Relocating to Portugal

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Updated 2021-09-23 13:30

Moving to Portugal requires appropriate planning, especially if you are moving an entire household. It is recommended to start planning as soon as possible and to allow extra time, in case of delays. Here are some guidelines to help you to prepare for your move.

Planning your move to Portugal

Once you have decided to relocate to Portugal, you should start to research relocation companies to assist with your move. It is an important step not to be taken lightly. A moving consultant will eventually visit your home to assess the volume of goods you intend to transport. You will have to specify which objects require special care (fragile, etc.), and the things you will take charge of (disassembly of furniture, packing dishes, etc.). It is worth getting quotes from several companies, as prices can vary greatly between providers. If you are prepared to wait longer to receive your belongings, this may lower the overall cost. You may get a quote here.

Generally, moving companies will want to know the following information before providing a quote:

  • pick-up address
  • new address in Portugal
  • volume, weight, and quantity of goods, noting fragile items
  • type of transport (air, sea, land)
  • Expected delivery date

Make a list of your belongings, as comprehensive as possible, in order to establish your value statement. The value statement is a document that allows you to set compensation in case of loss or damage to your property, by declaring the total financial value of your items. You must fill it out yourself, specifying the overall value as well as the value of some assets which could exceed the contractual limit value. An estimate cannot be established without this statement.

For certain goods, such as kitchen wares, appliances, and electronics, it might work out cheaper to sell the goods before you move, and then repurchase on arrival in Portugal.

It is most common to route your belongings directly to your new home, although some companies will ship to a centralised warehouse or distribution centre instead. You will then have to move the items from there to your final destination, so confirm this before selecting a removalist.

Insuring your property when moving to Portugal

Damage insurance will usually be offered by the carrier. This insurance can cover non- predictable transport damage to your property according to the value you specified in your statement. The cost of this insurance will depend on the total value of your property. The removal company will give you an insurance certificate. It is important to make sure you have insurance for your belongings, especially for fragile and high-value pieces.

Additional steps to take when relocating to Portugal

Once your move is just about ready, you will need to sign the consignment ticket before loading occurs, and once again on delivery. This consignment ticket includes the terms of the contract, mode of transport, volume transported, the customer's name and address, and the shipping company's details. Once you sign this letter, you have given your approval to the removal company to proceed with the removal.

Generally, you will pay the deposit before the move takes place and the balance upon delivery.

The carrier will handle administrative formalities relating to your move (customs clearance etc.). For extra security, opt for an IFIM (International Federation of International Movers) affiliated carrier.

Good to know:

You are advised to check in advance with the Portuguese Customs Department to be aware of any specific restrictions or requirements regarding what can and cannot be brought into the country, as well as any quarantine periods for pets, etc.

Useful links:

FEDEMAC - Federation of European Movers

FIDI - The International Federation of International Movers

Portuguese Customs Department

European Union Customs

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