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Moving to America: shipping household effects

Oct 12. 2015

Are you thinking of moving across the pond? Relocating to America for work or with your family is not a small decision to make. Moving to the U.S.A. requires a great deal of consideration and organising in to the physicality of actually moving.

If you decide to move your personal effects and household goods with you then you will be subject to customs regulations when shipping to America. Personal effects include
household goods such as furniture, dishes, linens, libraries, artwork and similar household furnishings for your personal use. In order to avoid paying duty on these items, the articles must have either been available for your use or used in a household where you were a resident for at least one year, and are not intended for any other person or for sale. The year of use does not need to be continuous, nor does it need to be the year immediately before the date of importation.

If you are sending your items by sea, it is advisable to use a professional removals company to export wrap and pack your items on to your own sole use or groupage container. If you are shipping any heavy or specialist items your international removals company should be able to provide you with a specially made timber crate or case that is ISPM 15 heat treated meaning it is suitable for worldwide export. Your remover should be able to advise you on items you are allowed to take and any items which are restricted or prohibited, such as most food items. You items can take between 8-12 weeks to be shipped to America depending on your final destination in the country.

You will be required to provide a full packing list which can be used as an inventory for the goods which will be organised by your removals company. When completing the Customs and Border Protection Form (CBP Form) 6059B, “Customs Declaration,” for accompanying goods or the CBP Form 3299 “Declaration For Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles,” the statement that the goods are “household effects” is not enough information. The complete inventory of imported goods will be treated as the packing list and must be provided to CBP upon request.

If you are considering the move to America, or would like more informational on international shipping of your household goods, please contact Burke Bros International Department on 01902 714555 or email sales@burkebros.co.uk.

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