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International Movers Sacramento

Published on Jul 08, 2021 by Kfir Cohen

SDC is an International Moving Company from Sacramento. Now with a national presence, we started as a regional sub-contractor for international moving companies. Over time, we have grown and been licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission to send personal and commercial goods anywhere as a full-service international freight forwarder. 


What’s on this page?

01 | International Movers Sacramento – Household Moving
02 | International Customs and Regulations
03 | International Car Shipping from Sacramento
04 | Moving from Sacramento Checklist
05 | International Shipping Options from Sacramento


While we work throughout the country, we remain a California-centric company. Though most of our household goods exporting business is from the Sacramento area, we regularly pick up from locations throughout the Central Valley, the Bay Area, and Northern California. We have warehouses in nearby Oakland and send moving vans to the Central Valley every day. So be sure to call SDC if you are moving from anywhere in California.

Our Sacramento clients move abroad for differing reasons. Some foreign citizens return home after a few years working in California’s capital or the local universities. Many are being sent abroad to work for a few years, and some are retiring abroad. Whatever the reason for your move, SDC will get your things to your new home intact.


International Movers Sacramento – Household Moving

We presume that most people have already visited their destination. If you haven’t yet done this, we recommend that you travel there before making concrete plans. It is important to understand the size and characteristics of your destination.

American furniture should be sent to most countries. You should send yours, but you will have to make sure that it will fit in your new home. For instance, some American beds are too big for some locations, or sofas might not fit through the door. This is especially true for the California King-sized bed, which European city apartments might be too small for. You might want to consider downsizing your bed right away, and the slightly smaller bed can be put in your container.  American mattresses will be far different from what you can get abroad, though mattresses are commonly labeled “American” everywhere.

Your furniture will be cared for individually by our movers. The larger items are taken apart at pick up. This will both conserve your cargo space and protect the pieces themselves. Carton pads, bubble wrap, or special moving blankets will protect the smaller pieces of furniture and the disassembled pieces. 

Have you checked out which leisure activities, sports, and hobbies are readily available at your destination or nearby locations? For those that require equipment, we highly recommend stocking up early. Equipment available in the United States will usually be better and cheaper than what you can find abroad, be it scuba diving gear, skiing equipment, golf clubs, etc. Remember that new items are sometimes charged a tax on imports, so buy early and keep receipts.

Also, consider things that you won’t be able to find easily abroad. Cooking and kitchen utensils, linens, and English books are a few examples of things that should be placed in your shipment.

When our movers come to load your things, they will create a shipping list of your sending items. This inventory will later be used in the customs clearance documents at your destination. You need to verify that it is accurate. For many countries, you should translate this list.

Our professional packing service is highly recommended. In addition to loading your cargo, they will provide shipping materials that meet the standards for sea shipment. They will provide all of the packing materials, including special boxes for items like framed art or mirrors and bicycles. If you are sending odd-shaped or precious items, crates are built in addition to wrappings.

Some clients chose to pack themselves.  Reusing cartons from the local grocery or superstore is a common mistake, only use new. Furniture must be empty. Don’t leave any clothes in the dressers. Cupboards should also be empty.

When our delivery team brings your furniture to your destination, they will reassemble anything disassembled at the origin point. The delivery team will place furniture and boxes in rooms, remove empty boxes, and wrapping.


International Customs and Regulations

Though there is a great deal of variety in national regulations, some things will be nearly universal.

Citizens of European Union member nations need to have lived outside of the EU, regardless of country. If you are a returning citizen, you will need to prove that you have been abroad for a certain period of time to import without paying customs. Check your country’s rules, as the amount of time and the method of proving it are far from uniform. Some countries require a visit to their consulate to get an official document; it will be enough to show payslips from the US for others.

International customs and regulations will be different if you are moving with a resident visa. Those moving for work or retirement can import a container of things owned by you without paying import duties. 

In some countries, the taxes on imported items can be very high. If there are any new items that you put into your shipment, these might be charged.

The shipping list that our movers make is an essential document. If you make your own, remember to be as specific as possible. Labels like “miscellaneous” should be avoided.  

Check the import restrictions of your destination country. Though most countries will disallow certain things, no countries allow for the import of pornography, illicit drugs and their paraphernalia, and most food items.


International Car Shipping from Sacramento

International car shipping from Sacramento and the area has been done by SDC for decades. For our Central Valley clients, we can send your car by a few methods. It can be placed in your shipping container if you send a full container load. If so, we will put the car in last to easily be removed at the port for inspection. Depending upon the destination, cars may have to be shipped separately, or it might make more sense for your move.

Cars usually need to be between six months and five years old to send them tax-free. There are a few countries where, even if you are charged some tax, it still makes sense to send one. As long as you move to a country where they drive on the right hand, it makes sense to send your car from the United States. For European countries, this is especially true, as these countries have especially high excise taxes on automobiles, and automobiles bought in the United States are comparatively far less expensive. 

However, in a third of the countries in the world, they drive on the left-hand side of the road, and the steering column is on the right side of the car. Shipping a car from the United States is not allowable usually, though antique cars might be allowed. 

The rules for motorcycles are different. Even though they won’t allow you to import a car, some countries will allow a motorcycle. Special permission is necessary for some countries.

Some countries will require that you obtain a permit before importing a vehicle.  For some countries, it is sufficient that cars are inspected at facilities adjacent to ports of entry. Some car parts require localization, including headlights and safety equipment.

The title to your car needs to be validated before its export. This title must be clear of any indentures. Cars purchased with payments or financing may have payments completed, but you still need to check that the title has been cleared. The original must be sent to us to clear the transfer before the car is picked up. Your title will be returned to you via certified mail after we have completed the transfer is in order. 

Some countries allow for the import of more than one vehicle. For instance, you might be able to send an RV or a boat in addition to a car.


Moving from Sacramento Checklist

  • Get your visa in order. Do this early. Non-citizens should already have received a long-term resident visa. If not, this should be your first step. Many countries have consulates in San Francisco, otherwise, you might have to travel to Los Angeles to be interviewed. 
  • Are you moving to work? In many countries, the work visa process needs to start with your employer. 
  • You need to set up health insurance. Americans expect a standard of service that is most countries are only available through private health care. Some countries offer health care to legal residents, but it might be insufficient. Bring health documentation for the family.
  • Will your cellphone work in your new country? Make sure that yours is unlocked. Check if your carrier and model will work.
  • Get vaccinated. Some locations will require extra vaccinations. The website of the CDC has recommendations for each country.

International Shipping Options from Sacramento

Sacramento and Central Valley clients can enjoy additional international shipping options. SDC International Shipping has become a major provider of international relocation services from the Sacramento area. Our growth in cargo volume allows us to take advantage of this growth to serve our clients better.

We can send containers to almost any location in the world and do it all the time. But most of our business is in Europe and Australia. Because of this high volume, we can offer the best rates anywhere for the door-to-door service. Even clients sending less than full container load shipments that use our own groupage consolidations to these locations save lots of money. Also, clients sending full container loads can use this method. Your relocation specialist will give you details.

Full container load shipments, commonly called FCL, can be for 20’, 40’, or 40’ high cube containers. 

Air cargo is a good option for those who need rapid delivery. We can offer door-to-door service to most destinations.

Vehicles that are too large for containers, like some SUVs or pickups, are sent using RO-RO, where vehicles are secured to the deck. Pleasure craft is sent on their trailer.

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