There are so many choices to be made when moving your life and belongings to Canada. You might have chosen Toronto or Vancouver as your new home but who’s moving your worldly goods is the next big decision you need to make.
International transport options for moving your household contents, excess baggage, vehicles and even pets are, whether by sea, road or air; slightly limited.
Even before you’ve had confirmation of your successful visa application or job offer, it pays to start shopping around for a suitable removal company.
You need to:
- Give yourself time to gather quotes from three or four companies. It can take 3-6 months to plan a move but most companies can accommodate a shorter time-frame
- Bare in mind though that it takes approximately 2-5 weeks for full container shipments and 5-8 weeks for part load shipments to arrive in Canada from the UK.
Picking a reliable shipping company may seem overwhelming especially if the quotes are all very similar but there are certain associations that international removal companies can belong to. These are good indicators of credibility and reliability.
Look out for the following:
FAIM Accreditation, which is only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry
Membership of the FIDI Global Alliance, which sets a quality benchmark for its members
Membership of the British Association of Removers Overseas Group. BAR OVERSEAS is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for your financial protection
Once you’ve chosen the company for your needs you will be given a final quote and a reputable firm will assign you a move coordinator who’ll control all aspects of the removal from start to finish. You should be given a provisional moving date and a crew will be booked. You’ll also have an agreed list of what is going to be removed. This can usually be altered before the big day.
Moving to a new continent will probably mean the bulk of your possessions will need to travel to your new home by container ship. Door to door shipping services takes the hassle out of moving abroad. Seriously consider choosing a removal company that includes a packing service. It won’t break the bank and can save a huge amount of stress, time and energy. Furthermore, your chosen removal company will have all of the relevant contacts and partners in place to deal with the customs clearance for you and once everything has cleared, your goods will either be placed into temporary storage or delivered to your new home. Moving to Canada involves certain procedures that your international shipping company should have organised for you.
Your international removals company should:
- Load your belongings into a sea freight container. They should re-confirm the estimated time of arrival (ETA) in Canada.
- Tell you that when you first arrive at the airport in Canada you’ll need to complete a B4 customs form, which is a declaration that you have goods to follow.
- Let you know that in order to assist with the customs clearance of your shipment, it is a Canadian import requirement for the owner/shipper to visit the nearest customs office with their passport, visa and B4 form and any other relevant paperwork to enable the release of your goods.
- All goods entering Canada are subject to an inspection and clearance by the CBSA (Canadian Border Service Agency) as well as the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency).
- Contact you to arrange a suitable delivery day once your goods have been cleared by customs.
Bear in mind that an international removal company should always offer insurance to cover against loss or damages during transit and most will offer deals as part of their quote for tailor-made transit cover or marine policy for example.
So if you are thinking about moving to Canada and want to find out more about what you should expect, contact our experts.