ISC New York NY (USPS) | What Is It & What Does It Do?

Have you ever taken a look at your USPS tracking status and seen your package at the ISC in New York? It may seem like your USPS package is not moving and is stuck there. The ISC, or International Service Center, handles an extremely high volume of mail and packages, and it can take some time for your package to get through the center. So, what exactly is the ISC, and what does it do? Keep reading as we give you all the details about this postal service center, including what types of mail go through the center and how long you can expect it to take.


What Is The USPS ISC In New York?

The International Service Center in New York is the USPS facility that handles all inbound and outbound international mail entering and leaving the USA. The center touches all mail pieces associated with USPS international shipping. This facility handles an enormous volume of mail and packages, and each package at the facility is screened by customs. The New York International Service Center must process all mail and packages according to their customs declarations. In some cases, a customs inspection may need to take place as packages arrive from another country.

The USPS facility ISC New York NY is not the only International Service Center in the United States. In addition to the facility in New York, the USPS also has similar facilities in Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, and Los Angeles. Whenever mail is sent to another country or arrives from another country, it will pass through one of these facilities. When you realize that all international packages and pieces of mail pass through one of these five facilities, you can then understand why it can take a long time for your item to pass through the facility.


Processed Through Facility ISC New York Tracking Status

If you are tracking your international mail, then you are likely to see the “Processed through Facility ISC New York NY (USPS)” status message at some point when you look at your tracking update. Many people wonder what Processed Through ISC New York means. At its most basic level, it means that your package is passing through customs. Most of the time, you will not receive any more details about this status message when it is displayed. The meaning of the message usually depends on whether your item is headed out of the country or coming into the country.

If you are sending an international item to another country, then this status means that the facility is clearing your package for travel. For instance, if you ship a package to Jamaica, then it must pass through the ISC to ensure that the package meets the requirements for leaving the United States.

On the other hand, if you are monitoring the tracking number of a package coming into the United States, then this status message means that the package is passing through customs. The postal workers must ensure that the package is safe and legal before placing it into the domestic postal service infrastructure. They will take a look at the customs declaration paperwork for the item, and it might be handled differently depending on what is contained within the package.

There are a few factors that can determine how your package is handled. First, the description of the package and contents will play a crucial role in the handling of the package. Next, the size and weight of the package can also affect how it is handled. Lastly, the originating or destination address can affect the process of package handling. If there is anything suspicious about the package, then handling can take much longer. Just know that your package is likely going to spend at least a couple of days at the ISC New York NY USPS facility when it arrives from another country.


Which Packages Go Through The ISC?

There are two main categories of packages that pass through the ISC. First, all packages sent through a US post office out of the country will pass through the facility. While the packages may go through other sort facilities on their way to the ISC, all outbound packages will pass through one of the five ISC facilities before heading out for international travel. Regardless of the country of final destination, your package will pass through the ISC before leaving the country.

The other type of package that will pass through the ISC is an inbound package. These are packages that originated in a foreign country and are being shipped into the United States. The United States Postal Service must work closely with US customs at the ISC to ensure that these packages are safe and do not contain prohibited items as they enter the country. This requires the handling and processing of thousands, or even millions, of packages. In addition, the customs paperwork associated with each package must be examined and processed as these packages come inbound into customs. The length of time that it takes to process a package can vary, and these timelines will be discussed more in the next section.


How Long Does ISC Processing Take?

You might be wondering how long the processing at the ISC will take. Once you see the ISC tracking message, how long will it be before your package starts moving again? It depends on a few different factors, and the processing time can vary significantly from one package to the next. On the short end, the processing is almost certain to take at least two to three days. This is simply due to the volume of packages received by the facility each day. It requires a lot of time and effort to process the volume of packages received at the facility.

On the longer end, it can sometimes take weeks to get your package processed through the ISC. This might be because the package is suspicious. Authorities will examine the size and weight of the package, along with the country of origin, to assist in processing. The package also needs complete customs paperwork to be processed effectively. If the package is suspicious or the paperwork is incomplete or missing, then the processing will take longer.

USPS may need to contact the shipper to obtain completed customs paperwork in some cases. It can take days or even weeks to get the appropriate paperwork to get your item moving again. While most packages pass through the ISC in under a week, some packages do get stuck here for quite some time.


Tips To Avoid ISC Processing Delays

So, how can you keep your package from getting stuck at the ISC? Here are a few tips to keep it moving along quickly — including processing through the International Service Center. First, make sure that all necessary paperwork is included with your shipment. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) requires certain customs paperwork to be included with these packages. Make sure that the paperwork is complete and accurate. Any missing or inaccurate documentation will slow down the process.

Next, make sure that your package does not contain any prohibited items. There are some things that cannot be shipped across the border, and there are also some items that cannot be shipped through the USPS at all. If your package contains prohibited items, that is a surefire way to get your package stuck at the ISC. Remember that all packages passing through this facility get an X-ray and are examined by computer software, as well as multiple people at the facility. You might think that you can slip in contraband with your package, but the odds are extremely high that it will be found.

