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Relocating to Greece

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International relocation is not easy. It requires plenty of research and thorough planning on your behalf -- and still, you need to be prepared for the unexpected. But choosing professional and skilled moving company and shippers will go a long way towards ensuring that your goods will arrive safely in Greece. Just bear in mind that it might actually be way more economic to buy a lot of things from scratch in Greece than to transport your belongings, so you’ll need to consider carefully.

Transporting your belongings

How will you know you’ve found said professionals? For starters, they will want to learn your moving timeline, to decipher whether you should ship your goods via air or sea freight, although transport via road is also an option. Then, they’ll want to see what items are being shipped, assess the cubic feet estimate and fragile items and check whether you require packing or custom crating services. After a home survey, they will be able to give you an estimate on cost, delivery and associated fees. Bear in mind that cheaper is not always better, and the time of delivery can be impacted by sailing/flight conditions and strikes (as strikes happen so often in Greece). You should also inquire about what packing materials they use, if any documents or receipts are required by Greek customs and who they partner with in Greece. Also make sure to clarify who assumes responsibility if belongings are damaged in transit.

When packing, keep in mind that some items, like firearms (weapons and ammunition), narcotics and illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco products, matches, playing cards, taxidermy items and live plants among others, are prohibited from being imported into Greece through customs, and may be seized by border authorities upon arrival. Finally, bear in mind that if you want to bring your motor vehicle into Greece, it must be less than four years old, have an odometer reading under 50,000 miles and it must have been in your possession for at least six months.

Moving to Greece with your family

There are no vaccines needed for moving to Greece. And regardless of what you may hear in the media, Greece is actually a very safe place and there is very little serious crime. Greeks love kids and they also love back-seat parenting, so if you move to Greece with children you can be rest assured you will have a whole country of aunts and uncles eager to help and offer their advice on how to raise your little ones, and to spoil them rotten with treats when you’re not paying attention.

You should be aware that although the past few years Greece has been making huge strides towards equality and diversity, and it is definitely a better place to be for members of the LGBT community than most countries of the Eastern world, it still has some way to go when it comes to acceptance. So, if your family is not a “traditional” heteronormative one, you may notice differences in people’s behavior.

Moving to Greece with your pet

Bringing your pet to Greece can be a time consuming process, but when all steps are carried out carefully, you can safely do so -- and there will be no quarantine as long as the following regulations are met.

The first step is to prepare your pet to enter Greece by having it microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15 digit pet microchip. Then, the process varies depending on where you’re coming from: for EU citizens, all you need is an updated EU Pet Passport. A non-commercial EU health certificate is not required for pets travelling to Greece from another EU Member State, unless a rabies booster was administered by a veterinarian outside of the EU at any time after your pet received its microchip.

If your pet is entering Greece from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled country, you will need to provide proof of a rabies vaccination, administered after the microchip was implanted. If this is your pet's first vaccination after microchipping, you’ll have to wait for 21 days before travelling. Greece does honour the 3 year rabies vaccination for dogs, cats and ferrets; however, it should only be administered as a booster unless specified by the manufacturer. You can speak to your veterinarian about this. Once your pet has entered Greece and provided rabies boosters are kept up to date, you don’t need to wait out the 21-days quarantine period.

But if you’re entering Greece from a high-rabies country, then your pet must be microchipped and vaccinated for rabies (in that order). After waiting for 30 days, a rabies titer test (FAVN) must be administered. If the test results are within acceptable limits, your pet can enter Greece no sooner than 3 calendar months after the date the blood was drawn.

Back in your home country, your vet must complete the non-commercial EU health certificate for Greece within 10 days of travel. If you’re travelling from the United States, the veterinarian must be accredited by the USDA and the health certificate must be endorsed by the State USDA office (unless the certificate is completed by a military Veterinary Corps Officer or GS-0701 series civilian government veterinarian employed by the military). The CFIA must endorse forms issued by Canadian veterinarians. If travelling to Greece from another country, then the forms must be endorsed by the government agency responsible for the import and export of animals. With this form, you can transport up to five pets.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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