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International Moving Tips

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The most important factor to ensure a smooth and successful international relocation is to select the right international movers for the job.
There are different international moving companies for different needs so you should be as familiar with your needs as possible. This will give you some time to narrow your move dates. When searching for a mover, you should interview at least three companies so you can compare prices and services. Remember to check the carriers' documentation and licensing. Inquire as to their insurance policy (see below).

It is not recommended that you pack you own boxes. Because of the distance and the haul, you should let the professionals handle the wrapping and boxing of your belongings. If your move is temporary, you will have the luxury of storing a great deal of your belongings. Moving storage facilities are both affordable and convenient. Many storage companies will even pick up and deliver your items. However, if storage is not an option, take the time to do some research into what appliances will work in your new home. Since different countries operate on different plug types or voltage, most electrical appliances will require some sort of adapter. You might want to consider selling or donating your current appliances. It will save you the hassle of dealing with tricky adapters and the money you save in not shipping the appliances you can use for new appliances.
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Before you move, you should contact the embassy of your new country regarding advice on visas. The embassy may even be able to put you in contact with other expatriate families who can share their experiences and provide you with valuable suggestions.

International moving insurance
Additional insurance on your items is always advised when you are moving internationally. You should perform an itemized inventory of your move, complete with precise valuation of each item. You can even include the cost to you of moving the item. For instance, if you are insuring a large screen television, add the pro-rated cost of moving the item to the full value of replacing the television. Ask your moving company for complete details and as always, get as many opinions as possible before making a decision.

If you are planning to ship your car or truck, you should expect plenty of restrictions. Import restrictions differ from country to country and you should research the allowances of your destination.

Here are some things to keep in mind regarding shipping your automobile:

  • Are you licensed to drive in your new country?
  • Does your vehicle meet the environmental standards required?
  • Is the cost of insurance prohibitive?
  • Is the cost of shipping your vehicle within your budget?

If you’re looking into moving overseas, make sure to study up on the licensing requirements that the international movers may need. Some international moving companies are based overseas and some are based within the United States. To get a firm understanding on the international mover you may be dealing with, you should consult with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).

International household goods movers are required to be licensed with Federal Maritime Commission as an Ocean Transportation Intermediary, otherwise known as an OTI. A reputable international mover would be licensed by the commission with a tariff and bond. However, what you should know about the FMC is that its rules and regulations are only for companies which travel overseas. If you are considering hiring a moving company to help you relocate to Mexico, the FMC standards do not apply, because, as mentioned, there is no ocean travel involved. You must research different information and licensing.

There are two different kinds of OTI’s. One OTI is known as an ocean freight forwarder (off), the other is known as a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC). Ocean freight forwarders are required to obtain a license to provide moving services to those in the United States. U.S. based NVOCC’s are required to be licensed; however the NVOCC’s that are not based in U.S. are not required to be licensed.

The non-U.S. based NVOCC’s do have the option of choosing to get a license. If the moving company considers its own financial responsibility, it would get a license because it lowers a lot of their insurance issues.

When is an Ocean Transportation Intermediary required? It’s required when any individual, or entity which is a resident in or incorporated in the United States and performs Ocean Transportation Services in the foreign commerce of the United States.

What does that mean exactly? The international moving companies based in the U.S. need a license to transport household goods into a different country.

Outside of making sure the moving company has proper licensing, consider the currency of the country you’re moving to, as well any contact information with the U.S. Embassy.

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