Frequently Asked Questions

1) Preparing for your move?

Q1. How long before my move should I start preparing?

It is never too early to start preparing for an international relocation. We recommend you begin approximately 2 to 3 months prior to your move. Visit our Moving Checklist .

Q2. Can I pack my own shipment?

Packing is an important part of your international relocation, your household goods will be travelling a long way and you want to be sure that everything arrives in one piece. We strongly recommend that you consider the option of a full overseas pack, however, we will tailor our packing service around your own specific needs. Please seepacking and crating services and packing tips.

Q3. What are my responsibilities?

Your responsibilities revolve around compliance with the regulations regarding entry into the country of destination and the documentation supporting your move. We will be able to advise you on the necessary documentation. Regarding the move itself, you should be present throughout the packing and loading process, and delivery at destination.
2) Transportation of special items:

Q1. What can and cannot be taken with me?

You should contact the local embassy or consulate of the country you are moving to. They will have all of the updated information regarding the formal entry requirements and can give you an idea of what you can and cannot take in your shipment. Please see Prohibited / Dangerous Items which is a list of items that are restricted.

Q2. Transportation of Pets / Vehicles / Boats / Trailers?

Transportation of pets and vehicles have different rules and regulations for each country. For example, if a pet was to be shipped to Australia, there would be a 30 day quarantine period, and if a car was to be shipped to Singapore, it cannot be more than 3 years old… These are some of the regulations that your representative will highlight to you should you need to ship vehicles or pets. Do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have.

Q3. How will my shipment be transported overseas?

There are various methods of transportation and types of containers shipments are loaded in. To obtain maximum efficiency and cost, and keeping in mind individual requirements, consideration is given to the appropriate method and routing for each shipment. Your Interswift representative will talk to you about the shipping methods available and will recommend one to suit your needs.
3) Delivery of your household goods:

Q1. How long will my shipment take to arrive at my new destination?

Transit times depend on many factors such as destination city and method of transportation. Some locations along popular trade routes may have shorter transit times while other locations, in more remote areas, may have a longer transit window. Your Move Manager will be able to give you a more accurate transit time based on your specific shipment requirements.

Q2. Who will handle my shipment at destination?

We work with hundreds of moving companies worldwide and we have a stringent process on selecting our agents at destination which include the level of service they provide, number of years of being in the industry and various other factors which make sure we work with the reputable firms in each country.
4) Understanding the costs:

Q1. How much does it cost to move overseas?

The price is based mainly on the volume of your shipment as well as method of transportation. To accurately assess the volume a full survey of your household goods is carried out by an experienced International Move Manager. Your Move Manager will also discuss with you your individual requirements in order to recommend the best method of transportation.

Q2. Why do I need insurance?

International shipments travel over great distances using many different means of transportation. Insurance provides peace of mind throughout the complex move process. We offer a Comprehensive Insurance coverage based on Full Replacement Value coverage in the country of your destination. We recommend that you purchase Full Replacement Value, for which you will need to complete a valued inventory form

Q3. Are there Duties and Taxes to pay, and how much will they be?

Many countries allow used household goods and personal effects to enter without duties and taxes. Others are less lenient. Your Move Manager will provide general guidelines regarding duties and taxes. Official information can be obtained by contacting the embassy or consulate of the destination country.
5) Prohibited / Dangerous Items

Q1. Gases & Propellants

  • Gasoline, propane, kerosene, naphtha, lighter fluid
  • Liquefied petroleum gases of all types
    Aerosol cans
  • Tanks of compressed gases such as barbecue tanks, oxygen, helium, acetylene (except scuba tanks providing tank is emptied, pressure valve is removed and dust cap is installed)
  • Butane lighters
  • Fire extinguishers

Q2. Explosives

  • Ammunition
  • Fireworks
  • Flares
  • Blasting caps
  • Industrial explosives
  • Detonation devices

Q3. Flammable Solids

  • Matches
  • Solid fuel, BBQ starter tablets & charcoal briquettes
  • Sterno
  • Hay, straw, wood chips
  • Oily rags

