Juggling the practical and emotional demands of an international relocation can be a headache for even the most capable assignees. When you add into the mix partners, children, pets, new surroundings, different cultures and languages (the list goes on), it becomes easy to understand why the right kind of support is invaluable. BTR International has been supporting global companies, their assignees, partners and families relocating around the world for more than 25 years. Although every relocation is unique there are some steps which can be taken to help ensure things go as smoothly as possible. We will be reviewing different aspects of relocation in future articles but here we take a look at the removals process; these are highlights from just some of our top tips based on our own experiences.
1. Select the right international mover for you.
Before choosing an international moving company it is worth making a few basic checks:

Reputation– Look for recommendations from other people who have moved before. Friends, colleagues and the expatriate community can be a good place to start. Many HR departments also manage approved panels of movers through their relocation policies which can help your selection process.

Quality– Check for industry association memberships (e.g. BAR Overseas, IAM), certifications and quality accreditations. FIDI is the globally recognized leading association for international movers and sets quality standards including FAIM and the FAIMplus accreditation which requires an audit rating pass of 95% or above.

Compare Quotes– When you compare quotations between international movers, make sure the quotes are prepared on a like for like basis. To avoid any hidden or additional charges at a later date check what is and what is not included at the outset.

Contact– Check what kind of support will be available to you, will you have one-to-one contact with a removals expert when you need it?

2. Get organised.
If you plan ahead packing doesn’t have to be a chaotic and stressful experience.

As a first step, have a thorough clear out of things that you don’t use, need or that can’t be included in your shipment.

On the day of your move, help your mover by clearly marking (coloured post-it notes or stickers can help) what you wish to send in which shipment, which room the item relates to and what’s going into storage if it’s not all leaving at the same time.

With so much activity going on around you, things can easily get lost or damaged. Put aside any small valuables and items you need to keep with you (e.g. passports, travel documents, birth/marriage certificates, medicines etc.), clearly mark them as NOT to be packed so that they remain separate.

If you are travelling with children, relocating can be unsettling so it can help to get them engaged and involved with the moving process. Suggest that they prepare their own moving box which could include essentials they may need during the move, involve them in packing and unpacking their own room and allow them to be responsible for arranging their new room at destination

3. Stick to the rules.
If you are moving overseas it’s vital that you are aware of the rules and regulations for importing goods into your chosen destination. Many countries have different rules covering what is and what is not allowed to be brought in, for example, some restrict or prohibit the import of firearms and alcohol and in many cases perishables are completely prohibited. Items which are deemed hazardous materials like aerosol spray cans, paint and propane tanks will not be allowed in your shipment.

Bear in mind, where goods are not completely forbidden, you may find that taxes and duties are imposed and you will need to make allowance for these additional costs. Even seemingly innocent pieces of furniture (usually wooden) can pose a problem if you are entering a country with strict environmental and agricultural policies where contamination and disease can be an issue.

Shipments into some destinations may be subject to physical inspection by customs officials; this can result in a combination of clearance delays, late delivery and additional duty charges. Some countries even require you to be there in person before your goods are imported.

Your moving company will be able to give you full advice. At BTR International both the Move Consultant who conducts your home survey and your dedicated Global Move Specialist are on hand to provide you with clear, up-to-date information and answer any queries you have. Your local Embassy can also be a good reference point for further information on country specific regulations.

4. Don’t ignore the paperwork!
It can be tempting to put off tackling all of those long, dull, complicated forms which sometimes seem to be never-ending when you are relocating. DON’T! It may cost you time and money in the long run.

To avoid delays or additional expenses make sure that you comply with all customs regulations before you move. Your dedicated BTR International Global Move Specialist, and appointed destination agent, will be familiar with local customs procedures and will be able to provide you with the required documentation for your destination. Reading, completing and returning the necessary forms in advance will expedite customs clearance and help to ensure that your move goes ahead without any unecessary hold ups.

Be aware that some countries require your physical presence and/or original passport during the clearance process, in many cases permits, visas and other documentation are also required. This can be a lengthy process and you may incur customs penalties if your shipment has to be held at origin until all of the paperwork is in order.

5. Ask questions – we are here to help you.
Moving overseas can be an emotional and complicated process. Leaving behind familar people and places for a new environment, coupled with the potential administration headache of countless customs forms, schedules and legal documents can leave you feeling confused and anxious. Whether this is your first international move or you are a seasoned global expatriate you may have queries, concerns and doubts.

With BTR International you are assured of ongoing support, throughout the relocation process, from your dedicated Global Move Specialist who is available by phone and email to discuss and address your queries and concerns. Our team are trained experts with a wealth of experience in international moving and take pride in helping to ensure you experience a seamless transfer.

Whether you have questions about completing customs documents, protecting your goods in transit or simply need advice on the best options for moving the family pet, we are happy to help so please don’t be afraid to ask.

To find out more about our relocation and move management services and how we can help with your international relocation please take a look at our website http://www.btrinternational.com or contact us at info@btrinternational.com and +44 (0)1582 495495.

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