Ensuring safe relocations for your personal treasures

Published:  6 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: Moving
Moving overseas is stressful enough, but ensuring your treasured art, antiques and favourite items arrive safely can be a real worry.

Nowadays, moving to another country on retirement is increasingly popular for many reasons, but safely transporting personal treasures, art or antiques can cause untold stress. Over the years, many soon-to-be expat retirees have acquired, collected, inherited or been given valuable items such as artworks, antiques or simply gifts with special significance. It’s scary enough entrusting favourite pieces of furniture to your carrier, but when it comes to those much-loved and appreciated treasures, the thought of loss, breakage or even theft makes the move far more stressful than it needs to be.

Whether your special items have monetary, sentimental or artistic value, they need all the protection you can give. Your chosen international removal company should be able to provide peace of mind, but many soon-to-be-expats choose the do-it-yourself option including a hefty insurance premium.

Luckily, professional packing materials are easily available, with bubble-wrap the most useful for most items. Customised packing crates in wood or reinforced cardboard can also be sourced, as can wooden boxes for extra-fragile or valuable items. The degree of packaging necessary depends on the mode of transportation to your new country, and should allow for ease of packing by your your removal company's pre-ordered container.

In the real world, most accidents can’t be prevented and damage may occur, but modern, carefully used packing materials should protect your treasures from all but the most devastating disasters. The first rule is bubble-wrapping to excess plus taping, and filling in the spaces between your items with polystyrene beads will prevent movement. For moves across continents, an international removal specialist is a must, especially when dealing with foreign customs officers whose rules you simply can’t understand on your own.

The format of customs declaration changes country by country, and it’s best to let the professionals handle this issue. Import duty is usually demanded, involving you in creating a long list of your belongings and their estimated value. Only you can do this and it isn’t easy or fun. The list will also be used to calculate your transportation insurance, yet another of those ‘don’t leave home without it’ necessities.

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