Either you have purchased something from outside the EU or you’re receiving some gifts from your family and friends. If they haven’t sent it “properly” it will most likely end up waiting (and waiting) for you at the customs office in Barajas airport – to avoid this as much as possible check out our Sending and Receiving Packages blog for some hints and tips. When your package arrives in Madrid it will probably just sit there for a while. It’ll get weighed, possibly opened and the value of its contents might be evaluated. You’ll receive a letter in the mail called an “AVISO DE LLEGADA” which will contain the basic information about your package: who sent it, where it’s coming from, so on and so forth. The letter will refer you to www.adtpostales.com but to save some time, just head straight to http://www.adtpostales.com/acceder.asp. This is where you begin your journey to rescue your package by filling out information about the parcel.

Once you get there click “Aportacion de Documentacion” and follow the steps:


Here you will enter your email address and the International Number of the package – which can be found on the letter you received in the mail – scroll down to see a copy of the letter with all important info outlined. Once you have finished this you’ll have to upload a few things onto the Correos server:

  • The “aviso de llegada” form that came with the letter, completed and signed
  • The bill of purchase (if you’re the one who bought it). If it’s sent from a family member or friend check the additional steps below*
  • Copy of your passport/ID card

*If your package is sent from a family member or friend, you will have to write and sign a document indicating that you are, in fact they right person to receive this package. To make it easier on you, we’ve written a sample here. Just replace the examples with the appropriate information:

Mi nombre es “JOHN SMITH” con Pasaporte: “YOUR PASS/ID Nº”, me pongo en contacto con vosotros tras la recepción de una carta de la aduana por la retención de un paquete a mi nombre.


El contenido del paquete “INDICATE WHAT IS IN THE PACKAGE (eg: SHOES,)”:

  • 1 jerseys
  • 2 Shirts (camisas)
  • 2 pair of socks
  • etc

El precio estimado de dichos regalos es de “INDICATE THE VALUE OF THE CONTENT OF THE PACKAGE

Os adjunto toda la documentación requerida.

Quedo a la espera de noticias para poder recoger mi paquete.
Muchas gracias.


If you are having trouble finding the information you need to complete the letter or the form itself, take a look at the photo below. Remember to sign the form and upload it to your computer and to the website with the other 2 documents. Once you have all the 3 documents filled and uploaded, you’re adventure is almost complete!

package form!


Once Correos receives all the information they’ve asked for, you will receive another letter in the mail telling you that your package is ready for pickup at a nearby “Correos” office. In the off-chance that you are lucky, they might even deliver it to your door, but they’ll also charge you for that! Once you get to the office, or the delivery is made you’ll have to pay a tax fee – yes, even if the sender requested to pay for all fees on their end, you will still have to pay a tax. The amount of taxes you have to pay depends on the value of the contents, so try to lowball the value as much a possible. But, remember, the value you indicate and the value the sender has indicated MUST match.

And there you are! Hopefully you will rescue your parcel in good time and enjoy whatever gifts come your way!


HINT: In case you would like to send a package from Spain to home, check out CangoBox – probably the cheapest, easiest & most reliable way at the moment to send packages at least within the European Union. Read more by clicking here!


– Leah & Teddy



64 comments. Leave new

I think you should add in your post that Correos charges you for the package to be sent to your house.

I have a package stuck in Madrid that a friend sent for my bday.
I only have a passport – idf I use a friend’s NIE do i use their name also or can I use mine.
Also, I don’t want to accept the package if the taxes are too much – IS there a way to estimate the cost before it arrives in Barcelona (where I am)? If I don’t pick it up in Barcelona will it still be returned to sender?
Thank you!!

Hi Ellen!
So, the package has been sent to you, so you cannot use someone elses documents to pick it up. I dont know why the package is in Madrid, it was meant to be sent to Barcelona. So I am very confused about the advice you need from me. If you never go to pick up the package it will be sent back to sender but they might be subject to a fee since it was never picked up.

15/02/2016 22:17

Hi! This article is very helpful for me. However, I cannot get passed the login page on the website. It says my DNI is invalid. I put in my passport number. Is this incorrect? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’ve been trying to figure this out for a week!!

