Household Goods Forwarders Association of America, Inc.
Learn as much as you can about your new country and its culture. You will find your host country's consulate and local library are excellent resources.Learn the language. This will help increase your self-confidence, self-esteem and independence in your new country. Knowing the language will allow you to reap maximum benefits from your experience abroad. Find out, before you relocate, fun things to do and places to visit. Enthusiasm is contagious! Members of your family are likely to share your outlook and respond positively if you are enthusiastic. But do not overlook fears and misgivings. Maintain a realistic attitude. There will be highs and lows during your adjustment period. Make the most of your look-see trip (it is not a vacation) to take care of housing and school needs.
Visit ethnic restaurants before you go. Talk to the chef or owner. You might be amazed at how much information he/she will share with you. Appreciation of and sensitivity to cultural differences is really a state of mind. Without this, you will have a hard time. A sense of humor can be a big help. (Jokes, however, do not translate well.) Keep a family journal. Daily or weekly entries will add up to a much-treasured personal narrative of your life abroad. "Culture shock" is a very real phenomenon. It is normal. Expect it. Prepare for it. Your Relocation Services consultant can suggest useful reading to help you cope. (See Culture on this site)
Packing And Loading
When the packing team arrives at your home, your personal belongings will be placed into appropriate cartons or containers. To protect your goods from damage, items will be individually wrapped in protective wrap as required.
Once your shipment has been prepared for loading, it will be placed inside one or more containers.
The type of container selected will depend on the mode of transportation, the size of your shipment and the destination. Your shipment can be loaded into one or more of the following:
A lift-van is a wooden container with skids that is normally loaded by a forklift. Lined with water-resistant paper and caulked to prevent leakage, lift-vans may range in size from 185 to 210 cubic feet.
- Steamship containers
- Air containers
A steamship container resembles a motor freight trailer and is usually constructed of steel. Ranging in size from 1,100 (20 Foot) to 2,200(40 Foot) cubic feet, the containers are supplied by steamship companies. Using this type of container depends on the steamship company selected, your origin/destination and the current availability of containers.
To transport small shipments by air, the most common containers used are tri-wall boxes. Constructed of triple-layer corrugated cardboard, the boxes range in size from 5 to 100 cubic feet. When sending a large shipment by air, goods are normally crated instead of boxed. The crates must comply with dimensional specifications to meet aircraft cargo requirements.
PLANNING YOUR MOVE
A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step(Lau-Tzu)
That is the secret to the sucess of a complicated overseas relocation move. Break down the process in small manageable steps. Your Moving Consultant can help you prepare your way.
Moving a household overseas will be less complicated if you plan and prepare properly. So many decisions have to be made...such as what to take with you so you and your family will feel more at home in your new surroundings. We have found that although preferences vary from family to family, it is the personal things like favorite books, paintings, art objects, mementos and family pictures that help family members feel '`at hone."
Before you begin, you need to know your company's policy. Most have restrictions on air and surface shipments, as well as permanent storage. Knowing what they are will help you appropriately narrow down which possessions to take and how to ship them.
What to Take
Set aside one room in your home in which to place items you want to take with you. Sort into three categories: (1 ) Must take, (2) Would like to take, and (3) If weight allows, will take. Next, decide what is to be sent air freight, shipped, carried with you or stored. You can code items by color or "post-it" notes.
General Tips on What to Bring:
- Things you have not used in the last year or two you probably will not need. Houses overseas tend to be smaller, so you might need less furniture. Bring clothes and furniture that are right for the climate. Plan for family members' needs for the duration of your stay.
- Bring items not available or hard to find at your new destination.
- Take enough sheets, pillow cases, blankets and bedspreads. These items can be hard to find and/or expensive. Also bring plenty of towels, tablecloths and other linens you normally use.
- Basic hand tools will be handy to have and might be difficult to find in your host country.
- You might want to bring favorite holiday decorations to create the holiday spirit far away from home.
- Catalogs from mail-order companies might be helpful if you need to order something.
Your Moving Consultant will estimate weights and measurements of your household goods and take note of which items require special attention, such as custom crating. The Consultant can explain ocean shipping, air shipping and other modes of transportation, and work with you to determine a schedule for packing, loading and storage pickup dates. Your agent also will explain why we recommend international transit insurance. When moving internationally, you should understand what your belongings are worth. By using the Uniscan you will receive a detailed inventory of your goods.
