International removals and baggage FAQs
Our knowledge zone is designed to help you find the answers quickly to questions you might have.
Frequently asked questions
Our knowledge zone is designed to help you find the answers quickly to questions you might have. If you can’t find the answer then use our ‘Ask an Expert’ form to make contact or chat to us on LiveChat on this site.
We have grouped our frequently asked questions under the service they relate to
Advance preparation is the most important factor in a successful international move. You should begin your search for a suitable moving company to carry out your move 6-8 weeks before your intending moving date. This will allow time to get competitive quotations, make all the arrangements, organise transport, etc.
Our overseas offices and agents provide services and expertise in the following areas:
- Local liaison with Excess international Movers
- Notification of arrival
- Customs clearance procedures at the port/airport of arrival
- Transport from the destination port/airport of arrival
- Temporary or long term storage if required
- Delivery to residence
- Full unpacking services
- Removal of all related packing debris
It is important that you check out the background and credentials of the companies who quote on your international move. It is vital to ensure that your chosen removal company has relevant experience, and has appropriate links with foreign movers, as it is the foreign mover who will supply at least 40% of the service.
You should ensure above all else that your chosen mover is a member of FIDI, fidi.com (The International Federation of International Furniture Removers), the only International Group that provides full bonding and ensures that all its members are properly accredited through an inspection and reference system. Other domestic bonding arrangements include BAR Overseas (British Association of Removers Overseas Group); and AFDI (the French Overseas Removers Association).
The BAR/IMMI & FIDI bonding schemes are similar to the IATA & ABTA bonding scheme for travellers. Shipments in transit and monies paid in advance are fully protected. Further details of the FIDI/BAR schemes are available from us fidi.com or the British Association of Removers Overseas Group.
The FIDI/BAR schemes give full financial peace of mind and a benchmark of quality to clients sending shipments on our services. This is your guarantee. Accept no other.
We can provide comprehensive marine transit insurance for your household and personal effects during your international move.
Our marine insurance is backed by The Baxendale Insurance Company Designated Activity Company provides a variety of different options, with competitive rates and an excellent world-wide office network, so that in the unlikely event of a claim, settlement can usually be dealt with locally.
How do I determine the level of protection that is required for my belongings in an international move?
In general, you should think about what it would cost to replace your household goods and personal effects in the country of destination. A good source of information will be the local press in that country especially with regard to high value items likes motor vehicles etc. Cost of Living data may also be obtainable from that country’s embassy.
When completing your proposal form please be as detailed as possible. Remember to include specific individual items that have a high replacement cost. It’s best to give as much information as possible. If you have any questions relating to the coverage on your international move, contact our International Removals Customer Service Department
Yes, we can. Comprehensive cover can be arranged, via our specially negotiated cover with The Baxendale Insurance Company Designated Activity Company.
It is inadvisable to include perishable goods, foodstuffs of any description, or liquids (which may leak in transit causing damage to other items. Above all exercise common sense. Your shipment may be in transit for anything between three days and three months for long intercontinental transits like Europe-Australia. Don’t overload items, or fill the car up to the roof with odds and ends as it may damage the suspension.
You should NOT include the following:
Hazardous materials such as paint, matches, aerosol cans, gas canisters or other flammable materials such as wood, bricks, cement, rocks and soil of any type.
- Firearms and ammunition.
- Plants of any kind.
- Corrosives and explosives.
- Pornography of any description.
Also, and in addition, we cannot accept the following goods for shipment by air:
Aerosols, batteries, explosives, fireworks, corrosives, perfume, pressurised or unpressurised cylinders/canisters and/or similar type containers, firearms and ammunition, radioactive material, paint, fuel and/or fuel tanks or other flammable items, etc.
If you have any doubts as to what may or may not be included, please do check with our International Removals Sales Team Contact. They will be delighted to help and advise.
