Are you moving “Down Under”? International moving of household goods to Australia can be very involved and the help of a professional mover and international forwarder with a good reputation is invaluable. Here is a partial list of the documents that will be needed to move to Australia. It is a partial list because the international forwarder always stresses to contact the consulate of that country because there may be changes in the procedures and documents that are needed at customs.
- Customer Contact Information Form: In compliance with U.S. Customs 1 Homeland Security directive 15GFR 30.1, 30.4, (Partill), and 30.7 (Subsections A, B, C #1), the forwarding company is required to obtain the following information for Export Declarations. A complete destination address where the shipper is moving will be needed. This information is only used to be in compliance and they do not release this information to any other party. If you don’t provide this information the shipment will be banned from being loaded.
- A photocopy of the shipper’s passport (the photo page) is required by U.S. Customs. Since September 4th, 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau requires a transferee holding a U.S. passport must submit an Individual Employer Identification Number called an EIN when registering to file for export customs clearance. The sole purpose of receiving an EIN number is for security purposes as to not expose your social security number. If you have had your boxes packed by a professional mover, the mover’s EIN number can be used instead. Someone with a foreign passport is not required to get an EIN number. To apply for an EIN number, go to the following website www.irs.gov and under tools, click on “apply for an EIN number”. Per Intermove, Ltd. (www.intermove.com) an international forwarding company, they give the following instructions for applying for an EIN number. “”All persons applying should apply under the status “sole proprietor”. When prompted, the questionnaire will ask the applicant to identify why they need an EIN number. The applicant should respond by stating that they need it for “Banking Purposes”. The applicant will also be asked the type of business, click “other” and under “other” state “Federal requirement for moving abroad”. “
- Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement: When moving to Australia, you must fill out the “Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement, following is the link to that form. (http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/B534e.pdf). Other important information on what consists of Personal effects is at these links provided http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/SendingYourPersonalBelongingsToAustraliaAsCargoOrByInternationalMail.pdf; http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5889.asp
- Your forwarding company will supply insurance coverage. If the shipment is going to be covered by insurance, an itemized valued listing form must be completed and signed by the shipper. If you pack your own boxes, (PBO’s are what they are called.) the contents are not covered by the insurance if there is damage within the box. The coverage of PBO boxes are covered if there is a catastrophic incident for example the steamship sinking or the container falls off the ship. If a professional mover has packed all your boxes then insurance will cover your PBO’s. All your boxes even if packed by you or a professional moving company must show their contents on the outside of the box and this in turn must be indicated on the itemized valued listing form. This is needed if a claim is filed.
- When clearing your goods through customs, you will also need a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) form. This form asks several questions. Its purpose is to find out if you have thoroughly cleaned any items that may bring in microisms, insects, etc. that could cause problems with the Australian ecosystem. For instance, if you have been hiking and your boots have mud on them, they want this cleaned thoroughly. They do not want this mud coming into their ecosystem. Other examples but not limited to: garden tools, vacuum cleaners, golf clubs, golf buggies, plant products, herbal medicines, raw wood just to name of few of the items on the list. The website recommends if you are a first time importer to engage the services of customs broker to clear customs. http://www.customs.gov.au/
- The shipper or power of attorney must give original customs documents to the destination/customs agent when the shipment arrives at the dock in the arriving country. Many countries require you to be there in person. Make copies of these documents and carry an extra set with you.
Customs is now implementing standard inspections on import and export shipments at all arrival and departure points. What this means to you is a customs officer can randomly select your shipment to be x-rayed and in some cases to extensive exams. This could mean they could unpack/unload your entire shipment. This can delay shipments substantially and incur costly charges. These charges will be your responsibility not the responsibility of the international forwarder or the steamship line.
Whatever country you are moving to, always consult your professional mover and the consulate of that country prior to the move for further documentation and any updates that will be needed for customs clearance. Columbine Moving and Storage works hand in hand with Intermove, Ltd. www.intermove.com for all international moving and will guide you to avoid problems. Each move and its circumstances can be different so each is taken on an individual basis.