Domestic appliances might not work at your destination. There is a company, not in any why Affiliated with Relocation Services, that specializes in analyzing countries' electrical requirements and locating appropriate appliances in the U.S. that you can take as part of your shipment. Because we believe this is a useful service, you may reach the firm at:
Appliances Overseas, Inc.
276 Fifth Ave., Suite 407
New York, NY 10001-4509
Tel: 212-545-8001; Fax: 212-545-8005
For more information, see "Moving Appliances and Special Items."
Note: Electrical system differences, and high customs duties and restrictions might be deterrents to taking appliances overseas. Many countries have unstable current. Some have l l0 volt, 60 cycle, but most are 220-240 volt, 50 cycle. See t"Foreign Voltage Guide" for a list of electrical requirements in various countries. Also check with your host country consulate or your Relocation Services consultant for information on the type of current available.
Regulations on the importation of alcoholic beverages differ from country to country. Amounts usually are limited, and taxes are very high. Wine is subject to breakage due to climatic conditions, and insurance does not cover damages due to these circumstances.
Unless the electrical system in your host country is compatible with our system, do not take light bulbs, electric clocks, clock/radios, VCRs, computers and television sets. See"Foreign Voltage Guide for information on various countries' electrical requirements.
International laws forbid the transportation of flammable items. Do not ship matches, paint, cleaning and lighting fluids, laundry detergents, aerosols, candles or any other combustible matter.
Many countries prohibit or restrict the importation of firearms and ammunition, while others require permits. Do not include either with your household goods without the necessary permits and written assurance from the consulate of your host country that they will be admitted.
Because your jewelry, furs and valuable collections cannot be adequately insured, Relocation Services recommends that you not ship them. You may ship silver, but should take extra precautions. See the appendix to this guide titled " Shipping Silver." Home computers also require extra precautions. Refer "Moving Your Home Computer" for information.
Take pictures of your furniture and valuables. It protects you because the photos serve as clear records of your belongings in the event of loss or damage. Also, take pictures of anything that might need to be disassembled for transit, to help the crew at destination better understand how to reconstruct it.
- Take a complete inventory of your possessions. Determine which of your items will be shipped, stored or sold.
- Organize personal documents such as stocks, wills and children's school records.
- Plan to carry items of extraordinary value with you, including jewelry, coin collections and one~of-a-kind documents. Include these on your valued inventory. Do not place this document with your shipment.
- A department store mail-order catalog lists the weight of items for sale. Use this as a handy reference to judge the weight of your own household goods.
PREPARING FOR MOVING DAY
Once your needs have been determined, the Moving Consultant will contact you to set up a mutually convenient appointment to estimate the size and cost of your shipment. Walk through your house with your Consultant. Do not bypass closets, storage areas, the attic, basement or garage. Be sure to show the Consultant everything and identify those items to be shipped by air or surface, as well as those destined for long-term storage. The Consultant has to know exactly what is to be moved and the mode of transportation in order to have the proper packing and loading equipment on hand for your move.
Loading Air Shipments
This begins with a complete inventory of everything and accurate descriptions for customs. For air shipments, we bring tri-wall containers to your home ranging from 10 to 100 cubic feet. The air shipment is sealed at your home and stored in our warehouse until it is taken to the airport. There, it is flown to your new city, picked up by your destination agent, and stored or delivered to your new residence.
Loading Ocean Shipments
This begins with a complete inventory of everything and accurate descriptions for customs. For ocean transport, if your shipment fills a steamship container, we will load and seal the container at your residence. If all or part of your shipment is less than a steamship container load, we will load your goods into wooden lift-vans if required and have them trucked to the appropriate port of exit, where they will be loaded into a consolidated steamship container.
Certain items must be prepared by you before the mover arrives to pack and load your belongings. We offers these suggestions:
- Dampness and humidity are the top causes of damage in shipping or storage, so make sure your items stay as dry as possible. It's a good idea to turn your air conditioning and/or dehumidified on (if you have either) the week before your packing date.
- Do not wrap items in plastic. Humidity trapped underneath can cause mildew.
- Everything to be stored should be clean. A small spot on clothing, drapes, rugs, blankets, linens and/or upholstered furniture can grow mildew in a dark storage container very quickly.
- When having rugs cleaned, make a note of their measurements and have them mothproofed before wrapping in paper. Remember, no plastic wrapping.
- Clean appliances thoroughly (every nook and cranny) for shipping or storage. (See "Moving Appliances and Special Items.")
- Itemize silver, sentimental and monetary valuables, and record the box numbers on your inventory. A small cake of camphor packed with yow silver will help retard tarnishing.
- Remove batteries from flashlights, radios, tape players, toys, etc.