Joachim Wolf
16/02/2016 23:41

Hey there, the “numero de envio internatcional” is the code of your package! The code should be indicated some where on the letter or slip you got in the mail! Let me know if it all works out!

Hanna Barish
05/03/2016 16:23

I have to write a letter since the package I received is a gift from a family member. Do I upload the letter to the server where it indicates I am supposed to upload proof of payment? Or should I send it to the email they provide? Or something else?

Dawn Williamson
05/03/2016 18:30

I am trying to upload documents to the website but there is no where that says aportacion de documentacion that will upload anything. All the information is there but how do I actually upload the information

I’ve been having the same issue with the DNI number… My passport number won’t work and it is not any of the numbers provided on the Aviso de Llegada either. Did anybody figure this out? I even went to Correos today and they told me there’s nothing they can do and that my package will just be sent back if I don’t get past that.

Shannon McDevitt
14/03/2016 21:07

How do you upload anything to the Correos server though? I keep getting directed to a page requesting a Cl@ve pin, which I do not have. I have the NIF number of the woman I’m living with in Spain, but that doesn’t seem to help me at all.

Hey everyone! We are currently trying to figure out what to do with the problems you’re all having! I didn’t have this issue personally so I have to go through some trial runs and see what’s going on! Sit tight!

I was expecting 3 parcels with some makeup and toiletries from Korea. They have been held at customs for almost a week now and 2-3 days ago I filled and uploaded all the documents they asked for on the ADT Postales website. But it says that the validation of documents is still pending.
Does anyone know how long it takes and how to speed up the process?
I live nowhere near Madrid, so picking them up myself is not feasible.

Hi Bella,
So sorry to hear you have your things hold in custom. The approval itself takes a while, so don’t worry so far. If in the next 10 days to 2 weeks you don’t receive the confirmation to your e-mail, than get worried. But so far is normal! Good luck 😉

hello I have sent the documents needed but until now I have not receive any email from yhem that it is been validated. worried here

Hi Heide, I’m sorry to hear that! unfortunately there is nothing you can do. How long have you been waiting?

Hello , I paid them already and I thought if I pay them they’ll send my parcel as quickly as I sent the money to them. It’s been 2mos now and still waiting for my parcel. Kept on visiting the adtpostales if there is new but none. Lil worried now because I paid 50euro for even just a 70€ parcel. just a bit of difference, if only I knew it will be like this I should never order online. They are so slow
I am disappointed.

Thanks for this facility. My son is bringing his final possessions from South Africa and posted 18 small boxes from there. We received notification that 9 are in Spain now. We are having great difficulty providing the documentation ADT require but are slowly getting there. (We filled in forms 2+ weeks ago on the site but these were deemed inadequate). We have battled to get what they require but are almost there and are now resubmitting. Only to find that at least one of the shipments has already been classified “Return to Sender”. The sender (my son) now lives here in Spain!! He was told by the SA post office to put a Spanish RtS address on the paperwork, so goodness knows where ADT will send it.
Our translator tried to phone ADT to ask for an extension of time but could not get through to anyone – well she eventually got through to one man and was cut off as soon as she said her name.
PLEASE do you have any advice on how we can contact ADT to get them to keep the boxes longer so we can get all the paperwork uploaded to them?

Good morning Ann! Just reading through your comment now. You’ve done a great job at being patient during this ridiculous process! Unfortunately there is nothing you can really do to slow down the process of the returning package. The only thing I can suggest to you is to keep calling relentlessly – I’m sure you have been to this page already, but just in case here is the link to the contact information of ADT Postales. Let us know if anything progresses!


– Leah

Hello Everybody, thanks for sharing your troubles. I’m in a similar situation, bought some motorcycle parts on Ebay US (for approx $ 300). The parts have been sitting at Spanish customs since end June. When I noticed it is not moving forward and started reading your posts, I also logged in with my NIE number on adtpostales.com/acceder.asp. All the info about my package is there, except the fact that I could not upload any of the required documents and I got some messages about that the package will be returned to sender. Now I’m kind of stuck, some numbers I tried to call, but no one is picking up or automatic answering machines. Any tips?

Hi Frankie! We have a few possible suggestions.