If you book your shipment as a door-to-door move, then all charges including customs clearance charges, and local delivery to your residence, (with normal access, not above first floor level) will be included in the estimate that’s given to you. However, you will still be responsible for any duty or tax that is raised on your shipment by Customs. In a very few countries, for example South Africa and Zimbabwe, port service charges are assessed on declared value. This charge is therefore not included in the door to door estimate that we give you, and it will need to be paid at destination direct to our overseas office or agent. Please advise us if there are special difficulties that may apply to your delivery, or if access is abnormal, or delivery is above the first floor.
If your shipment is booked door-to-port only, then all destination charges are payable locally on arrival, including customs clearance, port service, unloading and local delivery charges. The various names applied to these charges may vary from country to country and service to service, but basically, they cover unloading from the ship/aircraft that your goods are carried on, unloading from the steamship line or airline cargo container, handling in and out of destination warehouse (as a continuous movement following on from the shipments arrival), and local delivery to your residence, with normal access, not above first floor level. Any exceptions to these basic standards may cause the price to increase. As above, you will be responsible for any duty or tax that is raised on your shipment by Customs.
Please review your requirements, and discuss our estimate with our International Removals Sales team to make sure you understand the details, especially if you’re comparing a number of moving companies offering a plethora of different options with regard to price and service.
What will the removals estimator tell me when he visits my home to assess the cost of my overseas move?
Our representative will discuss in detail the different shipping/Air Freight options available to your overseas destination, and s/he will make an estimate of the volume and if possible the weight of your consignment. They will also discuss the various paperwork and custom’s documentation required. They will give you information regarding our office or agent who will deliver your possessions from the port of arrival to your new residence overseas, together with general advice on your move.
No more than a couple of days after your representative’s visit (in main markets), you will be in possession of a detailed estimate of the costs of your move, and the various shipping/Air Freight options that pertain to it.
Our Sales Department will be in touch shortly thereafter to answer any questions that you have and to discuss the options with you.
All details of your shipment will be available to you as soon as possible after packing. Excess International Movers operate the latest computer systems giving up to the minute status reports and shipping documents at the touch of a button. We can advise you by phone, fax or email of these details.
When you move with us, we’ll provide you with full information and details of how to contact our office or agent in the destination city that you’re moving to. However, normally, you won’t need to do anything, we will have pre-alerted our agent, and they’ll contact you when you arrive.
Customs regulations are unfortunately subject to frequent change. Regrettably, such changes are not always publicised. We endeavour to provide the most up-to-date customs information available, from a wide variety of different sources, including Customs Services themselves, industry, trade association, the internet, and a wide variety of other sources. Nevertheless, it is impossible to guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, as customs rules and regulations, together with duty and tax rates, documentation and forms, can, and do, change overnight.
We endeavour to supply all the relevant forms required. Nevertheless, it is the individual’s responsibility to ensure sure that they have the correct documentation for their personal situation.
You can get an estimate for your international removal by using our quote request form. This can be found by clicking here
When moving overseas you have a number of service options available to you. You may select a service based on the price, transit time, method of containerisation, routing consolidation opportunities, sea or air freight, port of exit, etc. Each option’s cost component determines the amount you’ll pay.
In general terms, it is advisable to select the most direct route with a minimum amount of handling. However, every move and personal budget is different so it is important that you discuss fully with our International Removals Sales Department Contact to determine the best service to meet your personal needs.
Remember, when calculating the cost of your international move, you should be aware of the total cost including the amount of time you’ll have to wait for the arrival of your goods at destination. If you’re going to have to stay in a hotel or other temporary housing until your household shipment arrives, you’ll need to consider these costs as well as the cost of the shipping charges. Many people have made the mistake of selecting the slowest transit time (cheapest price) and then had the expense of two to three weeks of hotel costs while they awaited the delivery of their shipment.
There is no substitute for planning and preparation. As soon as you know that you’re going to be moving overseas, contact us.
In addition, begin to think about separating out all the items that you’ll need to sell, store, dispose of, give away, and those you’ll want to move by sea, have sent by air cargo or delivered to another family member before your departure. It’s a very good idea to have researched these categories before our estimator visits you to survey your household effects.
