Guide to International Removals
So, you have made the mammoth decision to move abroad, and who could blame you? The climates and cultures of faraway lands coupled with the promise of new adventures in both work and play are enough to make anyone question staying the UK at some point in their lives. Whether you are pursuing a change in career, or taking some time out of the daily grind, there are some critical points to consider to ensure a smooth transition into your new life.
Moving home is claimed to be one of the most stressful events that you can go through in your life, so doing your homework thoroughly is critical. Moving abroad has most definitely been romanticised in the movies and demonised in the press – but first things first, documentation.
Some of the most popular destinations for those relocating are Australia, New Zealand, and Canada along with European countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the common factors for being popular choices include that the countries boast strong economies, low crime rates and high salaries (often necessary to accommodate high cost of living). These are not countries that you just waltz into and pick up your life that you left in the UK. Visas, residency registrations, work permits, and vaccination documentation are, to name but a few, things you need to consider, and they vary from country to country. It is also useful to note that it may be worth researching the guidelines and regulations about moving your home and if there are restrictions on packing. Believe it or not, some countries prefer your home to be packed up by professionals, as well as transported.
If you are buying a house rather than renting or having one provided for you, it is critical that you have familiarised yourself with local property laws and processes because failing to do so may mean the end of the new life you haven’t quite began yet. This may be a sobering thought, but if you take anything away from this blog – please let that be it.
Other top priorities requiring your investigative skills are schools, nurseries (not only if you have children now, but if you are planning for a future too) and healthcare. Once you have left the UK behind, you have also left the NHS behind, and although the NHS can be a source of contention for some people, not having to worry about insurance/payment when we fall ill helps ease the situation marginally.
Depending on where you have decided to relocate, there may be restrictions on who receives your shipped items. Countries such as America, Canada and Australia have placed strict limitations on using ‘care of’ addresses to eliminate security risks. These countries stipulate that you must have been in the country for at least 10 days before you receive your personal effects. If you are moving to a destination within the European Union then you won’t face such strict regulations (as things stand at the time of writing).
However, there are certain items that you may be shipping that will be of interest to Customs. Personal effects such as oil paintings and other works of art may be subject to Duty or Services Tax, depending on where you are travelling to. It is vital that you submit an import declaration for these items, most Government customs websites will give you clear and concise instructions on how to start the process of shipping items such as these. Ornamental swords such as Samurai swords, martial art paraphernalia and military goods may need specific permits or written permission to have your goods enter the country that you are relocating to.
The same rules apply for anything that would fall under the ‘wildlife’ category, most countries apply strict policies around the importation of items such as animal skins, skulls or bones, items made from plant material or coral will all be subject to declaration, and certain items may require ‘treatment’ before they can enter the country.
You must be wondering about how the whole process actually comes together? Moving home within the same country is stressful enough, so moving abroad must seem like an overwhelming task, but fear not, from first point of contact to unloading at your new home, we will be there to reassure and guide you every step of the way. After you make initial contact with us, the next step is to arrange a site survey. Here, we survey the volume and variety of effects that need shipping. From the site survey, we will send you a formal quotation, which, once signed, becomes the legal contract in which the moving dates for your items will be specified.
We offer our customers three levels of service: Self-Pack, where the homeowner packs up all of their home, with the exception of large items that require export wrapping; Breakables Only – we will carefully pack any breakable items such as glassware and china; Full Service, whereby F&N will pack up your home for you.
For some shipments it may be possible to load the shipping container directly from your residence; after loading, it will be driven directly to the exit port for shipping to your final destination. For other shipments, they are taken back to our depot where we will arrange the international shipping. If your items do not take up an entire shipping container then you are charged for the space that your items occupy in volumes per cubic metres. Your possessions then make their journey across the seas to your chosen destination where they are unloaded onto the removals vehicle which transports them on the final leg of their journey to your new home.
We are experienced in taking the greatest care of your most precious items, and you can rest assured that they are in the safest of hands to make your relocation manageable.