First, the server might not let you upload because you don’t have the correct amount of documents to upload. Have you completed 3 documents listed above? 1)passport copy 2)proof of purchase 3) A completed “aviso de llegada” form which Correos should have sent you? Since this is not a gift, you should not need the 4th) “letter” which states that you are the receiver of the gift.

Second, since the account was not logged into within a decent amount of time and they are sending the package back – they might have disabled the option of uploading anything onto the page.

You could try uploading the documents and sending them via email to Correos. I have never tried this, but it could work!

I hope this helps!

– Leah

Hi, I’m in a weird situation. The package I had sent here to Madrid has been sitting in customs for the past 5 days. All I have is the tracking number and that’s how I know. I recently moved here from Canada so all the express courier has of mine is my Canadian phone number and possibly email. I haven’t gotten any correspondence from customs so I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, if anything. I have the tracking number and that’s how I know what the package is up to. Any help would be appreciated

Hi Steve, 5 days is not very long for it to be at customs. It is probably waiting for it’s turn to be inspected and then for them to send the Aviso letter to you OR they will send it to a Correos office near your address for you to pick up. It depends on the contents. Do not panic yet! Your Canadian courier has done its job and is no longer involved in the process! Hopefully you get the letting in the coming days and then you can start with the process of getting it to your piso.

Hi Steve, I am in this exact situation now (wish i read about Spain before sending my gift…ugh). What ended up happening with your package? What was the process and how long? Thank you in advance for the advice/response.!!

Hi, I also sent a box from the US to friends in Spain on 11/24/17. It cost me $110 to ship. The post office insures it for $200 and I made them mistake of entering like $180 as the cost of gifts. It got held up in Madrid Customs on 12/4/17 and is still there. They sent a letter to our friends wanting to know the content and what each item cost (no item was over $40). He sent it back right away and they contacted him in a few days saying he had to pay $104 before they would send him the box. Now, from what I have read on the websites, they are not supposed to tax on gifts. Which is what I wrote on my customs form and he wrote on his, but they still did. And everything was wrapped in Christmas paper too. So basically I just spent $237 (bc I had to pay fees to send money Pay Pal as well) to ship a box of gifts probably worth the same. Very, very upsetting that they do this as I received the box the sent to us and I did not have to pay any fees to get the box. Lesson learned, I will now limit what I send and in a much smaller box. It is a shame it needs to be this way. I plan on putting a complaint in (not that it will probably do any good) as to why we were charged on “gifts” once he gets the box in his possession.

Hello! My package from USA been held by Customs from 8.12.16. I already ask send it back. But they never explain why they hold and person who I send it said she didn’t receive any letters. The website shows me it’s is a problem, so I can’t open. The phone numbers I try to call in Spanish, so I don’t understand plus a time difference. The person who I send it already left the Country . Please advise what can I do?

I have been waiting for my package which was sent from home USA . I am in Spain now and it has been stuck in Madrid customs for a month now . Everyday they ask for documents and we send them and the next day they either ask for something new or the same paperwork . I call they can never help me other than by saying to resend everything . I am in need of my orthotics which are in the package . Idk where else to call or what else to do ? Any help here ???

Hi Vanessa, we are not directly associated with Correos in any way. So unfortunately I can’t help you get in contact any more tan you already are. If they are asking you for documents, and contacting you within the next day for more documents then just make sure you are following all the steps they ask for, as well as all the steps that have been carefully laid out here in this article.

Good luck!

