International Removals

Moving overseas? With 1st Move’s international removals services, you will be assured of our unbeatable packing, weekly shipping direct from the UK using the world’s premier shipping lines, great rates and fully insured moving overseas services from the UK’s top independent international removals company.

We offer a range of international moving and shipping options for personal effects and household goods, each move tailored to your needs and the size of your move, whether you're transporting just a few boxes or the entire contents of your home.

International removals require careful planning, expertise, and experience. Let 1st Move’s 25 years of shipping and moving guide you through the process of shipping and packing options, moving costs, container prices, shipping times, removals insurance and customs regulations.

For further information on service details and rates you can get a quick quote for your overseas move using our form here.

Why Choose 1st Move International?

Container ship sailing fast

Faster Weekly Shipping Service

No waiting to fill our containers. We have pre-booked container slots sharing space with commercial exporters so we can ship weekly with the world's premier shipping lines.

Packed pallets lined up

Better Protection For Your Move

Palletised international removals for a safer move overseas. Our shrink-wrap packing stops the handling of individual items. This reduces the risks of damage, mix-ups and improves the security & protection of your goods.

Pallets being measured

Measured Exactly for Accurate Billing

When it comes to shipping, size matters. Moving costs are determined by the total volume of your shipment. After packing, our pallets can be measured exactly to ensure clear and accurate billing for your move abroad.

Further Benefits of Using 1st Move International:

  • 25 years’ providing International Removals Services.
  • Members of the British Association of Removers
  • Members of the British International Freight Association
  • Modern fleet and fully trained packers and movers
  • Fully insured from your home to destination
  • Your own personal dedicated move manager
  • Free UK storage up to next scheduled sailing date
  • Electronic and Fastrack Customs clearance
  • Faster weekly sailings with unbeatable transit times
  • 24/7 Container and vessel tracking systems

Shipping Options For Your Move

Loading a Shared Container with 1st Move Pallets

International Removals by Shared Container

Our shared container services allow you to share a shipping container with other customers who are moving to the same overseas destination. This is a more affordable option for smaller international shipments as you only pay for the space your own goods take up inside the container. This is the preferred shipping choice for shipments up to 15 cubic metres or 530 cubic feet.

Palletised shipping makes it easier to load and offload and a safer way to share a container with other customers. Our shared container services run on set weekly shipping schedules to most of our popular destinations worldwide including USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and more.

Loading a Full Container with 1st Move Pallets

International Removals by Full Container

Our full container services provide either a 20ft or 40ft container to be used solely for your own overseas shipment. This is ideal for larger international moves such as a 3-4 bedroom household and where you are taking all your personal effects including white goods and furniture.

Subject to access we can load the container directly from your home into the container or we can pack and collect your household goods in smaller vans to be securely loaded, a few days later, at our own warehouse facilities.

Either process can take up to 3 days to allow for professional packing and loading and then your container will go directly to the port for the first available sailing to your home country.

How We Pack for International Removals

Pallet shipping has been in use for nearly a century and provides the safest, most secure and stable way to ship household goods overseas. Proven to reduce insurance claims by over 40%. We are the only international moving company to use pallet shipping for every overseas relocation. Check out our video below and see how you to can "Ship it like the pro's".

An International Removals Service Like No Other

With over 25 years of experience in providing international moving services from the UK, we have the expertise to handle your move with ease. Since establishing our company in 1997, we've managed thousands of overseas relocations for families and corporations around the globe. Let our seasoned team put our 25+ years of industry experience to work for you.

Personal Move Manager

With their extensive experience in international removals, customs protocols, and documentation requirements your personal Move Manager will coordinate every aspect of your international move. They will be your single point of contact, available to answer questions, provide recommendations, and ensure your personal belongings arrive safely.

Read more about our experienced international removals team.


Protect your belongings on their journey to your new home. Our comprehensive shipping insurance covers loss or damage to your household goods and personal effects during international transit and storage. We offer flexible plans with different coverage options for your shipment's value - whether you need full protection or more basic coverage, we have an insurance solution that fits your budget and risk tolerance.

