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International Relocation

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"Global" is one of the predominant buzzwords of the 21st century. We hear or read the word nearly everyday as companies increasingly strive to establish their "global" presence, either through merger and acquisition or expansion into overseas markets. With this shift in emphasis towards a global marketplace comes new challenges and opportunities.
Because so many people are ceasing these opportunities by relocating, we've broken this article into some of the more challenging aspects of an international move.

Selecting a Service Provider and Preparing for the Move

It is important to select a professional relocation service when moving overseas. As today's worker decides to relocate abroad, the need arises for highly qualified service providers of international relocation services.
The process for finding a carrier should start with interviewing at least two companies. The chosen carrier then determines your needs and provides a bid. Once the carrier and origin and destination service partners are selected, loading and delivery dates are established.
Some people inquire about packing their own boxes. However, this process should be done professionally so that your belongings are properly protected and covered by insurance. Packing and loading an international shipment is truly an art. Everything will have to be packed and wrapped securely. Just imagine all of the steps involved in the process! There is inland transportation to port, port handling and loading the container on the ship, 4-6 weeks of overseas transit, port handling at destination and inland transportation to your new home.
TIP: Before you move, it is important to consider what items are better left in storage or sold. Many electronics and electric appliances will not function because different countries operate on different voltage or require unique plugs. Foreign housing floor plans and room size may limit some of your home furnishings as well.


Be sure to carefully read and understand the insurance liability policy of your carrier. It is recommended to purchase additional insurance because most homeowner policies do not cover international relocation and carrier liability is usually limited to 10 cents per pound. International transportation coverage begins at the time of loading and ends with delivery. Be aware that there is also limited coverage for jewelry, furs, cash, and other negotiable documents like stock certificates. You may also want to take small sentimental items with you for their security and to feel "at home" when you first arrive.
Because an overseas move does have risks, you will have to declare a value for your shipment. Make a complete valued inventory of all items being moved with the cost to replace these in the country you're going to. For example, a crystal vase that was bought in the U.S. for $100 would be worth $140 in France. Make sure that you insure for the full value of the items being shipped. The total liability may be limited if you under insure. For example, if you insure for 50% of the total value and an item is damaged you may only be reimbursed for 50% of the repair cost. This is referred to as "co-insurance." It is also important to add the cost of the move into the total insurance valuation. Most relocation companies can help with questions regarding valuation of your items.

Moving Vehicles Internationally

Because of restrictions on emissions and type of vehicles allowed between countries, transporting your vehicle is not always a viable option. With this in mind, consider the following before deciding to ship your vehicle overseas:
  • Does your country allow the importation of your automobile?
  • Are there environmental and safety regulations of your destination country?
  • Cost of insurance
  • Cost of required modifications
  • Cost and availability of correct fuel
  • Will you want to drive in your new country? (security and language may be a concern)
  • Will the additional taxes and fees make importation a sound economic decision for your situation?
If you choose to ship your vehicle, it will be done in one of the following ways:
  1. Roll on roll off

    which is the least expensive method and similar to ferry.

  2. 20ft. Steel Container

    , loaded in a steel container, this method offers greater security.

  3. 40ft. Steel Container

    , this holds both your household goods and vehicle safely..

  4. Preparation

    for shipping your vehicle:
  • All items must be removed from your vehicle.
  • Gasoline must be drained to ¼ tank.
  • Battery must be disconnected, insulated and secured.


needed for vehicle transport from the U.S.:
  • Original title showing the shipper as owner
  • Vehicle condition report
  • Completed valuation form
  • Completed shipper’s letter of instruction.
No matter how your big move is handled, one thing is for sure, there's a lot to be done. And working through a professional international relocation company will make the process much easier.
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