– Leah

This has been a nightmare, I’m lucky enough to live in central Madrid either 17 minutes drive to Barajas cargo area or 30 minutes on metro direct (with a short 15 minute walk from the Metro station at the Barajas end). Ok this is what happened, I usually get imports (non EU) delivered to my door at Madrid via Correos.es and I pay cash for the import duties (fair enough) and have been doing so at the same address for over 2 years but one day I get a letter through the mail stating that an item is at Barajas / correos and I had to trundle up there and pay cash. So I get a taxi ..(17 Euros) and walk into the Correos post office at Calle Alfa to be greeted by two queues, I went to the registration queue and they gave me a form to fill in which I already filled in at home and tell me to walk outside down the street to a different building which is the Agencia Tributaria (Inland revenue in the UK and IRS in the U.S.), so I go through security control in there and queue up.. the woman there asks me for receipts Paypal etc. and I hand in the filled Correos document for which they gave me in the other office, she then takes copies and instructs me to go home and pay via bank transfer and get proof of payment from my bank, I protested and informed her that’s not what the original document instructed me to do (It stated that I could pay in cash) .. she just gave me the hard stare behind the screen .. so reluctantly I went all the way home and waited the next day for the banks to open again (they close at 2pm). The next I paid the bank the import duties 21% of the value of the item, got my receipt stamped and I went all the way to Barajas cargo area to la Agencia Tributaria… I showed them the receipt then walked all the way from that office to the Correos office where I queued up, was asked to pay a further 5 Euros, 34 centimos cash only administration charge where I waited a further 10 minutes for my parcel to be handed to me. So in all 4 legs of a long journey travelling distance, on average 25 minutes each way, 5 long queues (bank payment included) and to add insult to injury 5 Euros 34 centimos for nothing. I am furious. And another thing don’t let my English deceive you, I am a Spanish national, who knows how much harder it would have been to process this had I been foreign (would have had to get proof of residence documents aswell as the usual invoices and paypal payment receipts)… very angry indeed. This is a scam to get money out of you and or to deter you from importing things into Spain. I know there are scamsters that import cheap and then sell on claiming it’s for personal use or claim that the value of something is 1 euro when in reality it’s worth thousands but damn that aint me, the value of the contents were printed on the box ! why not open it, seal it and investigate the value and see if it corresponds then just bring it to my door and I pay the import duty ? why make me do triips to dullsville etc ?

Thanks for sharing! Sorry this happened to you!

Can anyone tell me if there is a way that one can by-pass correos and get a customs handling agent to clear a package and deliver it? ADTPostales ‘lost’ a consignment and could not tell me what happened to it – it has been resent and is now in Customs at the airport in Madrid. Going there is not an option – I will need to get someone else to do it for me.

Hi Clark,

It is my understanding that customs and Correos at Barajas are one in the same. If they haven’t released your package or sent you the documents telling you to pick it up somewhere, you have to wait. But this is the extent of my knowledge. Try giving the Correos a call and see if they say any different.

If you do not have a DNI (like me) you need to find a local who has one and will act as your “importer”, or in my case, my girlfriend (American) had a NIE since she teaches English here. Create an account here: http://www.adtpostales.com/nuevousuario.asp and use their name as the person importing on your behalf. You will need their address also. In the last step on the site, you will print out your completed document, sign it, scan it, and upload it. You will also need to upload a copy of their DNI or NIE.

29/05/2017 14:12

I have a question??? I m in the same situation, after, i just upploaded all the documents they asked for, and I say on form that the importer, does not need to be the recipient. (destinatario) My question is, after your girlfriend acted as the importer, was she also suddenly the new recipient, i mean did she have to get the package for you? Or was it still sent to you?

How do you upload a copy of your NIE? My NIE number is on my student visa, so I uploaded a scanned pdf of my student visa and Correos rejected it. I need to provide a photocopy of my NIE but I don’t know how else to do that.

Hey Julie,

The NIE they need is the actually NIE card, not the one within your passport. I suggest getting a friend to upload theirs for you.

Thank you for your response! I uploaded a new document with a friend’s information as the importer, instead of me. She is a Spanish citizen so hopefully they accept my new document and the photocopy of her DNI card, even though I already posted an original document with my information as the importer.

Can someone help me. I have a parcel from Japan that arrived mid November. I have filled up the form at adtpostales.com and it has been approved since Nov 27. On the Situacion it says – C DOCUMENTACIÓN VALIDADA and on Nov 29 it says – Despachado y en proceso de entrega al destinatario. Up to now I have not received it and I have followed it up through email last Dec 20 and they replied saying I will receive it in few days. Last week Jan 16 I asked my Spanish friend to call them and they said I have to pay something and they will send a document on how much. Up to now I have not receive any form. I don’t know what else to do. It has been more than 2 months and my struggle is I can’t speak Spanish. 🙁

Biljana Stojanovic
07/02/2017 15:07

When your package is being held hostage at Barajas just require an official inquiry about your package from your sending post! After 2 weeks you will probably get the answer that they have tried to contact the recipient but he/she didn’t provide the required documents on time, so your parcel is in the process of returning to the sender! This is from my personal experience! Yesterday I got the parcel I sent from Belgrade to Barcelona to my daughter three months ago! Never again!