As you approach Moving Day, think about which items you will need for your journey, specifically travel papers, immediate clothing, passports, medical documentation and records, family papers, valuables, jewellery, medicines, school reports, etc. Excess International Movers can provide a variety of host country information including destination guides and country facts sheets, together with detailed Customs rules and regulations.
There are several factors that help to determine which is the best option, such as the replacement value of the items in question at destination compared with the saleable value at the point of origin, the size and the overall volume of your shipment. Our sales team will be pleased to offer guidance.
We recommend that you give a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice, although if this is not possible we will endeavour to meet your requirements. Ideally, as soon as you know when you want to move you should confirm dates with us.
We ask for a £50 deposit to be sent in with your booking confirmation. The balance is payable on receipt of invoice, after the packing has been completed. Please note that cheques require clearance before goods can be shipped.
You can pay online with a credit (Visa/MasterCard) or debit card here
You will need your Job Number and Invoice Number to hand to complete the online payment process.
Please note that credit card payments are subject to a surcharge of 2.5%.
We also accept payment by cheque, bank draft, bank transfer. If paying by bank transfer please quote your 7 digit reference number, so that the payment can be allocated correctly. Please do not pay our crews, third party drivers and carriers, or drivers in other countries. Please contact us if you are in any doubt.
Cheque payments require a clearance period of up to seven working days for domestic cheques and up to 35 days for foreign cheques. Cheque payment is not recommended for air freight.
Please note payment must be received in full before goods can be forwarded.
Yes, both at the point of origin and at the destination. If you require storage we offer discounted rates for consignments we are shipping overseas. We are able to offer highly competitive rates to suit individual requirements.
If you wish to pack yourself we will provide you with all the materials you need. We do however strongly recommend that you take advantage of our professional packing service. We employ highly qualified staff to perform this skilled task.
Our clients often wish to pack a few personal items themselves. Cartons and packing materials can be delivered to you in advance of the removal so that this can be done at your leisure.
For the quickest response, please complete our Request a Quote form. Alternatively you can call us on +44 (0)20 8324 2066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our most popular cartons are our Tea Carton and 3 Cubic Foot Carton. Please note there is a charge for more than one delivery of boxes, so we suggest that you order more cartons than you may need in case you underestimate the size of your shipment. The cartons are free of charge, and we can collect any unused boxes on your collection date.
You can use any strong/good-quality carton or suitcase. Please note that stereo, computer or electrical cartons, etc. are normally intended for domestic distribution and are unsuitable for export shipments. We can arrange crating of items such as plasma TVs and computers for extra protection during transit for an additional fee.
Always remember that no carton should weigh more than 35 kilos for health and safety regulations, so make sure you choose the smaller cartons for heavier items. We provide bubble wrap and packing tape free of charge to assist with your packing. When packing multiple cartons, it is essential to distribute the weight evenly. Overloaded items are much more susceptible to damage in transit.
Any furniture items will need to be professionally packed by us for an extra cost. We can also professionally pack shipments of any size with or without furniture. Packing charges are variable depending on size of job, complexity and location.
Deliveries of boxes, bubble wrap and tape can be arranged to most areas with 24-48 hours’ notice. The same notice period is required for collections. Where we supply boxes, cartons or packing materials, they may be retained by you indefinitely upon payment of a deposit of £50.00.
We operate nationwide between the hours of 0800 and 1800 Monday to Friday and 0700-1300 on Saturdays within London. Out of hours collections are often possible: please contact us for more information or to make arrangements.
Please bear in mind that cartons and packing materials remain our property until your shipment is paid in full.
Please call us on +44 (0)20 8324 2066.
Shipments going by sea or road are charged by actual volume. However, please note that each carton should not weigh more than 35 kilos owing to health and safety regulations. With air freight consignments, it is an international air cargo convention to charge for weight or volume, whichever is the greater according to the following formulae:
length x height x width (centimetres) divided by 6000 = volumetric kilos
length x height x width (inches) divided by 366 = volumetric kilos
Please bear in mind that this is an International Standard. Even if your chosen shipping company does not tell you about this charge, they will still rate your shipment on this basis and you will have to pay!