Another tip for getting your mail quickly through the ISC is to avoid suspicious activity. The size and weight of your package will be examined by the postal workers. A small box that is extremely heavy or a large package that is very lightweight could raise red flags. In some cases, you have no choice simply due to the physical properties of the item that you are shipping. However, try to make sure that the size and weight of your package are proportional and that they match up to the documentation provided in the customs declaration.


Where Your Package Goes After ISC Processing

So, where does your package go after it makes it through ISC processing? If your item is headed out of the country, then your package might head straight to JFK to hop on a plane. It could also head to the Port of New York to be loaded onto a ship for transportation as cargo to the destination country. Once the package finishes with processing at the ISC, then outbound packages continue on their way to the destination country. The exact route that they take depends on the type of package and the type of shipping service that is used.

When it comes to inbound mail and packages, your items are likely to head to the metro NY distribution center after leaving the ISC. Many of the items sent there will be delivered somewhere in the NY metro area. If your package is headed to another state, then it will likely be sent to another USPS regional facility. It might even pass through multiple sorting facilities on its way to your local post office. Once it arrives at your local post office, then it will be prepared for final delivery by your mail carrier.

Once processing at the ISC is completed, then you should begin to see regular updates to your tracking status. The next status that you may see is “In Transit To Next Facility.” This means that your package has left the ISC and is headed to the next USPS facility on the route to your address. More than likely, you will see an update every day or two as the item passes through the USPS infrastructure on its way to your address. Most packages will be delivered within a week once they pass through the ISC.


What To Do If Your Package Is Stuck At The ISC New York

Sometimes it might feel like the ISC New York is a black hole that packages enter and never leave. So, what can you do if your package seems stuck at the ISC? First, make sure you understand that packages will take at least a few days to process through the center. You should not be alarmed after a day or two with no updates. However, if a week passes without any movement from the ISC, then it might mean that there is a problem with your package.

You could consider contacting USPS customer service after a week with no movement. If your tracking is not updating, customer service might be able to get additional details from the ISC about the status of your package. If your package has been pulled from the general population for further examination by US customs, then USPS customer service should definitely be able to give you these details. They might even ask you for additional information about the package to assist with customs processing.

However, if your item is simply taking longer than normal to process, then customer service might not be able to offer much help. In that case, you will just need to wait it out a little longer. Most of the time, the package will be processed successfully and start moving again within a few days. If two weeks pass by with no updates, then it is definitely time to contact USPS customer service.

Hopefully, your package has not gotten lost at the ISC. The barcodes on the packages make it easy to keep track of them most of the time; however, there are occasions when packages get lost at the ISC because there are so many of them. If that is the case, then you might need to get the Postmaster involved to assist with locating your package. If customs is examining your package, then the USPS usually cannot do much to help. Customs will need to clear the package before USPS can continue to move it along its way, so you might have to work with US Customs to get the package cleared for movement.


The Bottom Line

The International Service Center in New York is one of five USPS facilities across the country that process all inbound and outbound international mail and packages. If you are sending or receiving an international package, then it will pass through one of these facilities. Most items are processed automatically and pass through the facility within a couple of days. However, some packages might require additional handling. US Customs might have incomplete paperwork, or there could be red flags with the package. This will require additional processing before the package is cleared for acceptance into the country. If your package sits at the facility for more than a week with no tracking updates, then you should go ahead and contact USPS customer support. They should be able to give you some additional details about what is happening with your package and help you get it moving again.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is ISC New York NY USPS customs?

Yes, the ISC New York NY is essentially customs for all international mail. This facility processes all inbound and outbound mail that enters and leaves the United States. The functionality of the facility serves as customs for all that mail. US Customs agents, along with postal workers, process all the mail in the facility. Packages are X-rayed and scanned by numerous machines and human workers. Suspicious packages or packages with incomplete customs paperwork are pulled aside and examined more closely.


Why is my package stuck at ISC New York?

There are several reasons your package can get stuck at the ISC in New York. First, your package might not be stuck at all. It can take several days for the normal processing of packages through this facility. You should not be alarmed unless it has been sitting at ISC for more than a week. Your package might also get stuck at ISC if customs needs to perform additional processing of the package. Perhaps the paperwork is inaccurate or incomplete. Getting stuck could also mean that the package contained prohibited items. If your package sits at ISC for more than a week, then you should go ahead and contact USPS customer service for assistance with your package.


How do I know if my package is at ISC New York?

You can head over to the USPS website and enter your tracking number to get the latest update on your package. If you see the status message that shows your item has been processed through our facility in ISC New York NY (USPS), then you know that your package is at the ISC. Remember that there are five of these facilities across the country. Your tracking status should also give you details that will tell you which facility your package is at. It could be at the ISC New York, but it might also be in one of the other ISC facilities. The USPS publishes ISC zones that show which center your mail will go to depending on the origin country and final destination.


What is the difference between ISC New York USPS and customs?

The ISC New York USPS is the facility that handles all incoming and outgoing international mail. US Customs works closely with the postal service to process all mail and packages at the facility. US Customs and Border Patrol performs many other duties besides processing mail at the ISC. The main difference between the ISC and customs is this. The ISC is the facility where the mail processing occurs, whereas customs is clearing each package for entry into or exit from the country. The two items go hand in hand in handling international mail.

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