I ordered some workout supplements from a US company. My package has been held in Madrid since February 5th and it is now February 12th. However, I have not yet gotten my aviso de llegada. How long does it usually take for them to send the letter? I am afraid my host family got it but then threw it away and never told me. If that happened, how can I request another?

Edwin Spratley
19/02/2017 12:25

Hello, Sometimes the aviso de llegada can take a week or two to arrive in the post, but once logged into adtpotales.com, there is usually an option to download the adl. Best wishes

Edwin Spratley
16/02/2017 11:29

Hello, I have sent all documents required for my parcel to be sent on, but my official NIE has been rejected twice, asking for an NIE Tax certificate registered with the AEAT. Can’t find this, and despite verifying that I pay taxes through my lawyers office, Barajas have still not sent my package to me. 2 weeks now and counting !!!

Hi there, I read through all these comments and seem to have a similar issue. I am currently studying in Madrid and a care package from home was held up in customs. I would like to go to the website to upload the necessary documents but it asks me for a DNI, which I do not have (other than my passport number which doesn’t work). Did you ever figure out how to bypass this? Thanks!

Edwin Spratley
19/02/2017 12:29

Hello, It might be a good idea to visit your local solicitors, and advise them of the situation. They might be able to act as receivers on your behalf. Best wishes

Hi so i sent a box of clothes for my sister in Barcelona since feburary 2nd and it got to Madrid on feburary 6th. And they alredy sent my sister the aviso paper where she had to list her items and she sent it a week ago and we still havent heard anything about the box im tracking the shipment and is not moving or nothing. Is there any advise you can give me ? Im very disappointed at this moment because i sent expensive stuff thinking it was going to get there and we havent got nothing from them . Do you know how long they would take to ship the box ?

I get parcels from the US to here in Cadiz. Some get caught in the system, others are couriered straight to my door. The trick seems to be to get the sender to mark on the documentation ‘Returned Sample’ and then they assume that it’s already been in the country and is just being returned. Might not work every time, but worth a try.

I ordered camping gear from REI.com worth about 240 euros. Aduanas snatched it and after going through their tedious process they are asking me to pay 114 euros to get my package. Completely ridiculous, I prefer to not pay and get a refund after they return the package.

My son is in Madrid for study abroad, he had his phone stolen. He is staying with a host, an elderly women. Just saw that it is being held in customs on the USPS tracking. I sent him a old phone that we had activated. I put down it was gift worth $100. I figured he would have pay a tax and some sort of ID to pick it up. Why does a student need a NIE number? all he has is passport and his us ID.
Can’t he just go there in person and pick up? I believe he not far from airport, short cab ride?

i already sent then the documents they asked me to send to them and its almost a month now since then but i still dont have it yet and i kept on tracing my parcel and theres no new on it, it didnt move at all.

11/07/2017 07:18

Hi. I hope someone can give me some advice. I bought an item online from a vendor in Ukraine. I am in South Africa. This was almost a month ago. When I track it it states that there are two items with the same tracking nr. The one shows it left Ukraine, then a week later it entered Spain and is now held at customs. Can it be by coincidence that this is a different package? Or is it possible that it is my package that was sent to Spain by mistake???
How can I resolve this? Does anyone have a phone nr that I could phone to put me in contact with the right person in Madrid airport Customs (packages) ?

I sold a valuable item to my friend in Spain. When I filled out the custom forms when I mailed it I put the value, about $400 USD. I did this so I could add insurance to the package.

She only paid 80 Euro.
I made her an invoice for the 80 to send to customs.

Is this mismatch a huge problem? I’m so worried! It’s been in customs 8 days already and she has sent the required documents already.

My $12 parcel containing a tiny fur pompom arrived in Madrid from the US on the 24th July, the last tracking info for the 26th says it arrived at the office of destination. My local office says it’s in Madrid. I assume I don’t pay duty and taxes on something for $12? I am confused why it’s still there. Today is 7th August.

25 days since package arrived att madrid, sent all hade to fake dni NO other way passning That.

