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5 Items an International Moving Company Won’t Keep in Storage

While policies may vary between international moving companies, customers should know that there are items that they will not ship or store for you because of various legal and safety issues involved. Plan ahead for your international move and do not pack any of these five ineligible items:

1. Weapons and Sharp Objects

This category includes firearms, knives, ammunition and objects that look like or could be used as weapons, including replicas, toys and even letter openers. The reasons behind these prohibitions two-fold. Some countries have more stringent prohibitions on weapons than others. Plus moving weapons through air freight has become more complex in recent years because of potential safety concerns involved.

2. Perishable Items Including Food

This is a category where you may wish to read the fine print, because not all food products are barred – primarily just those requiring refrigeration or are subject to spoilage. Canned goods, for instance, are far less likely to be denied than fresh produce or frozen meats. Items in this category, including live plants, represent a threat to public health and safety.

3. Cash, Traveler’s Checks, Gold and Precious Gems

American CashMost international moving companies will not store these items because of financial regulations having to do with organized crime and global terrorism, as well as tax evasion. This also applies to jewelry and rare coins valued over a certain amount for much the same reason. These also would represent an uncomfortable source of potential liability for secure storage facilities, designed to thwart ordinary criminals, not international syndicates.

4. Toxic, Explosive or Otherwise Dangerous Products

While a fairly common sense rule, it should be noted that anything poisonous or likely to explode is not something that should be stored or shipped in this manner. This category includes quite a few items ranging from vehicle fuel to cleaning products to lithium batteries, all of which present too much of a safety concern. When in doubt about a product, you should opt to leave it behind or consult the storage facility or moving company directly for advice.

5. Ashes and/or Human Remains

storage unitThis question arises more frequently than most people would believe; however, currently, it is not possible to store either an urn of human ashes or an occupied coffin at most international storage facilities, as it is difficult to cross borders with either item unaccompanied. This is chiefly a question of public health and legal tradition.

A number of other items are also not allowed to be kept in storage facilities, ranging from seeds to pornographic materials to gambling paraphernalia; however, when in doubt, you should be sure to consult with an expert on the matter.

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