Moving to another country with international moving companies

Moving locally can be a trying time for many, so when your move is to another country it can be an extremely daunting prospect. Whether it’s a home move or a work transfer our Members can help you on your journey from beginning to end, wherever in the world you’re moving to.

When removal companies talk about moves with the destination outside of the UK, they tend to split these into two different types of move – European, and Overseas (moves beyond Europe). They do this because very often the way in which the move is carried out is quite different, as are the complexities involved, the costs and how your possessions are physically transported to your new home. As you’d expect, moving from the UK to France is somewhat different to moving to Australia.

When you are moving from the UK to mainland Europe (and vice versa) it may well be that your possessions are taken to your destination in one or more removal vehicles, which is called a ‘removal by road’. Many of our Members offer regular scheduled services to Europe as the price may be lower than if your goods were sent by container ship or by air freight.

How this is completed varies by mover and their scheduled services, as well as the required timing, your budget and your preference. You may want your goods to be sent in a dedicated vehicle with just your possessions on board, or as part of a ‘shared load’, where other customer possessions are combined with yours on a vehicle to save costs. Your mover will discuss this with you in more detail to ensure that all your needs are met.

In some instances the European destination may just be too far to do this. For example some destinations in the far east of Russia are further away from the UK than China, in which case your goods will likely be transported as an ‘International’ or Overseas Move.

If your move is outside mainland Europe (or even some far distant destination within Europe), then a more specialised type of service is required to ensure that your possessions are wrapped, labelled and packed appropriately, and then delivered to their destination safely and on time, whether by sea or by air.

Recognising that a particular set of skills are required for this type of move, BAR provides access to a dedicated group of over 50 international relocation specialists within the Membership – the BAR Overseas Group.

All Overseas Group Members have years of experience and knowledge in dealing with international moves. As well as taking care of your goods, they will advise you on the right type and level of insurance, provide advanced payment guarantees, and are inspected annually by BAR to ensure that they meet the Association’s exacting standards, which includes meeting the British Standard BS 8564 Overseas Moving standard.

This means that, from the initial survey to the moment you arrive at your final destination you can be certain that your belongings are in safe hands.

In addition, a number of our Overseas Group Members are members of the Movers Trading Club, who work together to negotiate lower international shipping rates that can then be passed on to you, the customer.

5 key reasons to choose a BAR Overseas Group Member


Knowledgeable and Experienced

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Advanced Payment Protection

Advanced Payment Protection

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Packed for Protection

Packed for Protection

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The Right Cover

The Right Cover for You

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Keeping you Informed

Keeping you Informed

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Download our Moving Checklist – a guide and countdown of things you need to do before you move

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Frequently asked Questions

The following are the most frequently asked questions we receive at BAR when people are looking to move overseas. If your query isn’t covered below please contact us at BAR on 01923 699 480.

Your removal company will pay the freight charges to the shipping line and so will ask you to settle your bill before the shipment leaves the UK. This advance payment policy is standard practice throughout the overseas removal industry, but to safeguard customers, Members of the BAR Overseas Group provide an Advanced Payment Guarantee which covers you in the unlikely event of your moving company ceasing trading while your goods are in transit.

Your chosen BAR Overseas Group Member will be able to give you a good idea of the shipping time but please be aware that shipping lines schedules are subject to change and can be affected by weather, re-routing, political events and other unexpected occurrences. The final delivery will also be subject to port and customs clearance times which can vary at different destinations.

Different destinations have different requirements but details of restrictions will be made available with your quotation. Your BAR Overseas Group Member will know the rules & regulations and will help you decide what to take and what to leave behind.

Your BAR Overseas Group Member will discuss with you the best and most economical method of shipment – sea, air, road, or perhaps a combination of all three. The company will then tell you how much it will all cost and give you an estimate of the expected time of arrival at your new home.

We believe that moving with an Overseas Group Member will mean it will go smoothly and without a hitch. However, there are occasions when things can go wrong. For this risk the members offer marine insurance or indemnity cover.  Overseas Group Members source the cover they offer from specialist brokers who deal with personal effects moves all the time. This means that the cover they offer is detailed and comprehensive. If there is a claim later it will make the process much simpler if the cover has been provided as part of the removal quotation package. Details will be with the quotation.

For the good of all concerned you, or an approved representative, must be present during collection and delivery.

As these items do not normally fall within the insurance or indemnity cover it is best if you can take these with you in your personal baggage.

Shipping pets is a specialist business. Ask your BAR Overseas Group Member to recommend a reliable animal shipping company to help.

Your removal company will appoint a Destination Partner to look after your goods when they arrive. They will organise customs clearance and delivery to your new home. The company will also arrange temporary storage if required. The Destination Partner will be an international moving company that works with your chosen BAR Overseas Group Member regularly on shipments both to and from the UK. Trust them as they are familiar with the local regulations, conditions and culture.

If the quotation is for a door to door service your Overseas Group Member or appointed partner agent will take care of this for you. Certain countries require you to attend the customs office to sign off the shipment – your quotation package will confirm what’s necessary for your destination.

Overseas Group Members can help with completion or send you notes about how it is done. You can call and ask if you have any questions.

Yes, it can be arranged at either end. Ask for details when sourcing the quotation.

Storage costs and any associated extra handling will vary depending on destination and volume. Ask when you enquire about the quotation.

A copy of your passport is usually required for all moves outside the EU. Some countries require the customs forms in advance. You will be advised on each particular destination by your Overseas Group Member.

Overseas Group Members have a large range of packing materials, crates, paper, boxes and wrappings. The Member you choose will assess your requirements and advise what will be required and included in the quotation.

Since these will be affected by your particular requirements and destination it will be best discussed with the Member’s representative when sourcing the quote.

Overseas Group Members have access to hundreds of fellow movers around the world. Many have regular partners or offices of their own and will be able to advise who will be looking after your move. You can contact them direct if you have any specific local queries.

All Overseas Group Members will be happy to nominate one person as your move controller.

If you are not able to get a satisfactory response to complaints you should contact the British Association of Removers. If they cannot resolve the problem they will advise how to initiate the independent complaints policy.

Most moves of personal effects are tax and duty free but can vary depending on your destination. Your chosen Overseas Group Member will advise accordingly.

Destinations outside the EU are zero rated for VAT.

Once you have had the quotation we advise at least two weeks’ notice. However, if circumstances mean a quick move is required your chosen Overseas Group Member will be as flexible as they can to help.

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