Moving to another country is a huge process that takes a lot of time and involves a number of decisions, whether you are moving for work, pleasure or a mixture of reasons. One of the major tasks on your moving abroad to-do list is figuring out how to move all of your belongings to the foreign land that you will call home.
This raises a question – “are there any restrictions on the quantity of goods that I can move to another country?” You might be wondering whether you will be allowed to bring all of your items into your new home, or whether there will be certain limits in place for how much stuff you can import.
The answer is, “it depends on the country.”
Every nation is different. Some countries are very lenient on what you can bring into the country, while others will be very specific and will charge a tax on certain items or forbid them all together.
For example, if you are moving to Argentina you are not allowed to bring in large electronic items such as televisions. You will, therefore, need to research the cost of buying a new TV in Argentina… or go without.
Researching specific restrictions of the country you are moving to
When you are preparing to move overseas, the first step is to research the specific restrictions of the country that you are planning to move to. You can do this by checking online, as this information is usually listed on the immigration websites for that particular country. You can also ask your international removal company about restrictions, as they will usually have the knowledge to advise.
There are certain goods your removal company will not be able to transport in the UK or abroad. This will include items such as narcotics, poisons, weapons such as selected knives and firearms, and fireworks.
Duty on moving items abroad
If you are allowed to bring goods, you still might need to pay a duty on the items that you bring.
For example, if you are immigrating to Canada you will need to pay duty on any items that you have rented or leased, any items that you have purchased on your way to Canada and any vehicles that you plan to use for your business. However, you will not have to pay a duty on furniture, linens, jewellery, musical instruments, and hobby items.
If you are unsure of which items you will need to pay duty on, make sure that you bring your sales receipts and registration documents with you. If you need to pay a very expensive duty, it can sometimes be cheaper to sell the item before you move and buy another one instead of trying to import it.
Downsizing your possessions
Although there might not be a restriction on the amount of items that you can bring to your new country, you might still want to downsize your possessions as much as possible. Taking only the essentials will make the moving process easier as well as less expensive.
Our Moving Abroad Packing Tips should help you with the packing process for your international relocation.
If you have any other questions about moving overseas, your international removal company is a good place to start.
page last updated June 2015
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