Read more about international removals insurance.

Customs Clearance

We use our customs expertise to simplify your international move. We are registered customs brokers and we handle all the customs documentation, regulations, and inspections to get your personal belongings swiftly through border control and on their way to your new home. Our palletised shipping system allows for fast track customs clearance at destination and speedy delivery to your door.

Read more about our customs clearance process.

How Much Does International Removals Cost?

There are three main factors when calculating your international removals costs. The size or volume of your shipment, your destination, and the value of your personal belongings. Other factors such as packing requirements and distance from the port will also play a part in your final cost.

Here are a few examples of expected international moving costs when shipping to some of our most popular destinations.

Destination Shared Container Cost
3 Bed House
20ft Container Cost (GBP)
4-5 Bed House
40ft Container Cost (GBP)
New York, USA From £1,159 From £3,900 From £5,232
Sydney, Australia From £1,011 From £2,800 From £4,998
Montreal, Canada From £1,264 From £3,900 From £5,850
Auckland, New Zealand From £1,285 From £4,750 From £8,350
Dubai, UAE From £871 From £2,224 From £2,857
Cape Town, South Africa From £992 From £1,550 From £2,450

Our team will be happy to provide you with a FREE bespoke quote for your move, taking into consideration the exact size and requirements of your specific shipment and detailing all costs involved. Please ask for a quote here and we will get back to you within 48 hours with everything you need to know.

How Long Does it Take to Move Overseas?

Transit times for international removals from the UK will vary depending on your exact final destination.

We provide a range of sailing schedules that are updated every week for our main destinations. These show the next available shipment, date of departure, estimated date of arrival and expected transit times for all upcoming sailings.

As a guide, here are some typical transit times for our most popular destinations:

See all of our weekly shipping schedules here.

Destination Departures Transit Time
New York, USA (Latest Shipping Schedule) Weekly 12 days
Sydney, Australia (Latest Shipping Schedule) Weekly 55 days
Montreal, Canada (Latest Shipping Schedule) Weekly 10 days
Auckland, New Zealand (Latest Shipping Schedule) Weekly 54 days
Dubai, UAE (Latest Shipping Schedule) Weekly 21 days
Cape Town, South Africa (Latest Shipping Schedule) Weekly 22 days
Limassol, Cyprus (Latest Shipping Schedule) Weekly 16 days
Singapore (Latest Shipping Schedule) Weekly 26 days

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

To receive a free quote for your move simply fill out our 60 second quote form or go to our international removals quote page here. You will receive a tailored estimate within 24 hours with costs and information regarding our services.

Typically, you can import your personal and household items without paying any duties if you've owned and used them for at least one year, and they're not intended for resale or for someone else. However, regulations can vary by country, so please contact us to confirm if any taxes or restrictions apply to your move.

If you are a British citizen, you will need a visa to ship your belongings to another country, however, if you are a national of the country you are moving to then you will not need a visa.

Yes. We are a government registered customs broker and electronically file all UK customs documents on your behalf. We use the UK Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to ensure a smooth transit through UK customs. Any company involved in moving goods between the UK and other countries must have a registered EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification number) in order to file customs entry declarations.

1st Move’s EORI number is GB720702181000 and you can check our company’s compliance on this page.

Check EORI.
See our customs page here.

You can also search the government register of approved customs agents here.

Yes, in most cases you will have to have owned the vehicle for more than 12 months to avoid any duty or taxes. Every country has complex customs regulations and procedures for importing vehicles, so you need to check with us beforehand. Please see our car shipping page for more information.

The 3 main methods that we ship internationally from the UK are by shared container (for small to medium moves), full container services (for larger household moves) or airfreight (for small, more expensive and must have items).

For all international moves your mover will need copies of your passport and Visa/Residents permit. The type of Visa/Permit will vary depending on your destination. We also require an inventory and valuation of the goods you are shipping.

