International Moving FAQs
commonly asked questions about international moving
we get a lot of questions about the international relocation process. here is our top 20 list of most commonly asked questions. if you don’t see your question listed, please call us — and we’ll answer it! we’ve been the international relocation company of choice since 1982, and we are here to help you.
1. i’m relocating overseas and need to hire an international mover. what is the first step?
if you are planning an international relocation, the first thing you should do is contact us for a free in-home survey.
2. what’s an in-home survey?
one of our sales representatives will visit your home to access the weight and volume of your belongings. they will speak with you about your international relocation needs, the services we offer, and explain any additional costs that may occur. when the survey is complete, they will provide you with a free moving estimate for your relocation.
3. how far in advance do i need to make arrangements to move abroad?
the importance of scheduling your move in advance varies depending on the time of year. the summer season (may 1st through september 15th) tends to be when the largest number of people move, so our schedules fill up well in advance for these times of year. there are generally two appointments you need to set: the first being a pre-move survey and the second being the actual packing & loading day(s). we will do our best to accommodate your needs on short notice. please, contact us for a survey about 6 weeks prior to your expected departure date.
4. can i get a moving estimate over the phone?
it’s important to understand that pricing for international moves is not “menu-based.” each move is unique and the price is customized and influenced by numerous variable factors such as weight/volume, origin/destination, special packing needs, difficult residence access, air vs. ocean, etc.
because of the numerous variables involved, over-the-phone estimates can be very misleading, and are generally discouraged. it is in your best interest to have our local office perform an on-site survey, so that we can offer you a more accurate estimate. these surveys are typically free of charge.
5. who will assist me during the moving process?
one your move is scheduled, you will be assigned a personal move coordinator, who will provide you with general guidelines regarding country customs regulations and will be able to answer any questions you may have about your destination. you can also contact your local consulate or embassy to verify the requirements needed.
6. what kind of container do my goods travel in when i’m moving to another country?
the standard overseas transport container is the steamship container. the primary sizes of these rectangular steel containers are 20 ft. (20x8x8 ft., holding approximately 1100cubic feet and 7000 lbs. of household goods) and 40 ft (40x8x8 ft., holding approximately 2300 cubic feet and15000 lbs.).
if your shipment size is significantly below the capacity of a steamship container, it may be more cost-effective to transport your belongings in a lift van(s). lift vans are large, wooden crates generally measuring 7x4x7 feet (lxwxh). lift vans typically hold around1000 lbs. of household goods.
corrugated air vans (or cay’s), are utilized for air shipments. also known as tri-walls (three-layer cardboard walls), cay’s are available in multiple sizes and are designed to be protective, yet size and weight efficient.
7. how will my furniture items be prepared for transit overseas?
your furniture items are wrapped in a durable, seven-ply paper pad. this pad is removed upon delivery and disposed of by the delivery specialists. fine finish items and/or antiques requiring additional support are covered with a protective layer of foam pad prior to wrapping.
8. are there restrictions on what i can ship internationally?
restrictions on what can be imported varies between countries and should be checked with the local consulate or embassy. the most commonly restricted items are:
international moving – restricted goods:
- ivory products
- drugs & medications
- religious statues or ornaments
- articles on endangered species list
meanwhile, certain items should not be included in an overseas shipment due to the hazardous nature or high value of the goods. such prohibited items are:
international moving – hazardous goods:
- aerosol spray cans
- bleaches, paints, thinners
- fire extinguishers
- gasoline, oil, lighter fluid, kerosene
- open containers and bottles
- propane tanks (unless purged and certified)
- weed killer, insecticides, poisons
international moving – high value items:
- coin and stamp collections
- irreplaceable documents
9. what kind of protection do your offer?
we offer a global property protection plan through UniGroup Worldwide Moving. you will need to declare the value on all of your goods. this is because the premium charged is mathematically determined based upon averages of full coverage. if the premium was based upon an assumption of partially-covered shipments, we would need to charge a higher premium. it is an all-risk, non-deductible, full replacement global property protection plan and it is available for $25 per $1,000 valuation. this rate includes pairs & sets (full coverage on dining sets, patio sets, side tables, etc.), electrical & mechanical derangement and mold & mildew coverage.
an itemized valuation list needs to be submitted to us prior to the packing for coverage to commence. if a valuation form is not completed this coverage is available based on a $15 per pound valuation of the shipment. all transit policies are underwritten and administered by UniGroup Worldwide Moving. vehicle valuation is to be based for this particular model, make and year at the destination.
10. when is payment required for my overseas move?
if you are a private party paying for the move yourself, standard policy is for payment to be made following the origin packing and prior to the release of your shipment from the origin warehouse.
11. what methods of payment do you accept?
we accept payment via credit card, cash, certified funds (money order, certified check, etc), or wire transfer. we cannot accept personal checks.
12. what if my employer is paying the charges for my international relocation?
prior to moving your shipment, we will only need a purchase order or letter of intent for payment on company letterhead with address, fax/phone, and authorizing signature. we will run a standard credit check to establish the billing account and issue a full invoice to the company directly.
13. what is included in the price for my international move?
some inclusions/exclusions can vary from situation to situation, mainly depending on the countries involved. for example, in brazil and argentina the government will not allow a company such as UniGroup Worldwide Moving to be involved in customs clearance, and terminal handling charges are billed directly to the customer by the government. nevertheless, the following can be referred to as a general guideline.
- included (in door to door service level): packing and loading from residence with door to door transportation. terminal handling charges (thc), delivery to residence, unpacking and loading, basic furniture set-up, and removal of debris at time of delivery. thc & customs clearance procedure are included unless not allowed by local government.
- excluded: unless otherwise noted, quotes do not include valuation, potential customs duties, taxes, storage, specialized packing and/or crating, or fees for shuttles, long carries, hoisting, nor any container detention or demurrage charges due to circumstances beyond our control.
14. what do i do if i have to file a claim on my international move?
it is important to notify UniGroup Worldwide Moving immediately if you have to file a claim.
15. is there a deductible for international moving insurance?
one of the benefits of our insurance program is that there is no deductible on a claim.
16. what taxes will i be held responsible for?
your daryl flood move coordinator will provide you with general guidelines regarding duties and taxes. used household goods and personal assets are allowed to enter most countries without significant taxes or penalties.
17. who will handle my shipment at my destination?
daryl flood international is part of UniGroup Worldwide Moving. daryl flood works with nearly 1,100 agents in the continental united states, alaska, hawaii and canada. our worldwide network of over 500 agents includes members of the fidi global alliance, the largest international relocation trade organization. one of our affiliates will be assigned to your relocation as your destination agent to ensure that your delivery is made safely to your new residence.
contact us today to discuss your upcoming international relocation and how we can customize a moving strategy to fit your needs. fill out our quote form for more information.