International FAQs

It is never too early to contact a removal company. Advance preparation is probably one of the most important factors in choosing the right removal company. Household removal can be one the most stressful things a family will ever have to cope with, even more so when you are planning to move overseas. Therefore, the earlier you start your search for a removal company, the better. It will be one less thing for you to worry about and will allow you and your family time to reflect on the many other points which you will have to attend to. Generally, we would recommend that you begin your search no less than 12 weeks prior to your move and in some cases, people start their search as much as 12 months prior to their move. Whatever you decide is most suitable for you and your family, what is important is that you do not leave it to the last moment; this could be potentially disastrous and result in you having to make hasty decisions.

The quickest and easiest way is to complete our on-line quote request. This is ideal if you wish to get a reasonable idea of the costs involved, or if you simply do not have the time to spend on a home visit. Submit the quote request taking special care to supply as much information as you can and to pay particular attention to the quantity of boxes that you may require as this is often an area where people under estimate.

Alternatively, contact our office and speak to one of our coordinators to book an appointment for you with one of our experienced surveyor’s to visit your property or you may prefer to have a home video survey, and this service is usually provided free of charge. You may also contact us by email or by fax (01322 383467). During the visit, our consultant will be able to discuss all aspects of your move including any specific questions that you may have. He or she will complete an inventory for all items that you wish to ship, and can also complete a separate list of items that you may wish to take depending on shipping cost. Our consultant will also be able to identify any special requirements that may affect the cost of your removal such as parking restrictions, abnormal size items requiring special handling, potential problems with moving items within your property and such like.

On receipt of your survey, whether completed by our consultant during a home visit or as a video survey, you will be allocated a personal coordinator who will calculate the overall volume of your shipment taking into account any special instructions that may have been received in respect of cases required for specific items, parking permits, special lifting equipment and so on. Your personal coordinator will calculate your quotation and forward this to you by mail, email or fax as indicated by you along with all relevant information on overseas removal and, in most cases, specific information on the Country to which you are moving. If you have indicated various options such as maybe a small quantity of essential items by air or specific items to be costed separately, your personal coordinator will include the cost of these options within your information pack.

Overall costs are broken down into three elements; (a) origin services – packing and removal to store or, loading into the container at your residence depending on circumstances. (b) freight and charges port to port or airport to airport and (c) destination services – terminal handling/port charges, import Customs clearance, delivery to your new home (or storage facility if required), unloading and placing your items within your property, unpacking of furniture and disposal of the packaging debris. When calculating your costs, we have to take into account each of these elements and include or exclude any items which you do not wish us to perform. Generally we will include them as options for your consideration. The actual cost of these services varies depending on how much work you want us to undertake on your behalf, the destination you are going to you and the mode of transport that will be used. Finally, the quotation will vary on the overall volume or size of your belongings or, if you are shipping by air, we will have to also take into account the actual weight of your belongings.

Basically, there are two types of service available (a) door to port or airport at destination; whereby our costs will include as much of the origin service element as you require, all documentation and freight and charges up to the point of arrival at the destination port or airport. You will then have to arrange to clear your belongings through Customs and either collect from the terminal/port/warehouse or arrange to have the shipment delivered to your home. Our destination partner will gladly assist you if you choose this option. (b) door to door; we will include all costs as at (a) but, additionally, we will perform as much of the destination service element as you require, ie: clear through Customs, pay port/terminal handling fees, arrange delivery to your home (or storage facility), provide a professional removal crew to unload and place within your property, unpack and dispose of debris on day of delivery.

You can add further variables to your quote such as arranging to pack yourself using your own materials or taking a supply of our materials, delivery of your belongings to our store for shipment, collection from our partners store at destination when cleared through Customs. Whatever ideas you may have, contact one of our consultants and will be able to discuss the options with you, pointing our any potential pitfalls or benefits so that you can make an informed decision. And, if you change your mind, no problem, we are adaptable and pride ourselves on meeting any challenges presented by our clients to help you achieve your goals.

Generally, our prices are all inclusive within the boundaries that you have set and based on the information you have supplied. However, all quotations will exclude import Customs duty or taxes or local Government levies (where and if applicable), rent or demurrage (if incurred beyond our control), storage (available if required both at origin and destination), Customs or local Authority inspection/examination fees (if required or undertaken), fumigation (if directed), tradesman services (ie: plumber or electrician, handyman etc available if required), maid services (we can arrange for maids as part of our crew both at origin and destination to clean your new home and your belongings as they are unpacked), marine/transit insurance (available and always offered as an optional extra).

