ISC New York NY (USPS): What you need to know

With USPS shipment tracking, you can ensure your most important packages reach their destination.

If you send or receive a lot of packages, you may have seen the message “Processed Through Facility ISC New York NY (USPS)” but have no idea what it means. This guide will explain what International Service Center (ISC) New York, NY is, why your package is there, and how long you should expect to wait for it to be delivered.

What does Processed Through Facility ISC New York (USPS) mean?

The USPS provides an online tracking service that notifies customers of packages’ current processing status and location for domestic and international shipments.

After your package clears customs, you can check its status on the USPS tracking portal. 

“Processed Through Facility ISC New York NY (USPS)” is one of the tracking messages you may receive from the USPS. This means the shipment has arrived at the New York international service center. However, the containers with the packages/mail still need to be unloaded from the plane and sent to customs before being handed over to the USPS.

Thus, your package or mail has arrived at the ISC and has been scanned. 

In addition to “ISC New York NY, Processed through faculty,” you may receive the following USPS tracking portal notifications when the ISC NY processes your packages:

“Metro NY Distribution Center, Arrived at USPS Regional Facility”

This means your package has left the ISC and arrived for sorting at another facility where they scanned it. 

“In Transit to next Faculty”

This means the package has left the sorting facility and is on its way to you for delivery or the closest local post office. 

If your USPS tracking status has not changed in a few days, it may still be at ISC. This could be because Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is still holding the package.

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What is the ISC New York? 

To understand USPS shipment tracking and the impact of the ISC on the delivery of your packages or letters, we need to explain the ISC and customs processes in more detail. 

The ISC New York is the clearance point for 60% of mail and packages entering or leaving the United States. It is located at JFK International Airport. The facility is one of the main sorting centers for the USPS, where they sort mail and parcels leaving or arriving in the United States. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has ISCs in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The New York ISC is the busiest of these and has two functions. 

  1. Mail from the Northeast destined for foreign destinations is sorted and prepared for air transportation here.
  2. Mail from other countries destined for delivery to the northeastern United States is processed here. This includes mail that has passed through customs inspection. 

Are the ‘ISC New York NY’ customs?

The New York ISC is responsible for mail that arrives in the U.S. through JFK Airport after it has passed through customs inspection by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

So even though they are in the same building, the ISC and CBP have different missions. CBP is the agency responsible for inspecting all international packages coming through the airport.

They look for anything that is not legal in the U.S.: certain foods, animals, drugs, and counterfeit goods.

While a package goes through the “customs procedure” at ISC New York, it is not technically “at customs.” To understand the difference between the ISC and customs, we will walk you through the steps when an international package arrives at JFK Airport. 

  1. Packages arrive at the USPS mailroom, are sorted, and then taken to the CBP mailroom for inspection.
  2. CBP uses a three-step strategy to screen each of these packages efficiently. This strategy includes gathering information, using non-intrusive inspection techniques, and conducting hand inspections when necessary.
  3. If CBP determines a package to be suspicious, they will take it to an inspection area, where it will be examined by sniffer dogs and x-rayed if necessary. If the x-ray indicates something suspicious, officers will open the package to examine it. 

If customs clear the package, the USPS sends it to its destination address. 

How do I know if my package is at customs?

If CBP detains a package, you will usually receive a letter informing you of the situation within a few days.

The agency will tell you the reason for the delay and what you can do to get your package released. Reasons that may cause customs to detain a parcel include: 

  • Missing or incorrect paperwork
  • Incorrectly declared goods
  • Prohibited goods
  • Outstanding customs fees
  • Problems contacting the consignee
  • Your shipment has exceeded the allowable value

Why is my package stuck at the ISC in New York?

Your mail will go to ISC New York as part of the mail processing procedure.

All mail and packages entering the United States from other countries must pass through an International Service Center – and be cleared by customs.

It’s not that customs have any particular interest in your package or that it’s particularly unusual. It’s just the normal process of ensuring that shipments sent to addresses or people in other countries comply with customs regulations.

How long is my package going to be held by the ISC?

The wait time for packages and mail to go through the ISC processing facility in New York City can be unpredictable.

If the package is small, the ISC can process it in just a few days. However, larger packages and parcels are often held for three or four days at the processing facility.

The average wait time for a package at the ISC facility is usually about 7 to 10 days. However, customers have reported that their packages have not moved for up to 14 days or longer in some cases. 

Factors that can affect wait times at the ISC NY include: 

  • What the envelope or package was declared to be
  • What the contents were described as
  • The return address or final destination address
  • The size of the package

What happens if a package is stopped at customs?

If your shipments are stopped at customs, ISC representatives will process them. In most cases, they inspect items without opening anything.

When U.S. Customs opens your package, they usually leave a notation on the box and reseal it with U.S. Customs tape.

My package might be stuck at the ISC – what can I do? 

It can be challenging to know if your package is “stuck” or just taking a little longer than expected to move through the ISC.

In most cases, it takes no more than 72 hours for the ISC to release a package. We recommend waiting at least three or four days for your shipments to be processed through the ISC before filing a complaint or contacting the USPS. 

If the status is not updated and you feel that the package is stuck in the ISC, contact Customer Service to find out why the tracking is not updated.

How do I know when my package is back on the move?

After your package or mail passes through the ISC New York NY (USPS) facilities, you will see an update to the tracking information.

The update will often read “Departed ISC New York NY (USPS).” Occasionally, the update will say that your package is “In Transit.” If you receive either message, you know that your mail is on the move again and should soon arrive at its final destination.

Final thoughts: international service center

Businesses send millions of packages abroad every year.

Unfortunately, many of these packages are held up by customs and detained for inspection, causing delays at ISC New York and other clearance facilities. This can cause a lot of delays and problems for businesses.

As a marketer or e-commerce merchant, you want to be able to track your mail every step of the way to keep your customers informed or effectively monitor your direct mail.

The best way to do this is by using Postalyics to print and mail in the U.S. and Canada.

You can use your personalized dashboard to track your mail path through the USPS when you use our services.

Postalytics will be adding more countries in the future. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for your country’s announcement, register for a free account today.