- Garden tools must be thoroughly cleaned and free of soil.
- Drain gasoline from all gas-powered equipment (lawnmower, chainsaws saws, etc.). Make sure to
- remove all flammable items from yow shipment, including punts, household oils, aerosol cans and gasoline.
- IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHIP FLAMMABLE ITEMS INTERNATIONALLY.
- If your car is being transported, the gas tank must be empty and run dry (This must be certified by us in writting).
- Remove snow from sidewalks and yow driveway to provide clear access to your property on moving day.
- Keep your telephone connected through loading day to maintain contact with the us.
- Find a friendly home for your house plants, as it is unlikely you will be able to export them.
- Prepare a trip kit for moving day, containing things you will need while your belongings are in transit.
- Take your old telephone book. You will save money in long-distance information charges if you ever
- need to write or call former neighbors or local businesses.
- Electric voltage and currents vary from country to country. Make sure any electrical item you are considering for export can be adapted for use in your new country by an external adapter or internal modification. Large electronic retailers often know which appliances are suitable for export.
- Bring any medications or prescriptions you take, as certain medications might not be readily available. Bring your eyeglasses prescnption.
We use proven methods and materials. Appropriate items are carefully wrapped in paper pads and are covered again with corrugated cardboard when necessary. Wood surfaces get foam or bubble wrap and then corrugated cardboard. Lay down wardrobes reduce wrinkling with tissue between layers of clothing. Dishes, lamp shades and other delicate items are carefully packed.
For antiques, pictures, chandeliers, large glass-top tables and grandfather clocks, we can build custom crates. Over the years, we have become experts at custom crating.
Our packers will label the contents of each carton, and the room where you want it in your new home. This helps organization and makes customs clearance more efficient. As professional international packers, we can pack virtually anything.
Owner packing is not reccommended on overseas relocations because of the cost factor on the space that your shipment requires.
You will need a separate valued inventory for each part of your household goods shipment: one for air shipment, one for surface shipment and one for long-term storage. We suggest you prepare a separate inventory of your personal luggage that also can be used for entry and customs. Your agent may make these copies for you.
It is wise to have valuables such as antiques or collections appraised. Record and retain one copy of each appraisal, and forward a copy to your agent.
Make sure you purchase sufficient insurance and that you understand the terns. A statement of"carrier liability" is not insurance.
Nobody likes to think about it, but accidents can happen. Should you have any damaged or missing items, please notify your agent and follow the claim procedures mailed to you. Be sure you have noted the damaged or missing items on the shipping inventory sheets before the driver leaves your residence.
Many last-minute decisions will have to be made, so make certain you or an appointed member of your family is at your residence while moving personnel are there. Remember, it is your responsibility to supervise your move, but if you have any concerns during the packing and loading, call your agent immediately.
Your children probably will want to help. We appreciate the thought, but if possible, it is a good idea to have a sitter or relative watch them during the packing and loading.
Read and make sure you thoroughly understand every paper you sign. This is especially true of the shipping inventory. The driver will prepare a written inventory and record the condition of all items to be moved. Codes will be used to describe items' condition, so ask the driver to explain them.
More on Bill of Lading
It is your responsibility to sign the bill of lading releasing your belongings to the agent for shipment. Read the terms and provisions of the contract on the back. It details all limitations on the agent's liability.
Maritime regulations state that all services signed for on the bill of lading must be paid for. Please do not sign for items or services not performed. This will help both your agent and company control the cost of your move.
Unless specifically authorized by your company, movers will not:
Keep in Touch
- Remove drapery rods or items affixed to walls.
- Install electrical or plumbing lines.
- Remove or install an outside antenna.
- Rearrange furniture.
- Move cartons from one room to another.
Make sure we can reach you and we have your telephone, fax numbers and/or email address while you are waiting for your shipment to be delivered. If any problems occur at any point during this period (such as your new home is not ready or your household goods do not arrive on schedule), contact your us at once.
SHIPPING AND CUSTOMS
Shipping We, together with your freight forwarder, will review all shipping documents - air waybills, ocean bills of lading, Inventories, insurance certificates, etc. - and select appropriate means to truck your shipment to the port or airport of embarkation well before the departure date for your air or ocean shipments. .
We, through a freight forwarder, prepares all required shipping documents for the DESTINATION agent. You are responsible for all customs documentation. Any duties, taxes or government fees that are assessed will be collected from you at destination, and you will secure customs clearance.
As your shipment goes through customs, you or a representative must be present during shipment clearing to pay any fees. If you are not there and the shipment is held up, there might be additional charges.
