We will help you through this sometimes-daunting procedure. We have customs clearing agents in every country and they will be able to guide you through the necessary paperwork to ensure your goods comply with local rules and regulations.

We are a UK registered customs broker. When your goods leave the UK, we will electronically file the appropriate customs paperwork to ensure a speedy exit from the UK.

How do we clear your goods through Overseas Customs?

Before you have left we will have taken an inventory / packing list of all your items. If you have packed any goods yourself you need to tell us what’s in the boxes and we will add this to your inventory. You can print of a packing list here. You will be given a copy of this and our overseas agents will also receive a copy of this inventory along with the appropriate shipping documents which show the vessel name and arrival port.

As the owner of the goods you will still need to complete and sign a declaration form telling Customs exactly what you have shipped and your legal status in your new country. The sooner this can be completed the better to ensure a quick transit through Customs.

If you are moving to Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada or South Africa, you can complete the customs forms before you arrive which can help speed up the process. See the links below for further information.

In some countries, like the USA you can appoint another person to do this by using a Power of Attorney form. See below for appropriate links.

What are my responsibilities as the owner and shipper?

In most countries, not all, there are no duty or taxes applicable for personal effects that you have owned for 12 months or more. It is however important that you do not ship items which may be subject to duty or taxes or items which are prohibited. This includes any goods which customs might deem to be for commercial purposes or any items listed below. Tip: If you have “New” items in original boxes then take them out of the box before shipping.

If your goods are inspected and fall into any of these categories you may incur further costs for duty, taxes, storage and other fees charged by customs, indeed these items may also be confiscated and fines applied. 1st Move cannot be held responsible for these costs and they will need to be paid by you before customs will release your goods. If in doubt… Leave it out.

Customs import Information. Prohibited goods List.

Every country has varying rules for what you can and cannot bring into the country as a guideline the items below are prohibited in most countries and should not be shipped with your general household goods.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Animal skins (non-domesticated)
  • Aerosols and pressurised vessels, whether full or empty.
  • Articles of exceptional value (eg, works of art, antiques, precious stones, gold and silver)
  • Corrosives, eg bleach or paint stripper.
  • Dangerous goods/Hazardous materials)
  • We do not recommend shipping food whether it’s tinned, dried or unopened
  • Explosives, eg ammunition or fireworks.
  • Firearms
  • Furs
  • Ivory and ivory products
  • Live animals
  • Money and negotiable items
  • Perishable goods
  • Plants
  • Poisons, eg weed killer
  • Pornographic materials
  • Seeds
  • Vegetable matter, composts, soil, straw or plants.
  • Tobacco and tobacco products

Prohibited Items

Prohibited goods USA
Prohibited goods for import into Canada
Prohibited imports list Australia
Prohibited imports list New Zealand
Prohibited and restricted goods South Africa
Prohibited goods singapore
UAE (Dubai customs prohibited goods list)

To download customs forms for completion before arrival, see our customs forms page.

For more info on customs procedures specific to each country, check out our list of official customs websites.

Your Pallets Packed - Live on Facebook

COVID Safe Packing and Zero Touch Delivery Label

1st Move are the only UK international removals company who offer COVID safe packing solutions when shipping household goods overseas.

Once packed, all of our customer pallets are photographed and pictures of your own shipment will be posted immediately to our Facebook page.

You can see a gallery of our latest customer shipments here.

Looking for a quote? Use our quote form to receive an estimate for your move.

Real customer reviews

Simply the best! Highly recommend 1st Move International, outstanding service. I had a large shipment of all my worldly goods to SA of which many items were very fragile. The packaging was so amazing not a single item was broken. And the communication was excellent all the way. Thank you to all at the company.

We have used 1st Move International over the past five years and never had a concern. The service we have received has encouraged us to give 1st Move International's details to all our friends

From start to finish the process to move our goods from the UK to the USA was seamless. Wonderful communication from everyone involved, and our belongings arrived in flawless condition. Highly recommend!

Everything about 1st Move itself was excellent - they were efficient, courteous, very responsive to all my concerns and very straightforward to deal with.

These guys are the best, superb service and amazing packing skills, everything arrived safely and not a scratch or broken glass in sight.

In the midst of life's challenges, they made an international move an easy process.

Even with the inconveniences of COVID-19 shutting down the world, 1st Move International went above and beyond for our overseas move.

I would give more stars if I could! 1st Move shipped 4 large pallets from the UK to the US for me and what seemed like such a daunting task to me, they handled awesomely!

Absolutely fantastic service from start to finish. Highly recommend and would definitely use again. Super helpful friendly team with brilliant communication who helped us every step of the way guiding us through all paperwork rules and regs. Thanks so much.

Even with the inconveniences of COVID-19 shutting down the world, 1st Move International went above and beyond for our overseas move. It is amazing that there was no damage taking into consideration that there was an Atlantic crossing, countless warehouse moves, train shipments, and truck deliveries. The only moving company I recommend!