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What You Need To Know Before Shipping Internationally: Top Tips And Tricks

When it comes to international moves, there are some unique tips and tricks you should know about before getting started. Keep reading to learn more!

Blog / Tips / 2023 May 12, 2023

Moving your personal belongings from one country to another can be a daunting task. Whether you are relocating for work, study, or pleasure, shipping your items overseas is a big step that requires careful planning and preparation. When it comes to international moves, there are some unique tips and tricks you should know about before getting started. Keep reading to learn more!

Choose A Reliable Carrier

Moving personal belongings internationally can be a challenge due to the complexity of the paperwork, regulations, and different modes of transportation. The people working at Seven Seas Shipping know how important it is to have peace of mind in these situations. Choosing a reliable carrier with extensive experience in international moving is an important step to ensuring your move is successful.

Before hiring a carrier for your international move, it’s important to do some research on their reputation and reviews from past customers. Know that different carriers offer different services depending on the destination and type of items you are moving. If you have large items or specialty items like artwork or antiques that need special handling, make sure the carrier you hire offers these services and inquire about what processes they use to ensure the safe transport of your items.

Many times cost may be a deciding factor when choosing an international mover, but be careful not to pick solely based on price since this could affect the quality of service and potential delays in delivery time. Finally, make sure that the carrier you hire has enough insurance coverage in case something happens during transit that results in damage or loss of your goods during transport.

Research Regulations

Moving abroad can be a daunting task, but if all the necessary paperwork and permits are secured, it can be smoother. To avoid any possible issues, it's important to research the regulations of the new country before beginning the moving process.

Different countries have various import laws, customs rules, and documentation requirements that must be followed in order to ensure that goods are imported legally. It's beneficial to understand a destination country’s customs policies as well as the requirements to bring items in or out of the country. Doing so will help avoid delays or confiscations of goods at customs.

Additionally, researching any applicable currency restrictions is also important when relocating internationally. The foreign exchange market is highly regulated by each government and there are often limits on how much money may be transferred from one country to another on an annual basis. Understanding these regulations prior to initiating international transfers can save plenty of headaches down the line.

Finally, researching tax obligations beforehand is critical for anyone who’s planning on living overseas for an extended period of time. A considerable portion of personal income may be subject to foreign taxes and familiarizing oneself with the local taxation system can greatly reduce unanticipated costs later on.

Organize Your Documents

When it comes to packing up and moving abroad, having all of your paperwork in order before you leave will help things go smoothly. The first step is to make a list of the documents that are necessary for this process and any ones that need to be updated or created. This may include the following:

  • passports
  • visas
  • driver's licenses
  • birth certificates
  • diplomas
  • insurance policies
  • school transcripts
  • Commercial invoices
  • Bills of lading
  • Packaging lists
  • Certificates of origins
  • Export licenses
  • Proforma invoices
  • Insurance certificates
  • Electronic export information
  • Freight forwarder’s cargo receipt

Once you have compiled a list of the critical items needed for international relocation, make copies of each document and store them separately in a safe place. You should also scan each document and email it to yourself or keep them stored in an online cloud backup service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. By keeping digital copies of all your important papers, you can easily access them from anywhere in the world if needed.

You will also want to create a folder where you can store all these essential documents. This way when you arrive at your final destination, everything will be organized and easy for you to find when needed. Labeling both hard copy files and digital folders with descriptive titles like “Visa Application” or “Insurance Policies” will help you quickly locate what you need without wasting time searching through piles of loose papers or multiple folders on your computer.

Pack Items Securely

To make sure that your valuables are secure during the move, packing them securely is absolutely essential. It is important to use materials that will provide adequate protection. For example, heavy-duty corrugated cardboard boxes are the best option for heavier objects such as books or electronic equipment.

Make sure heavier items such as furniture or appliances are secured using straps and furniture blankets so that they don’t shift during transport and cause damage to other cargo being shipped with them. Any large pieces should also be secured by building frames around them using plywood sheets which will help prevent the crushing of smaller items nearby during transit. Once you finish loading each box or bin, make sure everything is sealed tightly with tape to prevent moisture from getting inside and damaging any of your possessions during shipping timeframes which may take weeks depending on where you’re moving to.

Label The Packages

Labeling each package with its contents, weight, and any other relevant information will help customs agents and other personnel properly identify them when they reach their destination. It also allows for easier tracking in case something goes wrong.

It is important to clearly write down what each box contains, including any fragile items and details on how they should be handled. This makes it much easier for customs agents to determine what kind of taxes or fees may apply as well as if certain items can even be shipped out of the country. In addition to this, labeling the packages with your full name and address will allow for faster tracking if shipping services lose a box or have difficulty locating it at its destination. It is also important to label each package according to its designated destination, such as “Portugal” or “United Kingdom”, etc.

Declare Accurate Values

Declaring accurate values when moving internationally is essential in order to ensure that you receive the correct amount of insurance coverage for your possessions. When shipping items across international borders, it is important to consider not only the replacement cost of each item but also the potential depreciation due to wear and tear over time.

Furthermore, this can also help you avoid random customs fees or taxes associated with imported goods. By accurately reporting the value of your belongings, you can provide proof that they are meant for personal use instead of commercial use. This will help you avoid unnecessary fees while ensuring that all applicable taxes are paid.

Check For Prohibited Items

This is one of the most important tricks for successful international moves, as illegally bringing restricted items into a foreign nation can result in hefty fines and even jail time.  Lots of countries don't let the following things be shipped:

  • hazardous materials
  • weapons
  • illegal drugs
  • live animals
  • counterfeit goods
  • human remains
  • pornography
  • currency or cash
  • radioactive material
  • endangered species

To avoid potential repercussions, individuals should thoroughly research their destination country's regulations before packing and shipping any items. By taking the time to properly investigate laws and regulations regarding importing personal belongings into a foreign country, you can make sure all of your assets arrive safely without running into any legal issues along the way. Carefully checking for prohibited items is an essential trick for successfully moving internationally – it pays off every time!

Track Your Shipment

When you decide to ship your belongings overseas, it is important to make sure that you register for an account on the shipping company’s website in order to access tracking information. This way, you will be able to monitor progress every step of the way as the package travels from start to finish. You should also make sure that you select reliable packaging options such as double boxing or bubble wrap in order to ensure that your items arrive in one piece.

Furthermore, when it comes to international shipments, always expect delays. Shipping abroad may involve long wait times at customs due to paperwork processing, resulting in longer-than-usual transit periods. This means it is especially important to check regularly on the status of your package so you can stay up-to-date on its whereabouts and expected arrival time.

Buy Insurance

Buying insurance for items that need to be shipped internationally is a great trick to ensure a successful shipment. Insurance will protect the item from any potential damage or loss during the shipping process, which can help prevent unwanted delays and losses.

In addition to covering possible damages or losses due to transportation issues, many insurance policies also provide coverage against theft or other malicious acts while in transit. This coverage can help protect against potential financial losses caused by someone stealing an item during transit. Finally, when selecting an insurance policy for international shipping, it's also important to research what type of claims service is provided by your chosen carrier.

Moving personal belongings internationally can be a daunting task, but with the right tips and tricks, you can make sure your items arrive safely. From researching prohibited items in your destination country to buying insurance for extra protection, there are several steps that should be taken before shipping anything overseas. By taking the time to properly research laws and regulations as well as tracking shipments along the way, individuals will have peace of mind knowing their assets are safe during transit. With these simple yet effective tricks up your sleeve, you’ll have no trouble relocating all of your possessions abroad! 

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