International Moving Company License #: FMC 02238N
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International movers Los Angeles

For decades SDC International Shipping has been helping Americans move abroad. Based in Los Angeles and the bay area, SDC’s roots are in servicing 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 on a regular basis, but we go to Long Beach every day.

SDC International Shipping teams that 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 for a few years at the request of their employer, or are people who have come to work in Los Angeles and are returning to their home countries

International Household Moving from Los Angeles

If 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 that you acquired in your time in California, you will also want to send the things that love from Los Angeles.

Of course, you will want to take along all of your personal 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 clothes are better packed in boxes. 

Any furniture that was disassembled at the point of origin will be reassembled by our movers. 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 greatly 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, that someone needs to live abroad before they can send a shipment duty-free.

Customs also vary greatly in different territories, and there are some destinations where the import taxes are great, and others where they are relatively low and should not stand in the way of your 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 bring the USDA APHIS form which is universally accepted.

International Movers Los Angeles

International Car Shipping from Los Angeles

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. 

For countries that drive on the right, it is usually a really good idea to send a car from the United States, especially to European destinations. Many countries have very high purchase taxes on automobiles, and American cars 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. There are a few countries that 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. If a licensed vehicle is placed within a container including household goods, it will be the last thing put in, so that it can easily be removed for inspection upon arrival at the destination port. Most vehicles will require a title validation prior to their export. The title must be free and clear. We will need the original title sent to us in order to clear for transfer before pickup. Once this has been completed, SDC‘s logistics coordinator will mail the title back to you via certified mail.

Other vehicles that can be sent are recreational boats, campers, and in some countries jet skis, snowmobiles, etc. Some countries will allow for the import of vehicles that don’t require licensing like light motorcycles or motorized scooters. 

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

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 good methods available to learn any language today. Though there are many, many places in the world where you can get by with English, you’ll want to live in that country, and that is done in the native language.

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.

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, which are 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, respectively. The contents of a 3 bedroom house can usually be fit into a 20’ container. A 40’ container can fit a 3 +bedroom house and a 40’ HC should be sent if you have a larger shipment or if you are including extra items like a car or motorcycle. Not all of our clients send thousands of cubic feet of cargo, many send only 100 cubic feet. For those, we have several LCL (less than full container load) options available. If you are moving to Europe, we can send your things at very good rates using our groupage consolidations. Consult your relocation specialist.

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