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5 Common Moving Mistakes to Avoid When Relocating Abroad

Posted by Melissa Morr on Apr 9, 2016 10:53:00 AM


Moving your home and family overseas really means that you are moving your lives to another country. It takes the utmost in planning, research, organization and decision making. The process can seem overwhelming at first but if you can avoid these international moving mistakes, your relocation can be made much simpler.

Hiring a reputable international household goods mover is top priority. It’s not just a matter of opening the yellow pages and making a phone call. You can find movers online that are a member of the IMA (International Movers Association) and are registered with the FMC (Federal Maritime Commission). Considering any mover that does not have these two credentials is likely a big mistake. Make sure that you obtain at least 3 in-home estimates where professionals will assess the amount of goods that you are moving and the best way to ship overseas.

  1. Packing for a move across town is not nearly as cumbersome as packing for an overseas move. Keep in mind that your goods are transferred by truck, stored in a transit warehouse and ultimately shipped by ocean freight. Voyages can be rough and climate changes can be extreme depending on your destination. Your international mover will provide your best packing solutions either in-house or through a trusted sub-contracted packing company. Remember, if you pack your goods yourself, you will likely be denied cargo insurance and will have little recourse in the event of loss or damage. To avoid this hassle, always have your approved freight forwarder pack your belongings.
  2. There is almost nothing worse than arriving in your new country only to find that you or a family member is denied entry because of the lack of mandatory immigration documentation. Passports for the whole family must be current and their validity should not be less than 6 months. A good rule of thumb is to estimate the length of your stay and have your passport renewed for as long as possible. Contact the local consulate or embassy of your destination country for the latest regulations. Other documentation could entail visas, work permits and other personal documents such as your driver’s license.
  3. Customs clearance is a technical function that is performed both at the export and import location. Compliance is very strict and if any of your documentation is missing, delays will likely occur, costs will increase and you could be subject to financial penalties. Make sure that you have all of your immigration documentation as well as a commercial or pro-forma invoice and detailed packing list.
  4. Choosing ‘not’ to insure your goods for shipping can cause all kinds of headaches. You can roll the dice if you choose and hope that all of your goods arrive intact. This can happen but with the amount of times that your goods are handled the chances of loss or damage increase. Cargo insurance is quite economical even for full replacement coverage and your international freight forwarder can arrange this for you.

An international move can be very exciting but don’t let your excitement get in the way of intense preparation that can take the romanticism out of the new adventure. Your best bet is to start with that reputable international freight forwarder who will be able to help you with your plan and reduce the chances of a bad experience.

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Topics: Freight Forwarder, Expat Moving Services, International Moving Tips, Recent Blog Posts

Melissa Morr

Written by Melissa Morr

Melissa Morr is the manager of corporate relocation and private relocation at Accelerated International Forwarders. She leads the team of international coordinators and is involved in all international moving services for both corporate and private relocation. She has worked within the industry for 31 year, including employment at North American International, Allied Special Products, Prudential Relocation, and Brookfield Global Relocation Services.

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