Updated 8 months ago

Some people are happy to sell or store all of their belongings in their home country and move to New Zealand with just a suitcase or two. But if this isn’t a cost effective plan for you, or you prefer to have your creature comforts with you to help your transition to a life abroad, then you will want to hire an international removal company. The sooner you start the process of choosing a company, the easier your move will be.

Choosing a moving company

When choosing a company, you will want to make sure they are reputable.There is very small chance that the same company you deal with in your home country will be the same company that handles your shipment at its destination, however, most reputable companies will have trustworthy partnerships with other FIDI registered shippers. Make enquiries about the company on the New Zealand end for your own peace of mind.

Many companies will offer information packs up to 12 months in advance of your move, and prefer at least three months notice to get you a quote and book you in as a customer. The movers will need to originate in your home country, so do some research for local recommendations and make enquiries.

Moving procedures

Once you have decided on a few companies, and know roughly which items you’d like to relocate, schedule a time for them to come around and give you a full quote. Keep in mind that some companies may price match, so a variety of quotes is always a good idea. Some information that will factor into the cost is:

  • your origin address;
  • the destination address in New Zealand;
  • the volume and weight of your items; and
  • how quickly you want your items to arrive.

Insurance is not typically included in this quote. However, your company will give you information on insuring your shipment against damage. Some companies require you to be insured, others don’t and you will have to decide whether or not it is worth the risk. Either way, it is worth making an exhaustive inventory of everything you’re shipping and creating a “declaration of value.”

Your company will complete all the customs paperwork on your behalf, and should be up to date on what is and isn’t able to be imported, but you may incur additional import and duty charges depending on what you bring. You may also add in storage options at either end if required.

The shipping time can take anywhere from 10-12 weeks for a shared container, 8-10 weeks for a private container, or 3-5 weeks for air freight. The shared container is the cheapest option and air freight is by far the most expensive. Customs and quarantine can also affect shipping times.

Your belongings will usually arrive directly at your destination address, but in some cases they will go into a warehouse for you to collect. Verify this information with the company beforehand.

Customs and regulations

Some items that seem normal may cause problems at customs on the New Zealand side. Camping equipment and sports equipment must be new or thoroughly cleaned, as biological material from other countries is cause for quarantine. Fridges and freezers might need special approval as they contain CFCs. Some craft supplies like crayons and paints contain an ingredient called polychlorinated biphenyl, which requires a permit in New Zealand.

Also, be sure to check whether your electrical appliances will be compatible and worth shipping before using up precious cargo space.

  Useful links:

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

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.