FAQs: International Moving

With more than 80 years of experience as an international moving company, you can be sure that North American International has what it takes to make your international move go as smoothly as it possibly can.

Frequently Asked Questions

Moving internationally is a significant life event. You will have many questions about the process of moving across the world, from what to take with you to how to clear customs upon arrival. This is where you can find the answers to those questions.

Pre-Move Planning
Estimates and Pricing
Protecting Your Belongings
Upon Arrival
What advice can you give me on how to plan for moving overseas?

Once you know that you will be moving overseas, contact your international moving company.

Also, begin to think about separating items to be stored, disposed of, given away, sold, moved by sea, moved by air or delivered to another family member before your departure. You should have a clear idea about these categories before completing the pre-move survey.

As you approach moving day, consider which items will accompany you when moving overseas, specifically travel papers, immediate clothing, passports, medical documentation and records, family papers, valuables, jewelry, medication, school records, etc.

North American International can provide a variety of host country information, including destination profiles and country fact sheets.
When should I contact an international moving company to organize my pending international move?

Timely preparation is important for a successful international move. You should contact your international mover approximately seven to 10 weeks before your intended date of departure. This will allow enough time to confirm documentation requirements, pre-book international transportation services and pre-advise the destination agent of the forthcoming international shipment.
How do I know that I'm dealing with a reputable international moving company?

It is vital that you verify the credential of any moving company, especially for an international move.

North American International manages international moves for major Fortune 500 companies on a worldwide basis. Last year, the North American International network and its sister company handled over 120,000 international household moves.
What should the representative visiting my home be able to tell me about my international move?

Your representative should be able to tell you about every aspect of your upcoming international move. This should include all services: packing, crating, transit times, insurance, storage and customer service capabilities.

The representative should be able to advise you of the various shipping options available to your overseas destination, as well as make an accurate estimate of the volume and weight of your shipment. In addition, you should be given an overview of the paperwork that will be required, information on the company selected to deliver your belongings in the destination country and advice on how to prepare for moving overseas.

After a day or two of the pre-move survey, the international movers should provide you with a written moving estimate which explains the level of moving services which will be provided and confirms the recommended shipping option.
What items should I NOT include in an international household goods shipment?

Use common sense when thinking about what to include in your international shipment. You should avoid perishable goods and anything which could leak during its journey and cause significant damage to the articles surrounding it.

You should NOT include the following:

    hazardous materials such as paint, matches, aerosol cans, gas canisters or other flammables
    materials such as wood, bricks, cement, rocks and soil of any type
    firearms and ammunition
    plants of any kind
    corrosives and explosives

If you have any doubt as to what should and should not be included in an international shipment, consult your North American International representative as soon as possible.
I would like to arrange for someone to provide me with a moving estimate for my international move. Whom should I contact?

For moves originating in Canada and the U.S., please contact your local North American International representative. Click here to find your local representative online.

For moves originating in countries other than Canada and the U.S., please email us at request@naintl.com, or call us at 1.800.944.8126 or fax us at 630.570.3541.

If you would like to request a free moving estimate online, please click here to provide us with some basic information about your international move.
Are all charges included in the price?

This will depend on the type of moving services you've chosen. If you request a door-to-door move, then all transportation charges should be included in the price that is quoted to you.

However, even on a door-to-door international move, you will be responsible for customs clearance charges plus any applicable taxes or duties on your shipment.

Review your moving quote with your North American International representative to make sure you understand the terms of your quotation, particularly when you are comparing a number of different services/price options.
What are the different cost/service options available to me?

When moving overseas, you have a number of moving services available to you. You may choose a moving service based on the price, transit time, method of containerization, routing consolidation opportunities, sea or air freight, port of exit, etc. Each option's cost component determines the amount you will pay. In general terms, it is smart to choose the most direct route with a minimum amount of handling. However, every move and personal budget is different, so it is important that you work with your North American International representative to determine the ideal moving services to meet your personal needs.

Remember, when figuring out the cost of your international move, you should be aware of the total cost including the amount of time you will need to wait for the arrival of your goods at destination. If you are going to stay in a hotel or other temporary housing until your household shipment arrives, you will need to consider these costs, as well as the price of the shipping charges.
Can international moving companies provide insurance for my international move?

All reputable international movers will be able to provide you with coverage for your personal and household effects during an international move.

There is not on standard international moving coverage available that all international moving companies utilize. It is important that you check any policy to determine the extent of the coverage, the nature of any exclusions, the amount of any deductible and the procedure in the event that you need to file a claim.

If you would like more information about North American International's insurance program, please see the insurance webpage, contact your local agent or call us at 1-866-871-2521.
How do I determine the level of insurance coverage that is required for my belongings in an international move?

You should consider what it would cost to replace your household goods and personal effects in the country of destination.

Some consulates and embassies will carry cost of living and price index data which you can refer to as a guideline.

When completing your international valuation paperwork, be as detailed as you can. Remember to mark down individual items that have a high replacement cost. It is better to have too much information than not enough.

If you have any questions in regards to the coverage of your international move, get in touch with your North American International representative immediately.
Who will provide delivery services at destination?

North American International has developed a comprehensive network of corporate overseas agents based on their quality of service and experience. We have over 380 international agents who represent North American International around the world today.

Our overseas offices and agents provide moving services and expertise in the following areas:

    port of arrival and customs clearance procedures
    transportation from the destination port of arrival
    temporary or long term moving storage if required
    delivery to residence
    full unpacking services
    removal of all related packing debris and moving supplies

When I arrive at my overseas destination, whom should I contact to determine the status of my shipment?

Before your departure, your international moving company should provide you with a destination contact sheet. This contains information about who to contact upon arriving at your final destination.

When you relocate with North American International, we will provide you with the contact names and details of our office or agent in the destination city to which you are move. In most cases, we will have already sent your information to your office/agent and they will contact you upon your arrival. You may also use our online tracking tool to remain updated on the status of your shipment.

For immediate status updates, get in touch with your North American International Relocation Counselor at 1-866-871-2521.

Where should I go for the most up-to-date information regarding customs clearance documentation requirements?

Due to the frequency in which paperwork requirements change, it is important for you to contact the local embassy or consulate to verify the documentation which is necessary for obtaining duty-free entry of used household goods and personal effects.

Although a reputable international moving company will have a list of the most recent documentation requirements, it is still your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct documentation for your personal situation.