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Moving to UK

Published on Jul 07, 2021 by Kfir Cohen

SDC International Shipping is an international moving company to the UK with years of experience and familiarity with all aspects of UK relocation.

What’s on this page?

01 | International Moving from USA to UK
02 | International Household Moving to the UK
03 | International Car Shipping to the UK
04 | British Customs and Regulations
05 | Moving to the UK Checklist
06 | Shipping Options
07 | FAQ

International Moving from USA to UK

Ever since the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, both have been in a state of constant uncertainty. Much is ambiguous about what will happen in the next few years, including rules for immigration. SDC International Shipping sends the property of many clients to the UK each year, many of them relocating for work, returning UK nationals, and Americans marrying UK nationals are most of them.

For these, we do not foresee major changes to the current policy. However, citizens of other EU nations will likely see major changes. In any case, it is highly recommended that anyone who is not a citizen of the UK to recheck current rules with an official source.

International Household Moving to the UK

For decades, SDC International Shipping has been involved with international household moving to the UK. We know exactly how to get your household to the UK intact. Is it one of our most popular destinations, and we have so many clients shipping household goods to UK, that in addition to all of our regular shipments there, we also regularly send groupage containers to the Port of Felixstowe, giving our clients extra advantages of lower costs and greater flexibility.

When considering your shipping household goods from USA to UK, one of the first things you need to consider is what to take and what you will be leaving in the United States. In general, most UK dwellings will be smaller than their American counterparts. If you already know where you will be living, measure items and make sure that they will fit into where you want them. If you don’t yet have the exact location for your relocation, we suggest taking your most important items with you.

Beds and mattresses made in the United States are considered to be of superior quality, and you will want to bring yours with you, but watch out for terminology. What they call a “king” in the UK is equivalent to the US size of “queen”. Beds called “king” in the United States will not fit into every UK bedroom, if you don’t know for sure that you are moving to a dwelling that will accommodate them, do not bring beds larger than US “queen” size. As the beds are of slightly different shape, send along a few extra sets of sheets in your shipment.

American “white appliances” like washing machines and dryers won’t work in the UK and should be left in the United States. A laundry machine might be the one exception, but you will need to get a special one that will work in the UK. But like with the beds, triple check your space. In smaller UK dwellings laundry machines are commonly kitchen appliances.

You can take most of your electronics with you, 110/220 v electricity capabilities are common in electronics. Keep in mind that the UK has a unique shaped wall plug, and you can easily get adapters or cords that plug right into AC adapters from sites like Amazon or Aliexpress. Computers, their monitors, gaming consoles, phones, and cell phones should all work with simple adapters. Your relocation specialist will be able to help you check which devices will work.

International Car Shipping to the UK

Cars can be shipped to the UK when you relocate, and in general import duties are not charged but other taxes might apply. Critically, any motor vehicle will have to meet UK standards. For cars, this is not easy, as they drive on the left and have the steering column on the right, and special permissions are necessary. The UK Vehicle Certification Agency should be consulted.

The official information for vehicle import is available here. There are requirements for a Certificate of Conformity and a Mutual Recognition and Vehicle Importing form. Motorcycles can be imported but will need to go through the same process.

Your car must be at least six months old and no older than 10 years and registered to you upon import to the UK. Newer vehicles are subject to 20% VAT. You will also need to prove that you have not been living in the UK or other EU countries for the past 12 months, or you will pay the VAT and possibly additional taxes.

The vehicle’s title and registration should feature the name of the person importing the vehicle. We will ask for these before we pick up your vehicle, but you will also need the aforementioned documents. All of this is true for motorcycles as well. If you own a motorcycle, bring it with you.

The UK does not state anything specific about boats, and they are treated like any other personal goods. Please note that most UK roads are narrower than American roads, and trailer width might represent a problem. Measure, check and don’t assume. You don’t want to go to the cost and trouble only to find you can’t move your boat. But if you can, it is well worth it.

British Customs and Regulations

The UK is no longer a member of the European Union since the 1st of January 2021. This website provides the current official policies of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (UK customs authority). It is worth repeating that Brexit is in the midst of uncertainty, and everything written here should be rechecked.

While moving from USA to UK, usually there are not problems importing used goods to the UK but bear in mind what we wrote above. You should only ship things that belong to you and your family. New goods imported with your shipment will be taxed at the standard 20% VAT rate. Do not send alcohol in your shipment.

A thorough inventory of your shipment contents must be prepared and should be as accurate as possible. When you engage the professional services of SDC International Shipping for packing or loading, this list will be made for you. If you pack yourself to make sure to make a detailed list. This list will need to be appended to your customs registration form. It is also critical for your shipment insurance (you won’t be able to purchase damage insurance if you pack yourself).

If you are sending any “new” wood (for instance wood used in pallets, crating, etc. as opposed to furniture), these will need to be declared before shipment. They will also need to conform to UK and EU safety and health regulations. SDC International Shipping professional packing service uses only packaging materials that are suitable for international shipments. If you make your own pallets, it typically will have to be disassembled and only cause more handling charge, let us take care of it.

As the UK is still in the EU, you will need to obtain an EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) if your shipments include commercial goods. This number should be valid throughout the rest of the European Union but it should be requested from the UK if that is where your shipment is going.

Moving to the UK Checklist

Ready to move to the UK? SDC International Shipping will come and load your personal belongings. Now is the time to double-check that you have prepared everything you need:

  • Immigration visas. Please review the frequently updated official information from the UK government.
  • Family personal documents including birth certificates, passport, and marriage or divorce certificates, driver’s license, medical records
  • Professional certificates of qualifications and degrees and diplomas.

International Moving Companies to UK – Shipping Options

When dealing with moving from USA to UK in terms of shipping methods, There are several international shipping options available to you from SDC International Shipping. Your personal relocation specialist will work with you to find the best fit for your schedule and budget. Full containers are available where appropriate, both large and medium-sized. Many times it will make more sense to include your shipment in one of our UK groupage consolidations.

We will make sure that your shipping of household goods to the UK the safest and most efficient for you – This is our profession!

Useful information before international moving to UK from the USA

What is the Required Documentation when international moving to the U.K?

Passport, work visa or work certificate to all customs appointments. You’ll also need to present full, detailed inventory lists.

What are the Restricted and Prohibited Items?

Drugs – Offensive weapons
Self-defense sprays
Endangered animal and plant species
Rough diamonds
Indecent and obscene materials
Personal imports of meat and dairy products from most non-EU countries, like the United States.

Do I need to get vehicle approval in the U.K before moving?

Yes, you will need to get approval (safety and environmental). You will also need to Register and tax the vehicle with DVLA. Don’t forget to Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that the vehicle has arrived in the UK within 14 days of its arrival.

What is the Required Documentation when International moving to the U.K?

Passport, work visa or work certificate to all customs appointments. You’ll also need to present full, detailed inventory lists.

SDC International Moving Company USA to UK

Call SDC International – your international mover to the united kingdom!

Call (877) 339-0267

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