Ordern for 15 euro hade to pay total 50 euro fees.

How is this even legal.

Hello, I’m studying in Spain and my family is trying to send me a package. I have not received the “Adviso de Llegada” in the mail and my package has been in Madrid for just over one month. In addition, I do not have a DNI number. Is there a way to contact Madrid customs to get this form? What can I do to get my package without a DNI number? Any advice would be appreciated!

Amy Burtin
23/10/2017 20:11

We have not received a letter or anything from customs and the package has been held for two weeks. What can we do?

Did you figure it out? I am currently waiting for a package as well.

Hi my package is stuck as well. Any updates on your package? Don’t know what to do.

Im trying to get my package out of customs, When I try to enroll through the ADT website it ask for my DNI number, I am here in Palma from the states. How do I create and account, Do they have a customer service number?

can anyone help, Thanks

The article does not mention anything about needing a NIF number if you do not have a Spanish DNI nor a NIE. NIF (Número de Identidad Fiscal). You have to request a NIF at Calle Montalbán 6 ini Madrid and fill out Form 030

“Si es persona física que carezca de nacionalidad española, no obligada a disponer de NIE o estando obligada se le asigne un NIF con carácter provisional (NIF M).
Fotocopia del Pasaporte del solicitante o de otro documento de su país de origen que acredite su identidad, edad y nacionalidad. (Si es el propio interesado el que comparece ante la Administración Tributaria se le podrá requerir la exhibición del original de su pasaporte o documento que acredite su identidad).
Si el extranjero no está obligado a disponer del NIE, debe aportar documento acreditativo de no estar obligado a disponer del NIE
Si el extranjero está obligado a disponer del NIE, debe aportar el documento acreditativo de haberlo solicitado al Ministerio del Interior, así como justificación documental de la operación de naturaleza o con trascendencia tributaria para la que necesita el NIF M.
In addition, in all cases, when the application is presented through a representative, either by legal obligation or voluntarily, it must enclose a photocopy of the ID card of the said representative (if the representative appears when the application is submitted it will not be necessary to submit the photocopy of the ID card, it is sufficient to produce the certifying document thereof) and the document certifying the representation.”

Maryah Noce
08/12/2017 14:33

I mailed package from us to san jaun and has been in customs since dec 3 . Is this normal to take a week or more to go thru. Recipent has no notification from customs

Hi, I also sent a box from the US to friends in Spain on 11/24/17. It cost me $110 to ship. The post office insures it for $200 and I made them mistake of entering like $180 as the cost of gifts. It got held up in Madrid Customs on 12/4/17 and is still there. They sent a letter to our friends wanting to know the content and what each item cost (no item was over $40). He sent it back right away and they contacted him in a few days saying he had to pay $104 before they would send him the box. Now, from what I have read on the websites, they are not supposed to tax on gifts. Which is what I wrote on my customs form and he wrote on his, but they still did. And everything was wrapped in Christmas paper too. So basically I just spent $237 (bc I had to pay fees to send money Pay Pal as well) to ship a box of gifts probably worth the same. Very, very upsetting that they do this as I received the box the sent to us and I did not have to pay any fees to get the box. Lesson learned, I will now limit what I send and in a much smaller box. It is a shame it needs to be this way.

I just realized my package is stuck in Madrid, but I didnt get any mail or something, I found out it by tracking number. How can save my package? I can’t open any app or anything, it always says error.

hell everyone,i posted a letter package that contains my passport that i pit in a book before puting it in the envelope on 16th january 2018 and its 24th and still the recipient hasnt recieved it could the be something wrong?it was a registered package though with a tracking number what do you suggest please advise.thank you

Hi there ,My package is stuck in Madrid and they asked me to send the invoice but unfortunately the sender lost it, so what should I do?

Hello, so how can I get some sort of proof or documentation why my package is being held in customs? I sent a return package via USPS to a seller in Spain. Been held in customs since 12/7/17. I would like to know reason; whether the recipient needs to come and get it, or there is customs tax on it. Can I receive this information as the sender? How?

Hey Charlene! I’m afraid you’ll have to contact the Correos office in Spain with you questions. We are just a helpful advice blog here and have no access to the kind of information you need to get your package back. Sorry!

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