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International Movers Los Angeles

Published on Jul 08, 2021 by Kfir Cohen

For decades SDC International Shipping has been helping Americans move abroad. Based in Los Angeles and the bay area, SDC’s roots serve clients from California moving abroad.

While we have grown to service clients from origination points located anywhere in the United States, we remain headquartered in Sherman Oaks, with our main warehouse is in Van Nuys. Our movers go to ports throughout the United States regularly, but we go to Long Beach every day.


What’s on this page?

01 | International Movers Los Angeles
02 | International Household Moving from Los Angeles
03 | International Customs and Regulations
04 | International Movers Los Angeles: Car Shipping
05 | International Moving from Los Angeles Checklist
06 | Movers Los Angeles: International Shipping Options


International Movers Los Angeles

SDC International Shipping teams are experts at packing personal belongings for shipment overseas. Though most of our household goods exporting business is to the Los Angeles area, we regularly pick up from locations throughout Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona. So be sure to call us if you are moving from anywhere in California.

Many of our clients from California are going abroad to work or came to work in Los Angeles and returning home.


International Household Moving from Los Angeles

Suppose you are moving from the United States to a foreign country, whether a returning citizen or an American citizen with a valid immigrant visa, you will want to bring many things with you. Outside of the things you acquired in your time in California, you will also like to send the stuff you love from Los Angeles.

Of course, for International Household Moving, you will want to take along all of your goods, clothes, works of art, and furniture. First on the list of the other things that you don’t want to leave behind is books. If you have put together a library of books send it to your new country, it will be hard to replicate the library you built in the United States.

American furniture is legendary, and you will want to bring yours with you. While furniture doesn’t necessarily have to be empty to be shipped, full dressers, for instance, are very heavy and liable to be damaged in shipping. If you want to put some very light or fluffy things in them like blankets or stuffed toys, that’s fine, but you should pack clothes inboxes.

Our movers will reassemble any furniture that we disassembled at the pickup point. They will also clear out any moving boxes and debris on the day of moving. Make sure to check the size of your dwelling. A California king-sized bed will not fit into every bedroom in the world. If yours will, then you should send it, along with a few extra sets of sheets.


International Customs and Regulations

Customs and regulations vary significantly from country to country. Most countries will allow returning citizens and those in possession of long-term resident visas to import a container of used personal effects and household goods. There is always a “gestation” period of at least six months, and in some countries, at least two years, someone needs to live abroad before they can send a shipment duty-free.

Customs also vary significantly in different territories. There are some destinations where the import taxes are high and others where they are relatively low, but that should not stand in the way of you sending what you’d like.

It is almost always a bad idea to send alcohol, pornography, anything at all related to drugs, liquids, and food.

If you are bringing your pet with you, you should always obtain a recent veterinary report of good health and get the USDA APHIS form universally accepted.


International Movers Los Angeles: Car Shipping

SDC has been dealing with international car shipping from Los Angeles for decades. Automobiles from California have the most stringent environmental regulation of any in the United States. While this makes cars from California a little more expensive than other locations, it means that most of them will already meet the environmental controls in destination countries.

It is usually a perfect idea for countries that drive on the right to send a car from the United States, especially to European destinations. Many countries have very high purchase taxes on automobiles, and American vehicles are comparatively far more affordable.

For destination countries that drive on the left-hand side of the road and have the automobile steering column on the right, it is usually impractical to ship a car from the United States. A few countries will allow it, but in general, it is not a good idea. Consult with your relocation specialist about the specific rules of your destination country.

Motorcycle rules differ, and even some countries that won’t allow you to ship a car will allow a motorcycle. You need to check if special permission is necessary.

While rules differ slightly from country to country, typically, cars need to be delivered to inspection and licensing facilities adjacent to ports of entry. Suppose you place a certified vehicle within a container, including household goods. In that case, it will be the last thing put in so that authorities can easily remove it for inspection upon arrival at the destination port. Most vehicles will require a title validation before their export.

The title must be free and clear. We will need the original title sent to us to clear for transfer before pickup. Once you complete this, SDC‘s logistics coordinator will mail the title back to you via certified mail.

You can send other vehicles are recreational boats, campers, and in some countries, jet skis, snowmobiles, etc. Some countries will allow importing. You can send other cars that don’t require licensing, like light motorcycles or motorized scooters.

From Los Angeles, you can send cars in a variety of methods. Sometimes we will pick up the vehicle or send a car carrier. You can also deliver it to us or the port of Long Beach.


International Moving from Los Angeles Checklist

If you are not a citizen of the country you are moving to, you will need to obtain an immigrant visa or long-term residency permit. Make an appointment to visit the closest consulate of your destination and country and review the information available on their websites.

If you are moving with school-aged children, start thinking about their schooling right away. If they are unfamiliar with the language of your destination country, you should seek out an international school where English is the language of instruction.

If you don’t yet speak the language of your destination country, start learning it, there are many suitable methods available to learn any language today. You’ll want to live in that country whose native language is English.

Make sure that you understand the way the health system works in your destination. The method of health insurance differs tremendously throughout the world. Even if the destination has some sort of universal coverage, it is not always sufficient or does not always meet the needs of Americans.

Arrange for family health insurance before you go. You should make copies of your family’s health records and translate them where needed. Also, make sure to bring immunization records. Almost all countries now require anyone entering them to be fully immunized.

Other things that are often needed are copies of credit reports and a police report of good citizenship.


Movers Los Angeles: International Shipping Options

There are many international shipping options from Los Angeles available from SDC International Shipping. For urgent things, you will want to send cargo by air. If you are sending commercial shipments, our usual air customers, make sure that you have the necessary import licenses or have partnered with an importer at the destination.

For your household goods and personal effects, the most common way to send things to the states is in a shipping container. These can be 20’, 40’and 40’ high cube containers with cargo space of 1100, 2200, or 2700 cubic feet.

You can usually fit the contents of a three-bedroom house into a 20’ container. A 40’ container can hold a three +bedroom home, and you should send a 40’ HC if you have a larger shipment or include extra items like a car or motorcycle.

Not all of our clients send thousands of cubic feet of cargo; some send only 100 cubic feet. For those, we have several LCL (less than full container load) options available. If you can send your things at excellent rates using our groupage consolidations, move to Europe. Consult your relocation specialist.

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