If you decide to relocate in Germany, take enough time to choose your removal company. This is an important step not to be taken lightly. Make a list of all the objects that require special care (glassware, mirrors, pieces of art etc.) and specify to the removal company what you will do yourself (dismantling furniture, packing dishes etc.) To find a carrier or a moving service you can either use the Internet or consult the yellow pages.
Regarding the estimate, several key points are to be considered such as:
- origin address – where movers will pack and load your belongings
- destination address in Germany – where movers will unload your belongings
- volume or weight of your stuff
- types of transportation (by air, train, truck, ship)
- nature of the services – terms and conditions and insurance against damage
- prices and payment plans
Usually, removal companies unload your belongings directly at the destination address. However, some removal companies unload your belongings in warehouses from where you will have to collect them yourself afterwards. Check your moving contract carefully and make an exhaustive inventory of your belongings so as to establish a “value statement”.
The value statement is an important document that sets out the compensation amount you could receive in case of loss or damage of your belongings. Complete the declaration of value yourself by stating the overall value of your property and the value of certain particular precious items. Read the terms and conditions of your contract carefully to find out more about transportation and handling of precious objects. This statement is particularly important because without it, an estimate cannot be established, which will obviously affect your relocation and your organisation in case of problems.
Insurance cover for damage to goods
Accordingly, insurance against damage will be proposed by the removal company. This insurance automatically covers non-predictable damage associated with the transportation of your belongings up to the value indicated in the declaration of value. The cost for the insurance depends on the overall value of your belongings. The removal company must issue a certificate of insurance in any case. Finally, you must sign the “waybill” before loading and after delivery of your belongings. The waybill is a document that specifies the terms and conditions of the contract, the mode of transportation, the volume or weight carried by the removal company, the name and address of both the customer and the removal company. By signing the waybill, you dagree to the terms and conditions and give permission for the removal company to go ahead.
Regarding removal payment plans, a deposit is usually to be paid before loading and the balance must be paid upon delivery. A payment plan must be arranged with the removal company.
In general, carriers will handle customs paperwork for you (customs clearance etc.). For more security, opt for a carrier affiliated with the FIDI (International Federation of International Movers).
Good to know:
Contact the German embassy or consulate, or German Customs for more information about relocation to the country, customs, prohibited items etc.