In addition, unless you have indicated otherwise, our quotations are based on your new property having reasonable access for our removal vehicle to be placed outside without the need for an excessive long carry. In addition, your belongings will be placed within a property not above 1st floor level (ground floor for the United States of America which does include a 1st floor within a property). Whilst the same applies to your property at origin, either our surveyor will already have noted any relevant access difficulties or you will have indicated them in your on-line quotation request. Likewise, any special costs incurred for cranes, hoist and such like for heavy or special items such as safes or pianos, will only be included within our quotation if items are identified on your survey report.

If you are moving OUTSIDE of the European Union, your shipping and removal charge will be zero rated for V.A.T. However, ALL removals WITHIN the European Union will attract V.A.T. at the standard rate with Switzerland and the Canary Islands the only exceptions. IF V.A.T. is applicable to your shipment, this will be clearly indicated on your quotation.

As a professional Overseas Removal Company, we provide the option for you to have a full PROFESSIONAL export pack of all or part of your shipment as indicated by you. If you wish to pack yourself, you may do so and if required, we will supply you with all necessary packing materials including bubble wrap, void fill, packing tape, wrapping paper, export strength cartons of various sizes, purpose built cases for specific fragile items. However, we strongly recommend all of our clients carefully consider the option of a professional export pack as there are many benefits such as higher degree of insurance cover, increased level of protection for your valuable household and personal effects by allowing highly qualified staff with many years experience in handling and packing. The cost of a professional export pack is relatively small compared with the benefits it offers.

We have nominated partners at every main port and airport worldwide. Our partners are carefully selected to ensure that you receive the very best attention and service. Whilst some of our larger competitors may boast that they have their own global offices, it is our opinion that this actually has an adverse effect on the level of service that you will receive at destination. Our independent partners have to supply the highest level of service at all times to all clients because we can choose any number of alternatives in the event we receive complaints from customers. The larger global groups do not have this ability and as such, destination offices can sometimes become complacent secure in the knowledge that they will never lose the business from their own overseas offices.

For seafreight shipments, where transit time permits, our nominated partner will mail an arrival notification to your overseas contact address which will indicate an estimated arrival date along with any special requests and forms which may be necessary to clear your shipment through Customs. If you have paid for a door to door service, they will clear your shipment through Customs and Quarantine (where necessary). When clearance is completed, they will contact you to discuss a suitable date and time for delivery. If you are not ready to accept delivery, you can then arrange for our partner to store the items for you, otherwise, they can deliver to a storage facility of your own choice. On delivery, our partner will supply a crew to unload and place all items into your property, unpack as much of the furniture as you require and dispose of the packaging debris on day of delivery. Boxes will be placed in the appropriate rooms for you to unpack. If you have paid for a door to port/airport service, our partner will gladly arrange clearance and delivery for you if required at an additional fee.

For airfreight or European road shipments where transit times are considerably less, our partner will contact you by telephone, fax or email to advise you of arrival of your shipment. They will then perform services in the same way as with a seafreight consignment.

It goes without saying that all due care is taken to ensure the safe delivery of your personal effects irrespective of the size of your shipment, however, accidents happen and that is inevitable. Fortunately, this happens rarely but we always strongly recommend that you have adequate marine transit insurance cover and that your effects are covered to their full destination replacement value including shipping costs. Our own comprehensive policy is underwritten by Lloyds of London and insures your shipment against the risks of loss or damage in transit or whilst in storage. Insurance cover commences at the time of packing and removal at origin and is valid through to delivery at destination. It will also cover you for up to 30 days in storage at origin or destination and can be extended for a further period if required at an additional premium. Our sales consultants will supply you with an insurance proposal form which will need to be completed to place cover if required, although the form is available under the download documents section of the website. There is a separate insurance document on the website that gives full details of the terms and conditions of cover.

You should consider how much it would cost to replace your household goods and personal effects in the country of destination. An excellent source of such information would be the local press in that country which maybe a family member or friend living overseas could supply. This information is particularly good for high value items such as kitchen appliances, furniture, motor vehicles etc. You may also find that the information is available via your destination Country’s Embassy here in the U.K., you should start with their immigration department. Finally, you should be able to obtain suitable details via the internet.

