celebrating our one hundreth year of international home moving.

International Removal Advice

From one of the leading international removal companies in the World

Pearson aim to offer the best moving advice to all of our clients relocating to different countries around the globe. Below is a selection of important information and advice to consider before undertaking an international move.

Important notice for customers moving to the UK

Please be aware that as of the 31st March 2017, everyone moving to the United Kingdom must complete an online Transfer of Residence application using the following link: www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-transfer-of-residence-tor-relief-tor01

This process will normally take 2-3 weeks and you will receive your own unique code giving you tax relief on entry to the UK. If for any reason you do not have this code in time for your removal, you must pay the tax and duty on all items prior to entry. If after your move you subsequently receive your unique tax code, either due to a late application or a processing delay, then you can easily apply for reimbursement from HRMC.

Make sure you’re allowed to move

If you’re purchasing an international removal service, or even just at the stage of getting quotes from an international removal company; first make sure that you’re permitted to make this move, or that you’re in the process of getting permission to move.

Many people growing up in the EU, experience free movement of goods, services and people. This means that citizens of the EU aren’t always aware that you need a lot of things in place before moving to a country outside of the EU.

Most countries will require copies/originals of your passport, visa, residency permit, as well as other approval forms if you’re thinking about moving your pets, car or antiques. Our country removal advice pages will help with this in more detail. The last thing you want to do is undertake an international removal service without the correct documentation in place.

Make sure you get the international relocation advice you need

Diagram of how one dedicated Pearson Home Moving Move Manager can control every aspect of a customer’s overseas home relocation

Undertaking an international move can be one of the most stressful things you can do; that’s where an international removal company such as Pearson Home Moving comes in. We can help take care of everything for you and advise the best course of action in numerous areas when relocating overseas.

Whether you are moving to the USA, relocating to Australia, or even need an international removal to somewhere less common, Pearson can provide you with the essential moving information you require.

Our International Move Managers are there to assist with all international removal enquiries and take care of your removal every step of the way

If you’re not sure, speak to an Embassy

Moving people is far more complex than moving your household items. We always recommend speaking to someone at the relevant embassy and letting them know that you’re thinking about moving abroad. The embassy will help you understand what is required whether it be transporting a few boxes, or a large scale relocation. As international laws change frequently and often at short notice, the embassies themselves are always the best place to get accurate and up to date information regarding import/export requirements and the necessary documentation you need before purchasing an international removal service.

There is a link to the relevant embassy on each country advice page.

Make sure you are financially prepared

Depending on the scale of the international removal you’re making, a relocation could cost you quite a lot of money. Pearson is guaranteed to offer you the most cost effective international removal service, but there are always other costs to moving that you need to consider.

There will often be import duties on numerous removal goods; check the relevant country removal guide to see what will be dutiable. Certain countries will often levy taxes on local services when importing certain removal goods into the country.

We always recommend keeping a bit of money to one side as security to cover any issues that may arise in the worst case scenario.

One major thing people do not often consider, which could save you thousands of pounds/euros/dollars, is exchanging your currency. Moving to another country more often than not, means that you’ll need to move your money as well. Most people think that they need to use their bank to do this, but this is not true. Pearson Home Moving works very closely with a Financial Exchange company which is guaranteed to offer you the best rate of exchange on your currency transfer. They also offer preferential rates to all Pearson clients undertaking an international removal service. Find out more...

Get your international move insured

Most insurance you currently have, or could take out, will not cover you for your life in another country. Standard home or travel insurance will not usually cover you for an international removal service also. Pearson Home Moving can offer you a full insurance policy on your belongings when moving abroad. All you need to do is ask your Move Manager

Check your health cover

Before your move, it's important to consider that some countries have free health cover, but others do not. Make sure you’re in the process of getting health insurance or have begun the necessary registration process.

Make sure your family is ready

Starting a new life in another country can be more difficult for the rest of the family. Always consider checking on schools, health services and local facilities before moving to an area. Every city, town or even village has its own ups and downs.