Remember, you might need receipts of proof of ownership of any newly purchased items -furniture, stereo equipment and so on. Also, be sure items you plan to export may be legally imported into your destination country.
Be sure your Destination Agent knows how to get in contact with you when you arrive at your destination country. He will confirm your new address and establish a time to deliver. Plan to be available during the unloading. He probably will have questions.
Unpacking and removal of shipping containers is standard practice.
Examine everything as it is unpacked. Your destination agent can help you if you have any questions.
The day you move into your new home is every bit as important as the day you move from your old home.
Tips for Delivery Day
- It might seem obvious, but BE THERE! It is extremely important, so plan to be home when the Destination Agent arrives.
- Check the inventory as cartons are unloaded at your new home. In the presence of the driver, open any cartons that appear to be damaged. Only you can know whether your possessions have arrived in the same condition as they left. Do not sign any delivery papers until you have noted missing or damaged goods.
- If an item is damaged or missing, notify the driver and record it on the shipping inventor sheet before you sign. If an item is missing, notify your Destination Agent, who will initiate a tracer. In case of difficulty, notify us.
- Make sure to check your own inventory records for special items and special cartons listed.
- Again, unless you indicate otherwise, your signature on the delivery receipt verifies you have received everything listed and agree with the driver as to the condition of goods received.
- We want to eliminate problems before they occur, not apologize for them later. So, if you run into any kind of problem along the way, we want to know about it. Call, fax or email us immediately.
- This way, we can maintain the high quality of service you and our other clients have come to expect and deserve.
The Destination Agent will perform the unpacking and remove packing debris. You can, of course, choose to do your own unpacking at your leisure. If you have specific requests, please notify your Destination Agent.
- Obtain Directory of Overseas Schools.
- Research and select appropriate schools.
- Arrange for transfer of school records.
- Obtain extra copies of school records and curricula.
- Purchase special items that might be difficult to obtain abroad: Extra jeans (allow for growth), disposable diapers, supply of formula, etc.
- Apply for passports, visas, work/residence permits, etc.
- Obtain International Certificate of Vaccination.
- Get copies of birth certificates, adoption papers, marriage license, divorce decree, etc.
- Arrange for renewal of stateside automobile licenses. Provide spouse's employer with change of address form for Revenue Canada. T4 Slips.
- Assign Power of Attorney. Check insurance policies, wills, tax records and stocks.
- List and keep a record of Social Insurance Numbers(SIN) for each family member.
- Obtain special Certificate of Registration (for your foreign car) to expedite duty-free reentry through Customs.
- Schedule move. Decide what to take and what to store.
- Have antiques and collections appraised.
- Schedule survey with your agent estimator.
- Mail completed valued inventory to us.
- Send clothing, carpet, etc. scheduled for storage to cleaners.
- Prepare appliances, tools, gas-powered equipment, etc. for storage and/or shipment. (Clean, drain, etc.)
- Donate unwanted items to charity.
- Plan a garage sale.
- Purchase extra supply of vacuum cleaner bags (if you know your vacuum cleaner will
- work abroad).
- Prepare automobile for shipment. Check with your agent for regulations.
- Arrange for mail forwarding if overseas mail is unreliable.
- Schedule family physicals, inoculations, dental checkups and eye examinations.
- Obtain family medical records.
- Stock up on special dietary products and/or prescriptions (if unavailable in host country). Know the generic names for prescription drugs. _ . . .
- Purchase extra prescription eyeglasses.
- Request "Staying Healthy Abroad" information from your Consultant if your destination presents special health problems.
- Check on host country's monetary system.
- Obtain foreign currency for use on arrival.
- Check with bank about overseas banking.
- Check bank's policy on inactive accounts.
- Plan to open new savings and checking accounts, and to obtain credit cards from your destination country.
- Purchase traveler's checks.
- Secure valuables remaining stateside in a safe deposit box.
- Buy pocket edition dictionary of host country's language.
- Obtain pictures, maps and books about new country.
- Plan family orientation talks with children.
- Review destination country profile
- Schedule appointments for passport photos for all family members. Remember, an extra photo is necessary.
- Make travel plans for family.
- Obtain airline reservations.
- Notify friends and relatives of new address.
- Notify magazines, creditors, banks, insurers, etc. of change of address .
- Notify voter registration and obtain absentee ballots.
- Check if charge accounts can be used abroad.
- Update address book.
Meldrum The Mover Inc.
Sherbrooke St. W.
QC, H4B 1N4
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