When completing your proposal form please be as detailed as possible. Whilst many everyday household items can be collectively valued, it is essential that specific high value items (over £500) with a high replacement cost are indicated in as much detail as possible with an appropriate value. If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact your personal coordinator.

There are certain items and products we cannot accept for transportation or that are restricted under general conditions of carriage. There are also other items which it is inadvisable to pack and ship and which may affect the terms of your insurance cover. For example; foodstuffs of any description or liquids which may leak in transit causing damage to other items, cash, bonds, jewellery, alcohol, fireworks or other explosives, flammable gases, liquids or solids, poisons, corrosives, ammunition or firearms, swords, sabres, daggers, spears and switch blades, scuba diving tanks, gas cylinders, aerosol cans, butane lighters and other pressurised articles. Additionally, you must not pack perfumes in an airfreight consignment and we recommend that you check ALL cosmetics as to their contents and potential hazardous nature before packing.

You should also not pack wood, bricks, cement, sand, rocks and soil of any type, plants of any kind including dried flowers, bulbs, seeds, pine cones and pot pourri, untreated animal pelts, furs and hunting trophies and pornography of any description including articles of simple nudity if you are relocating to a Muslim country. You should also take special care when packing household cleaning products or items from your garage or shed, check their contents, if they are flammable or hazardous in anyway, DO NOT PACK THEM. Speak with your local Council as to where and how you can dispose of them safely.

The above is not a complete listing by any means and each country will have its own regulations. Above all, common sense will dictate what you should or should not pack and if in doubt, please contact one of our consultants who will be able to offer you advice.

We appreciate that there are a number of factors which will determine when you will actually move such as completion of a house sale, validity of visas, commencement of a new job. However, it is important that you do not leave it too late to book your packing and removal especially during the height of the summer period when removal crews are heavily committed. We would recommend that you notify us as soon as you have a completion date and it is vital that this is confirmed within 2 weeks of your actual move. We will also try to accommodate you wherever possible so if in doubt, contact your personal co-coordinator and discuss any problems or difficulties that you may have.

We will supply you with general information that is available along with your information pack and quotation, however, details and policies can and do change without prior warning on a regular basis. Most Customs departments around the World now have their own websites although often they are not updated as regularly as they should be. You can also contact the Customs department within the Embassy of your destination country who will be able to give you assistance. Alternatively, if you have specific queries, you may either contact us and we will take up the matter on your behalf, or you may speak with our local partner who will be happy to assist. Where possible and where available, we will supply you with Customs forms and documentation for your destination Country, this is not always possible in every case and where we do not hold stocks, our local Partner will supply you at destination with all relevant paperwork. Ultimately, it is the individual’s responsibility to ensure that they do have the correct documentation and that they are aware of local regulations.

There is no set guidance to this question as each destination Country will vary as will the value of the items themselves. If you wish, we can supply quotations for specific items of furniture as optional extras to your main shipment. Through investigation in local press, internet and friends and family currently living in your destination Country, you will be able to establish the actual replacement value of those same or similar items. You will then be able to make the comparisons yourself and make a final decision. However, you should always consider that having ones own familiar furniture and personal effects with you will greatly assist the settling in process in your new country. You may also have some items which simply have sentimental value and this alone may make it well worth shipping rather than replacing.

We ask for a 50% deposit to be paid at the time of your booking, the balance of your account is payable prior to packing/loading. You may make payment by credit or debit card, or by direct transfer into our account.

We have purpose built containerised storage facilities offering both short and long term storage possibilities, for further details please view the storage services section of our website. We offer discounted rates for shipping consignments and you can discuss your requirements with one of our sales consultants or your personal coordinator. We are also able to offer storage facilities at destination, again on long and short term contracts.

Freephone 0800 515930 or call 01322 386969

Simpsons are a long established and quality approved company operating to British Standards for all UK, European, International and Commercial removals

WhatClients Say

Please browse our selection of testimonials from recent house moves, relocations and other services used.

  • good service today. Container from USA all unpacked. Well done

    Mr R McPherson
  • Excellent service, great workers. We were delighted with hoiw smoothly and professional everything went. I will let everyone know how great you were.

    Mr & Mrs Noone

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