Do’s and Don’ts of International Moves: An Essential Guide
Preparing for an international move can be daunting. With plenty of checkboxes to tick, some important things can be easily overlooked. That’s why you need to have a thorough plan to meet all your deadlines and leave nothing behind.
Every move is different. Destinations, resources and budgets can all have an impact. That being said, there are some common steps every person will need to follow for effective relocations – and there are some things to avoid to make the move (and your life) easier.
To make it easy, we’ve listed them both below:
When planning an international move, DO:
Know what factors will impact your cost:
For example, shipping by air is almost 10 times the cost of shipping by sea, according to the World Bank. Unless it’s an emergency move, choose sea transport.
April to September is considered peak season for international moves, so your costs will be commensurately higher.
Rare or antique items can cost extra because they may require crating and special handling.
Customs fees, taxes, and terminal handling charges change based on the destination. Research this beforehand.
Relocation companies providing pickup and drop-off points (door-to-door, door-to-port, port-to-door, or port-to-port) all vary in cost. Again, do your research, then make your choice.
Insurance is a necessary expense, and most international movers and packers will recommend you get one to protect your items. Ensure your policy is enough to cover important items. If needed, purchase additional international personal property insurance to cover any gaps.
Organize your move: Once you know the factors impacting your cost, the next step is to make a detailed checklist. This includes making a budget, researching customs regulations and taxes at your destination country, comparing quotes and qualifications to find the right relocation company, getting insurance, packing,
Create a timeline: Along with your task list, make as accurate a timeline as possible. Ideally, give yourself a few months to research, plan and execute all aspects of your move.
Partner with your international relocation company: Once you’ve made your choice, take assistance at every step from the movers and packers. Have them review every item you’re shifting, prepare a thorough moving plan, and clarify every doubt – yours and theirs – well in advance.
Track your move: Once the packing is done and shipped, the relocation company will help you track everything right up to final delivery (and unpacking, if you’ve chosen that option). Ensure also to get all the necessary paperwork done for customs, taxes and insurance. Depending on the agreed terms, some international relocation service providers will handle all the payments themselves – duty fees, taxes, insurance costs and shipping costs – while others will expect you to handle all of this. Get this also clarified beforehand.
When you’re planning an international move, DO NOT:
Move non-essential things: Cost aside, shipping only the essentials will make your international move more manageable. With all the complexities involved in shipping and customs regulations, moving only items that you will need to your chosen destination can also help lower your stress. For non-essentials, consider selling them or donating them to charities as well before your move.
Forget your inventory list: The inventory list will help you know what you shipped and what has arrived safely. So, make a thorough list of all the things you will be moving, have this confirmed and rechecked by the movers and packers, and once the items are delivered, check them off the list as and when you are unpacking them. In your new place, you do not want to spend a lot of time thinking about whether you packed six plates or ten. This will also ease your claims process in case you need to file one.
Overlook customs regulations: Be thorough with the customs regulations of your destination country. Do not take items that could be considered illegal or not allowed there – if they are, even the best international movers and packers cannot help you. You will be running a risk of getting penalised, or worse, imprisoned. Take your international move company’s assistance and fully understand what is allowed to be shipped and ensure you meet those requirements.
If you follow all these rules accurately, your international move will be a breeze.
Still, have questions? Drop us a line and our relocation experts are here to give you the right answer!