There can often be a lot of waiting involved in an international removal service, that’s why we are always committed to giving you the best up to date information about scheduling and are one of the only companies in the World that will give you fixed collection and delivery dates on standard European removal services. Having fixed dates like this, means that you can plan around your removal much better and possibly even book that holiday in between.

Make sure everyone has the necessary vaccinations, especially your pets, and get them registered with their new vet as soon as possible. We always consider your pets to be another member of your family, that’s why we only work with the best pet transportation services.

Here’s a handy moving guide for the entire international relocation process to make sure you remember everything important.

Make sure you know all the rules relevant to your move abroad!

Every country has its own rules and laws which you should review before moving. Whether it’s as simple as which side of the road to drive on, to unique tax codes. All of these things are massively important to find out before your move and commit to a new life abroad. If you’re unsure, the embassy is always the best place to ask.

How much do you want to take with you?

Generally speaking, the more you move, the more expensive the service will be. However, the cost of moving all of your goods to another country will usually be much cheaper than buying them new after you’ve moved.

Before you get a quote from an international removal company, it’s important to separate the things that you can’t live without from the things you could dispose of if necessary. Always remember that you could be without certain things for some time whilst they are shipped round the world to your new life, so take the essentials in your suitcase.

Pearson Home Moving is set up to take care of every eventuality. As part of your international removal service, we can dispose of unwanted things, keep your belongings in secure storage, or even fast track them by air if required urgently.

Always check what you are allowed to send also. Have a read of the necessary country removal guide to ensure that all items you want to move are permitted entry at customs. It is very important that you adhere to this, as an international removal company is always at the liberty of the Government in the relevant country.

Here’s a very useful volume calculator that you can use to work out the size of everything you’re moving.

Decide what kind of removals services you want

Pearson can cater to almost any service you require, so never fear asking about the little things. We can offer many different things for your international removal; it all depends on the level of care you require.

Do you want us to pack your belongings for you? We’ll gladly do this, just ask us to include it in your removal quote. Take a look at our removal services for more information, or ideally just pick up the phone and give us a call, we’re always happy to help out and talk to you one on one.

Here’s a useful information form that’ll help tell us the exact requirements you need. We recommend completing this and the cubic calculator and emailing it to move@pearson-movers.com for a truly accurate quotation.

Make sure you use an accredited and proven removal company!

Anyone can quote you for an international removal service and many people only do this once in their life. This means that you’ll often not know what to look out for and what’s important to you when getting a removal quote. For more information about this click here.

Raj Athwal, one of Pearson Home Moving’s team of dedicated international Move Managers

Get peace of mind

If you are unsure about anything regarding your potential move we are always happy to help.
Just call us on +44 (0)1827 873 773 or email move@pearson-movers.com.

Industry Terms used in International Removals

There are many words and terms used within the industry that may confuse you, and we feel it is very important to let you know what these things mean to ensure complete transparency and understanding of the services you are paying for:


These are the awards, qualifications and groups we are part of. Vastly important to your international relocation, and the primary way of separating out companies that truly know what they are doing. More infomation

AWB (Air Way Bill)

The Air Way Bill is a very important document when moving to another country. If you’re doing an international removal by air, then this document serves as the airfreight contract for carriage, showing all relevant information about the shipment, such as the shipper and consignee.


The process of moving your items by air. This process is normally more expensive, but much quicker.

BOL ( Bill of Lading)

Very similar to the AWB, a very important moving document required for any shipment that acts as a receipt of shipment to show that something has been received by the carrier.

BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor)

When performing an international removal by sea, a large amount of time is spent with your goods on the water. During this time, oil charges can fluctuate and if they fluctuate enough, there may be a surcharge by the shipping line.

Bonded Warehouse

A special warehouse that meets customs specifications, allowing removal goods to be stored pending customs clearance.

CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor)

Very similar to the BAF, during the entire process of your relocation, currency fluctuations can occur. If they are large enough, this can warrant a surcharge, usually by destination agents.

Chargeable Weight

The weight used by an airline to determine the airfreight charge.


The person/company to whom the shipment is to be delivered. In most cases when performing an international removal, this would be ourselves or our destination agent; but in the event that you have arranged an agent yourself, this would be you or that company.


The name given to the entirety of your removal goods. It is normally used to describe your shipment.


When undertaking an international removal where your consignment is less than a full load/container, you may have opted to send your things via groupage/shared load. This is actually how most international removals are done. Consolidation is the period of storage whilst the moving company waits and prepares for the entire load before transportation begins.


A modular steel box that is designed to hold your removal goods during transportation. The usual sizes these are offered for international removals are 20ft, 40ft and 40ft High Cube Containers.

Courier or Kerbside Removal Service

When your international removal involves boxes, luggage or packages only; it is far more cost effective to pay for a courier service, sometimes called a kerbside service. This means that the person collecting and delivering your consignment will be a single person and will not often be insured to enter your property.


Certain items will require extra protection when moving to another country due to the large distance involved. If required, we can build a secure wooden crate around these items, exactly to specification


The legal body in charge of formal inspection prior to official entry into the country. Customs will always supersede any international removal company, so please make sure that you read through your relevant country removal advice page.

Customs Clearance

The Customs Inspection Procedure

Declared Value

Referring mainly to international removal insurance, this is the monetary value you declare for all of your belongings.


The opposite of consolidation. Once your removal goods arrive in your destination country and are cleared through customs, they will be delivered into deconsolidation where all goods are separated pending final delivery to your new home. This is only applicable on groupage shipments.


Demurrage charges are charged by customs warehouse stations for delays and additional storage. Once goods are being loaded into a container to the point they are deconsolidated or unloaded at destination, they are subject to very strict timescales to ensure vessels leave and arrive on time. Any deviation from this can cause demurrage charges.

Destination Agent

This is the moving company appointed to act on your behalf at destination

Detention Charges

Alternative and specific version of Demurrage Charges

Door to Door Removal Service

An international removal service controlled by the Removal Company from residence to residence. Usually taking care of every part of your international removal.

Dedicated Removal Service

This is where you book a sole vehicle for yourself, adding extra security and care, as well as being in complete control of your dates. This is normally far more expensive, but is much quicker.

Dedicated Dates

Occasionally you can pay a surcharge to ensure that the road vehicle collects and delivers your goods on a specified date to ensure that your own schedule is uninterrupted by your removal service.

Door to Port Removal Service

An international removal service controlled by the Removal Company from residence to port of entry in your destination country. This means that you would need to take care of all services at the end point, usually including customs clearance of your removal goods.

External Elevator

If you’re planning an international relocation, always check the access at both properties. Sometimes items might be too large, and on a floor too high, to move them down the stairs or in an elevator. An external elevator is used by a removal company in order to get access through the window of your property.


Shipping of goods outside country borders

Export Wrapping

Method of packing household removal goods and personal effects for international shipment overseas. This requires additional material and an additional charge from the International Removal Company.

FCL (Full Container Load)

When you require your own dedicated shipping container for your international removal. This allows much greater control of shipping dates and is always the preferred method of transport for people with enough removal goods, or those that want to have greater peace of mind of dates.


Groupage is when your removal goods are shared in a large removal container. This is how most international removals are made as it is often far more cost effective. Your goods, once export wrapped, will go into consolidation pending loading, and then at destination, go into deconsolidation once clearing customs. This process does take longer than a dedicated shipping container and it is important to note that a groupage service is always at the liberty of other traffic moving to your destination.

HHG (Household Goods)

Abbreviation for your removal goods.


A list of your removal goods

Inspection Fees

Often referred to as Quarantine Inspection Fees and comes under specified names in each country of destination. These fees are charged if your consignment is thoroughly inspected. Inspections are, in the majority of countries, random and an international removal company would not normally cover these charges for you. Some countries such as Australia or the United States will charge these as standard due to high levels of security.