Q4. Yard & Gardening Supplies

  • Pesticides containing a base of arsenic, strychnine or cyanide
  • Fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate
  • Pool chemicals
  • Chlorine
  • Wood preservatives
  • Gas Cans

Q5. Corroslves

  • Battery alkaline or acid, wet or dry

Q6. Household Chemicals

  • Bleach & peroxide
  • Disinfectants
  • Household cleaners such as Ajax , Mr. Clean, Spic’n’Span
  • Cleaning fluids such as ammonia, verso, turpentine, drain cleaners
  • Pesticides, herbicides & fumigants
  • Oven cleaner, lye or acids
  • Nail polish, polish remover and perfume
  • Chemicals for photographic hobby
  • Oil-based paints & thinners
  • Wood oil stains & varnishes
  • Glues & adhesives
  • Chemistry sets
  • Any flammable items
6) Packing Tips

Q1. Tips for Do-it-yourself Packing:

Q2. Packing takes time and energy

To save money, some customers prefer to pack some, or all of their own goods. This can be economical if you have both the time and the proper materials. Our experience has shown that it takes two people at least two to three days, without professional assistance, to prepare and pack the contents of an average 3-bed room home. It is also very important to use the proper packing and wrapping materials. Improperly packed items can be easily damaged or broken. Odd size cartons constructed of improper materials or without lids take longer to load and move, increasing your moving charges and risk of damage. We recommend that you purchase proper packing materials from your mover.

Q3. Deciding what to pack

Your Interswift consultant can help you decide which items should be professionally packed. We recommend that all breakables to be professionally packed and extremely fragile items such as marble should be crated in protective wooden cases. It is important to discuss and full understand the exclusions to your insurance policy before you being packing and how it affects insurance coverage.

Q4. Choosing the right materials

We can provide you with containers and packing material designed specifically for moving. Please contact your representative for your requirements.

Q5. How to pack

  • Personal belongings are packed in specially designed overseas cartons, lined top and bottom with crush and well sealed.
  • China, glass and breakables are individually wrapped and packed in double wall china cartons.
  • Clothing is transferred on their existing hangers into “layflat” cartons.
  • All articles not packed in cartons are completely wrapped in polyurethane overseas wrap.
  • To properly safeguard fragile or valuable items we custom build wooden crates.

Q6. Packing dishes and glassware

  • Wrap all pieces individually with enough unprinted newspaper to create a cushion effect. Do the same for decorative pieces or bric-a-brac.

Q7. Other items

Items that cannot be packed in cartons, such as brooms, mops and garden tools, should be tied into neat bundles. It is not necessary to remove clothing from dresser drawers-these can normally be moved with the contents intact.

Q8. What not to pack

You should move valuables, such as jewelry, furs, coins, and stamps personally. Do not pack any Prohibited Dangerous items including paints, aerosol cans, explosives, corrosives, propane tanks, firearms and ammunition. As a matter of public safety, governments at all levels have passed legislation restricting the transportation of dangerous goods. Under the “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act” we are prohibited by law from shipping these items. With this in mind, we would like to remind you for all owner packed boxes, crates, etc. it is your responsibility to ensure NO DANGEROUS GOODS are being transported. In order to prepare you in advance; we have developed the following lists of dangerous household commodities including, but not limited to.
7) Packing and Crating Services

Q1. Packing and Crating Services

Proper overseas packing, wrapping and preparation of your household goods is one of the most important steps to ensuring a successful move. Due to the nature of international relocations, it is important that skilled international packers prepare your household goods to travel from one country to another. Our trained employees ensure that your belongings will be carefully and safely packed using international packing methods and materials.

  • Personal belongings are packed in specially designed overseas cartons, lined top and bottom with crush and well sealed.
  • China, glass and breakables are individually wrapped and packed in double wall china cartons.
  • Clothing is transferred on their existing hangers into “layflat” cartons.
  • All articles not packed in cartons are completely wrapped in polyurethane overseas wrap.
  • To properly safeguard fragile or valuable items we custom build wooden crates.

If packing is something you would like to do yourself please review our packing tips to help you plan and prepare for your move. Don’t have the proper packing supplies? Order at our online material store and have them delivered or pick them up at our warehouse.

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