that there’s a tax that I need to pay (around 10% of the total order value) and that I will receive an instruction through email which no one told me about. They clarified though that I can either pay online or with cash on delivery.

I chose the latter. However, since I called during lunchtime, they said that they may not be able to schedule the delivery within the day. So, they rescheduled it the following day.

Their courier did arrive that day and collected the tax payment in cash. They then gave me receipts as proof of payment. Digitally signed on their app to confirm receipt of the package, and that’s it!

So, if you have a package with the same tracking status, you may get in touch with them to confirm whether you will pay tax, or simply ask them of the next process.

Note that the tracking status may have different interpretation depending on the country you are in. So, your best bet is to get in touch with them and confirm.

If you need to pay tax, they can provide you the information you need such as the total amount, etc.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to post it on the comment section below.

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