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Relocating to Australia

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Relocating to Australia can be a complicated process, especially for large households, so it is important to select the best removal company for overseas shipping. This is an important step not to be taken lightly, as the cheapest quote may not be the best option for your needs. Set up an appointment with a relocation company for an in-house estimate, obtaining several quotes if needed.

Make a list of all the objects that require special care (glass, mirrors, valuable or sentimental artwork, fragile items or heirlooms, etc.). Specify to the mover what you will do yourself (dismantling furniture, packing dishes etc.), and what they will be required to do. Searching online and reading reviews from other expats is the best way to find a moving company.

Important considerations

Regarding the estimate, several key points are to be considered, including:

  • Origin address – where removers will pack and load your belongings
  • Destination address in Australia – where removers will unload your belongings
  • Total volume or weight of everything to be moved
  • Transportation methods (by air, train, truck, ship)
  • Nature of the services – terms and conditions – insurance damage
  • Prices and payment plans

Usually, removal companies unload your belongings directly to the destination address. However, some removal companies unload your belongings in warehouses and you will be required to pick them up yourself afterwards, which could be an additional cost.

Safeguarding your home contents

Make a thorough inventory of your belongings to establish a “declaration of value”. The declaration of value is an important document that sets 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. Taking photos of valuable items could be beneficial. Read carefully the terms and conditions of your contract 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 could affect your relocation.

Accordingly, damage-insurance will be proposed by the carrier. 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 carrier. By signing the waybill, you legally agree to these terms and conditions and give permission to the removal company to proceed.

Regarding removal payment plans, a deposit is usually to be paid before loading and the balance must be paid upon delivery.

 Important:

In general, carriers 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:

As Australia is an island nation, strict requirements on quarantine apply to certain items, and may not be allowed into the country, for bio-security reasons. This could include plants, goods made from plant-based materials, and many types of food.  More information can be found from the Department of Immigration.

 Useful links:

FEDEMAC - Federation of European Movers
FIDI - International Federation of International Removers

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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Customs regulations are quite strict in Australia and numerous foods products, medicines and animal products should be declared upon arrival.
If you are moving to Australia with your pet, that there are formalities that must be completed before travel. There are also a number of banned species.
Expats with children in Australia will find a number of day care centres and nannies to choose from. Depending on the state, pre-schooling may be free.
Due to its size, you can spend your free time visiting other parts of Australia. However, there are many leisure activities within the major cities.
There are several major service providers in Australia, providing both landline and mobile phone connectivity. You can also make calls over the internet.

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