These documents can be uploaded via our secure document transfer page here.

Yes, once we have packed your items and loaded your pallets onto the shipping container, you can track both the vessel name and the container number from the UK all the way to your destination port. Worldwide move tracking here. Once arrived, our local agents will keep you updated every step of the way up to delivery to your door.

Yes, you can pack most items yourself, but please note that any items you have packed yourself will not be covered for damages. We recommend using our professional packing services for fragile items and most furniture items. You can find further advice on our self-packing options here.

We recommend using marine insurance cover when shipping your belongings overseas. We take great care in protecting your goods, however, due to the distance travelled and the need for other parties to handle your goods, we always recommend taking out our marine shipping insurance for peace of mind. You can also find our Overseas Insurance and valued inventory application here.

Groupage shipping (or shared container shipping) is typically the cheapest method of shipping your goods from the UK. This ensures you only pay for the space that your household goods or personal effects have taken up inside the container. Using a palletised system of shipping means your move can be measured exactly, allows for safer loading and shipping and is a cheaper way to ship.

You can get a quote for our international moving services, including shared containers services, here.

We recommend taking the time to research several companies before making your decision, ensuring that all companies are members of the British Association of Removers and the British International Freight Association.

We are proud to be members of the British Association of Removers (BAR). The BAR is the UK’s leading trade association for removal companies, upholding professional standards through compliance inspections and requiring all members to adhere to their strict Code of Practice. As BAR members for over 20 years, we meet their stringent criteria in areas like staff training, insurance, safe storage and handling of household goods, trade practices, and compliance with international moving regulations. Our BAR membership demonstrates our commitment to ethical, high-quality service in the removals industry. Feel confident choosing a BAR member like us for your next overseas move.

Check out our article on how to choose the best international removals company for more detailed advice on choosing an international removals company that is right for you.

You can take all manner of personal effects and household goods such as furniture, electronics, artwork, clothes, in fact most of your personal effects as long as you are the owner.

There are some items that are prohibited from overseas shipping such as, perishable goods, plants, tobacco, alcohol etc. Please check our prohibited goods list for more information and a full list of all prohibited items.

Yes, you can ship furniture overseas. If you can you should avoid shipping older, larger furniture items as these will increase the volume of your move, and ultimately the cost. If you ship new furniture still in the original boxes then customs may charge you import duty and taxes.
Check our International Moving Guide for Furniture here.

Our airfreight department can arrange to fly important items to arrive within a few days rather than wait for your shipment to arrive. Here are some items you may want to send by air freight when moving overseas.

  • Jewellery, important documents, photos/mementos, and other small irreplaceable items.
  • Basic clothes and toiletries, enough to get for a week or two until your main shipment arrives.
  • PC or small home office items to get you working and online quickly.
  • Childrens comfort items, special toys, books, blankets, Xbox or Playstation.
    These items will help to ease kids transition in their new country.
  • Medical records for registering with doctors or hospitals in your new country.
  • Specialty items, anything required for pets, infants, medical conditions or your profession.

Airfreight can be expensive. The goal is to only air freight essentials for the first 1-2 weeks that would be difficult to go without or replace.

Complete UK Coverage

Whether you are in London, Bristol, Birmingham, or Scotland we can arrange fast collection services to suit your move dates and cover the whole of the UK with a modern fleet of vehicles and fully trained drivers and packers.

Your Pallets Packed - Posted Live on Facebook

Your life, carefully wrapped, beautifully packed, and protected for the journey ahead.

We are extremely proud of our unique packing process. We are the only international removals company in the UK that uses this tried and tested method to ship your treasured personal possessions overseas.

This is our craft - lives packed with care and attention for their journey overseas. Visit our Facebook page to find a snapshot of each shipment captured as the final pallet is wrapped.

We're proud to post these images, showcasing our removals team's passion and skill. Your personal effects are in the very best hands and are now destined for new adventures abroad.

Come and have a look.

Our International Removals Service is Rated Excellent on TrustPilot