Customs Tips For International Removals

Negotiating Customs – Top Tips from Get Cracking

Heading off to live in a brand-new country is an adventure, that’s for sure! But getting ready for a big move can prove stressful, after all you have to pack up your old life in readiness for your new one. That means getting organised, so why not save yourself time and trouble (and your sanity) by enlisting the help of a worldwide removals company? Here at Get Cracking we have plenty of experience in coordinating world-wide removals, and can help take the stress out of your move. To get you on your way we’ve put together a few of our top tips on how best to negotiate customs at a few popular destinations.

Removals to Canada

Planning a move to Canada? The Great White North is amazing country, made up of stunning scenery and vibrant cities. Here’s what to expect customs wise:

Anything to Declare?

If you are planning to reside in Canada for more than a year you can take along personal belongings and furniture from your current, and you don’t have to pay import duty or taxes. On arrival in Canada the shipper needs to personally attend customs – and a first declaration should be made on entering the country. Two lists (in duplicate form) need to be presented, one should detail accompanying items, and the other should outline goods to follow. Try to be thorough with your declaration – include information such as the value of goods, model, brand and serial numbers. When the shipment turns up a further personal declaration will need to be made.


Get Your Documents in Order

There a few essential documents you will need in order to reside in Canada. For a start you will need a passport (which will need to be validated as you enter the country). You will also require a previous airport or US/Canada border declaration form. You may have packed up all of your items securely, but you will need to provide an advise note, a “goods to follow list,” featuring a comprehensive list of items along with their value, documents alluding to ownership /possession and use of items and also any receipts for goods newly bought.


Removals to the United States

Planning a move to America? The land of the free and the home of the brave has a lot to offer, but before you start singing the star-spangled banner check out what to expect when negotiating customs:


How Much Are You Shipping?

If your household goods fill a shipping container you will be able to have it delivered to a port close to your new home. Sending less means you will have to ship via “consolidated groupage service,” which means your personal items are grouped together with those belonging to others (in order to fill a container). When it’s full (which can take a week or longer), the container is loaded onto the appropriate vessel ready for shipment. On clearing customs your goods can then be forwarded to you, actual delivery time will depend on how far away you live from the port. If you are shipping and pets be sure to notify your moving company.

How Much Will It Cost?

Prices vary, depending on whether you would like “door-to-door” delivery or prefer your goods to be shipped to a main port. If you opt for this you will need to sort out collection and delivery to your home. Door-to-door is the easier option – you don’t have to sort out port fees, organise the unloading of the container, worry about clearing customs, or find a reputable carrier to deliver your goods.


Anything to Declare?

Customs clearance is a must for all goods entering the U.S, and it’s imperative you supply the right documentation. You will need to organise a Power of Attorney document – allowing the agent or broker to represent you and offer up documentation for you.  There’s also a ‘Declaration of Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles,’ form to complete – where you are required to state information about yourself and details about your shipment. Finally, you will need a ‘Supplemental Declaration’ which relates to your citizenship, overseas addresses, provision of a passport or social security number and employment information. Along with your personal data you will need to outline what items you are taking with you, which is done via an inventory or packing list.


Moving to Australia

Known for its majestic opera house and bridge, stunning barrier reef, and amazing beaches, Australia is a popular destination for those seeking a new life in the sun. If you fancy heading down under you will need to clear customs first!


Anything to Declare?

Again, you can choose to have your very own container, or alternatively opt for a groupage container and share. Either way, on arrival the container will need to go to a customs bonded store – all shipments must obtain clearance from customs and quarantine on initial entry to Australia. It’s essential that accurate documentation accompanies your goods. The Australian Government are strict when it comes to ensuring the country remains free from diseases which could have an adverse effect on agriculture and livestock. The Quarantine Inspection Service is responsible for checking out shipments entering the country, and will select certain shipments to undergo physical examination. A lack of correct documentation will lead to a full-on check by customs (which is not cheap)! Shipments over 35 cubic feet must be examined as a matter of course, others are chosen to be checked randomly.

Charges, Restrictions and Documentation

Door-to-door shipping is the best way to go to get your goods to Australia, otherwise you will have to pay out additional costs for handling and delivering your container from the port to your new pad. As a new resident it’s your responsibility to find out about any duty or taxes you will need to cover relating to your shipment. There is a special concession for those who are heading to Australia to live permanently – this equates to AUS $400 for each adult and AUS $200 per person under eighteen.  You will need to provide a packing list / inventory detailing the items on the shipment (as with most countries there are restrictions regarding what you can and cannot take with you so be sure to check)! You will also need to fill in an Australian Customs Form, and provide a copy of your passport. You should also make sure all your items are clean, contact a power washing company in Dublin for more info.


Moving Elsewhere?

Here at Get Cracking we offer a professional and friendly service, and can help you move to Canada, the U.S, Australia, and a whole heap of other destinations – Ireland, Europe and beyond – the world is your oyster.

Size doesn’t matter to us, big or small we can cater for your move! Check out the services we have on offer – these include courier service, pallet service, part load and full load services and container shipments.


Hankering after a smooth and quick international move? Let us Get Cracking for you!