Last updated 1 August 2016

Is it worth it to Ship My Belongings Overseas?

You might be ever so used to your old refrigerator but think of the associated costs first and then determine whether it will be worth shipping your belongings

How Much Will A New One Cost?

If you are struggling with the ship or buy new debate then the way out is to consider international shipping costs against sentimental value or utility of your belongings overseas. 

The cost of buying goods in your new country is a major factor simply because shipping old electronic items to another country where the electrical system is different would most likely cost more than simply buying new local products.

Where Are You Headed?

Costs of new property and belongings depend on where you are moving. If electronic items are cheaper in the United States the same may not apply if you are moving to Argentina where they are very expensive. Some amount of research done ahead of your move will be useful in this regard. 

 Associated Costs

Shipping your belongings abroad also means that you might have to pay import duties and extra taxes on certain items you import when you move. Different countries have different rules and considerations that you have to bear in mind.  Shipping certain items like television sets to certain countries attract taxes while importing other items like fax machines might result in confiscation.

The best way to work around this is to research import regulations, import taxes or visa regulations that apply within the country you are moving to. 

In some cases you might have a certain window, such as 6 months, to ship your goods overseas and import them tax-free.  For instance, in the European Union (EU) there are usually no problems with shipping items from the UK, but if you think about moving outside the EU you may find some very heavy import taxes operating on certain items like cars. 

Moving Your Car

In some cases, an import tax of about 70% of the list price of the car in the country you are moving to applies. If this is the case then shipping your car in cases like these is just not worth it. Also consider the cost of spares if anything should go wrong with your car while you are living abroad.

Moving Furniture
Furniture, if it does not involve shipping antiques and heirlooms, is best bought overseas. Also, any items that you do not wish to take with you can always be stored for your eventual return, or sent to your destination later.

Get Some Quotes

Shipping goods overseas through international movers and packers, some of whom are green moving companies, is the way to go. Always ask for a quote that includes the full price of international shipping, loading/offloading, handling and customs fees. Take care to ask for references and consult with previous clients to determine the quality of services for the price demanded.

If you don’t want to take everything with you consider giving it to family and friends, donate it to charity, offer it for recycling or have a garage sale.

Photo: Clint Rutkas

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