International Moving from California
For decades SDC International Shipping has been helping Americans move abroad. Based in California, SDC’s roots are in servicing clients from across California moving abroad. Over the years SDC has grown to service clients from places located throughout the United States, but we remain headquartered in the Los Angeles area, and we maintain full-service warehouses in both Oakland and LA. Our export movers can be seen in ports throughout the United States on a regular basis, but the ports call on every day are in Oakland and Long Beach.
Though most of our household goods exporting business is from California, we also regularly pick up from locations throughout Nevada and Arizona. So be sure to call us if you are moving from anywhere in the Southwest.
International Household Moving from California
Californians decide to move abroad for a variety of reasons. Many of them are academics from California’s universities, some want to retire to a place where their retirement funds go far. Others want to be reunited with family or have been asked by their employer to abroad for several years. Each of these situations requires different planning, and SDC’s professional teams are here to help.
If you are moving from the United States to a foreign country, whether temporarily or permanently, you will want to include many things from America. In addition to the things that you acquired during your time in the States, you will also want to send the things that love from California and won’t be able to find in your new country.
Your personal goods, clothes, works of art, and furniture are taken by almost everybody. Other things that you will need to consider for your move are equipment for sports or hobbies, books, and clothing that will be appropriate for your destination. Check the popular leisure activities near your new home. Whether it is snow skiing, fishing, cycling, scuba diving, tennis, golf or camping, all destinations have something that is popular and special to the location. In almost all cases you can get far better equipment in the United States at better prices. For many destinations, it will be difficult to find clothing and equipment that is the right size for typical Americans.
One of the things that it is difficult to beat in American quality is furniture. Furniture also takes some time to be ordered and delivered, it makes the most sense to send your furniture with you, especially bedroom sets and mattresses.
Your furniture doesn’t have to be completely empty in order to be shipped. Full dressers, for instance, is very heavy and could very well be damaged during shipping. It is acceptable to store a few light or fluffy things in them like stuffed toys or blankets, but clothes should be packed in boxes.
We take apart large pieces of furniture when we pick up your things to send abroad. This includes dining room tables and beds. (Please note that “knock-down” furniture can’t really be knocked down.) This is done both to protect the pieces themselves and to save your cargo space. The pieces will all be individually cared for, including the stands and the legs.
On delivery, our movers will reassemble any furniture that our movers disassemble at the point of origin. Clearing out any moving debris and empty boxes on the day of moving are included with the delivery service.
We highly recommend that all residential clients use our destination door delivery service. Commercial clients often have experience with customs clearance or partners receiving their shipments. Residential clients require our professional customs clearance agents familiar with the rules and regulations of each country and port.
International Customs and Regulations
No matter where you are moving to, you will need to check the specific international customs and regulations for the specific destination country. Though there are many local or regional differences, many rules are nearly standard.
The first question that those relocating ask us is whether or not they are allowed to ship their things to their new home. Outside of a few noticeable exceptions (never send pornography, anything at all related to illicit drugs, tobacco, liquids or food, and in most cases alcohol), most things can be sent. The real question is if you will be charged customs or import tariffs.
Customs differ greatly in different territories. In some the import taxes are great, and in others, they are relatively low and should not stand in the way of your sending what you’d like. Typically returning citizens are allowed to import used goods without paying import customs.
Almost all countries charge GST or VAT on new purchases. Unlike American sales taxes, these are usually already included in the price of things purchased retail. When you bring new items into a country, expect to have this charged on unused items included in your container.
The amount of goods that can be imported to a country is usually confined to one container per family. Usually, it is possible to also send an air shipment and a vehicle separately.
Most containers are not inspected upon import. However, about 5% are. This is usually random, but some things might also trigger an inspection such as a vague shipping inventory, the inclusion of prohibited items, or containers packed by the owner. Depending upon location, container inspection could be costly, and the best way to avoid it is by using our professional packing service. Our movers will only use appropriate materials for international shipments, like wood and cardboard that meets shipping standards, create a professional inventory list, and prepare vehicles properly for shipment.
International Car Shipping from California
Did you buy your car in California? If so, you probably don’t have to worry about importing it to the most right side driving nations. Your car probably meets the environmental standards of the country you’re moving to.
However, about a third of the nations in the world drive on the left hand side of the road. For these countries, it is either prohibited or very difficult to import a car from the United States, with the exception of antique cars.
Do you ride a motorcycle? The rules differ slightly for these. There are some countries that will allow a motorcycle to be imported event if they won’t allow you to ship a car.
Licensed vehicles usually need to be delivered to inspection and licensing facilities that are adjacent to entry ports. Sometimes a licensed vehicle is included in a container of household goods. In this case, it will be loaded last. This way it can easily be removed for inspection upon delivery at the destination port.
From California, cars can be sent in a variety of methods. Sometimes we will pick up the car or send a car carrier. The car will be emptied from all fluids and the battery disconnected..
Moving from California Checklist
Most, but not all, countries in the world have a consulate in California. Some have two. In most cases, you will have to visit one.
If you are moving for work, your employer is usually a part of the visa application process. If you are a returning citizen, you might have to provide some proof that you lived abroad for a continuous period. If you are retiring abroad, you usually will have to show that you have the means to support yourself. All of these are accomplished at the consulate.
Do you have all of your vaccinations? Most countries now require the MMR vaccine before entry. Countries in the tropics or the Far East have additional vaccines and preventative measures that should be taken. We recommend consulting the CDC official recommendations for your destination.
The health system in your destination country will undoubtedly be far different than your Californian HMO or PPO. It is absolutely necessary for you to obtain health insurance right away. Many countries provide basic coverage for citizens or legal residents. You might find this insufficient, even if you are entitled to it. We recommend that you prepare copies of medical records for the whole family.
Banks will require your credit report for opening an account or applying for a credit card.
In many countries, you will need to apply for some sort of local ID card at the local police or municipality offices. A police report of good citizenship is usually requested in addition to your proof of residence and long term visa.
International Shipping Options
Our California clients moving to Europe and Australia have a few additional international shipping options not available to everyone.
We can send 20’, 40’ or 40’ high cube containers to almost any location. The cargo space available in these is about 1100, 2200 and 2450 cubic feet, respectively. The costs and logistics of shipments to different locations often dictate certain advantages of sending a full container load.
However, not everyone needs to send 1100 cubic feet. And some clients want to send 1500 cubic feet. If you are moving to Australia or Europe, we send large volumes of cargo to these locations and pass on the advantages of economy of scale to our clients. Even those clients sending small shipments, starting at 100 cubic feet, are able to get the door to door service at reasonable rates.
We can send less than full container load (LCL) shipments anywhere in the world, but those going to European and Australian destinations get the best rates. Ask your SDC International Shipping agent to tell you about groupage consolidations.