Insurance Premium

The charge for your insurance cover, usually quoted as a percentage of the overall cover required.

IPT (Insurance Premium Tax)

IPT is levied by the Government on all insurance charges. The additional for this will be outlined on all quotations received from Pearson.

Import Duties and Taxes

Fees charged by customs on specific items that you are moving. You can find a list of these items on the relevant country moving advice page.

LCL (Less than Container Load)

When an international removal shipment is not large enough to fill an entire container on its own, it will be loaded into a large crate or liftvan and secured within the larger container, allowing for other goods to be moved also.


A large crate used in the packing of your removal goods

Marine Insurance

International Removal Insurance specifically to cover your belongings during an international removal.

Move Manager / Relocation Manager / Move Coordinator

At Pearson, we define this as the person directly working for you, organising everything for you from the moment you make an enquiry to the point that everything is finally delivered.

Origin Agent

The international removal company handling all services at the beginning of your removal

Port Storage

See Demurrage

PBO(packed by owner)

When an inventory or packing list is completed, for insurance and liability purposes it is important to note who has packaged the removal goods. If something has been packed by you it will always be referred to as PBO. We are one of the only moving companies that can offer you insurance on owner packed items.

Packing List

Very similar to an inventory but usually produced by our packing crew upon origin. This will detail what items our moving crew have packed and collected.

Part Load or Euro Part Load Removal Service

This is similar to a sea groupage shipment but by road transit. Most international removal services by road work in this way and allow for a very cost effective service. Your goods will be shared in a larger removal vehicle moving across land. We are one of the only removal companies that will offer fixed dates for collection and delivery via this method.

Port to Door Removal Service

A service where the international removal company will take care of your removal goods from destination port to your final destination. This often includes customs clearance, but you must always specify with the moving company that you need this as well.

Parking Permit / Parking Suspension

Required at collection or delivery if the local council have to approve the use of a removal vehicle at the property

Replacement Value

Value of your removal goods equal to their replacement cost at destination. This is important to know if you’re a making a claim for insurance.

Ro-Ro (roll on, roll off)

Typical method of moving your vehicle if you are not moving any goods. If the removal is solely of a vehicle, you should consider this instead, but if you’re a moving your furniture and possessions, then ideally you would move it in the same container.

SIT (Storage in Transit)

Temporary storage of your removal goods whilst they are technically in transit.

Special Handling

This refers to specialist items not normally found in a standard household consignment. Things such as grand pianos, grandfather clocks or large scale gym equipment. Surcharges must normally be included to cover additional labour or equipment throughout the moving process.


The most frequent method of international removal overseas. Travelling by large sea vessel in a shipping container. This is more cost effective than air shipments, but does take a lot longer.

Secure Storage

We offer secure storage, meaning that your removal goods are tightly locked away in liftvans/crates in a temperature controlled facility. Unlike self storage, it is far more difficult to gain access to this and often enquires an appointment if you ever wished to access your removal goods.

Shuttle Vehicle

A smaller vehicle used at collection or delivery if access does not permit the use of the standard large removal vehicle. This will usually cost additional, but if you make us aware of the difficulty it should be factored into your removal quotation

THC (Terminal Handling Charges)

These are charges, usually at port, which cover a range of things such as loading/unloading, crating/uncrating. These charges are normally prevalent on LCL shipments, but can be found with other shipments as well. It is important to see whether the removal company cover these charges, as some destinations require that they are paid for by the customer themselves.

Transit Time

The time it takes for your removal goods to move from point A to point B. This will fluctuate depending on the type of international removal service you have booked with the removal company.

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Over 100 Years – Since 1917

People have trusted us with their home and office moves for over 100 years. As a standard-bearer for The Removal Industry we've always believed in the value of a truly personal and high quality service, but one that is competitively priced.

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