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Household Shipping

There are a number of ways that you can move your household items to your new country. You can either do this by Air Freight or Sea Freight. There are advantages for both and you will need to decide which best suits you based on cost, how much stuff you have, when you would like your household items to arrive etc.

Other considerations to be made are;

• What kind of restrictions are there on goods that may be transported
• Insurance during shipment, (or house to house?)
• Do you want to use a removal company that does household packing or will you do it yourself?

Air Freight

Air Freight can be a cost effective way of transporting goods. It has the advantage of speed of delivery which may be a good option if you have already arranged permanent accommodation. It may be the best option if you are moving to a land locked country or inland areas.

Sea Freight

There are a few options in the type of sea freight that is available. If you have a lot of belongings you may choose to do a full container load. This usually involves the shipping company to come to your home and loading the container there as long as there is sufficient access. There is also the option of your container being customs checked in front of you, giving the assurance that what is in your container after it leaves your sight is only what you will receive at the other end. If you don't have a lot of items to ship but still a considerable amount then you may choose a Groupage Option where the container is shared with other company clients that are shipping to the same destination. This option is however subject to availability. All shipments will be delivered to the closest port to where you are living, so you may have to arrange transport from the port to your house.

What can you fly/ship?

You should check the Customs regulations of your destination country for a list of prohibited items. For New Zealand, see
For some general guidelines, see below.


It is never too early to start packing. The last thing you want is to be caught out on the day of your flight with cleaning out the shed!

Things to remember when packing:

  • Each carton that you pack should be labelled clearly with a detailed inventory of its contents. This helps the removal company to pack the container appropriately, customs and unpacking at the other end!
  • Check if there are any parking restrictions outside your house for the removal vehicle / container. Perhaps arrange with your neighbours to have enough space for parking as close as possible to your home. Make sure that your driveway is clear of obstruction.
  • Any appliance that is connected directly to the main power supply needs to be disconnected by a professional.
  • Ensure that all fixtures and fittings are dismantled prior to packing; this includes self assembly furniture, shelving, cabinets etc.
  • Refrigerators and freezers need to be defrosted the day before shipping and wiped out with a damp cloth and vanilla essence
  • Consumables are generally prohibited. Prescription medicines should be accompanied with a letter from your GP/physician.
  • Artworks, should be wrapped carefully and securely
  • TV's, radios, telecommunication devices etc, may not work outside the country that they were made for. Check this before packing.
  • Check if firearms need an import permit for your new country.
  • Outdoor equipment generally needs to be quarantined. Make sure that when preparing it for shipment that you have cleaned these items thoroughly.

Make sure that when the removal company is in your home, you have the baggage you are taking with you on your flight clearly separated from the stuff that you are shipping.

Recommended Removal Companies

Anglo Pacific International

PSS Removals

Britannia Movers International

Consider an operator such as Voovit who offer international shipping to and from New Zealand and excess baggage.

New Zealand Guidelines

Moving house is always stressful, but moving to an entirely new country is especially testing. Many migrants agonise over what to bring out with them.

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (formerly Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries) inspects every container that lands in NZ, and is particularly interested in:

· Wooden items, Gardening Equipment, Lawn Mowers, Foodstuffs, Medicines, Cane furniture, Bicycles, Golf clubs and buggies, Sporting shoes and equipment (there are special guidelines for camping equipment and fishing gear – check the MAF website for details,, Vacuum cleaners with un-emptied dust bags, Ornaments and curios containing skin or feathers, Christmas decorations (no pinecones!), Dried flowers and seeds, Equipment/medicines used with horses or other animals, Used Vehicles

In the majority of cases, MPI just requires that the items are clean - in particular, that they are not contaminated by soil, seeds or insect infestations. To save on inspection charges, try to ensure that your boxes are labelled correctly (not for example as "misc"), and be specific - e.g. separate "garden tools" and "DIY tools". Items of possible interest should be packed together where possible. Anything likely to have been outside will also be inspected, such as garden furniture and outdoor toys - make sure they are clean.

This will probably still leave you with a large proportion of your worldly goods to consider - household items and clothing generally cost at least as much in NZ as in the UK, so it is usually prudent to ship your belongings rather than dispose of them, but there are a couple of exceptions&

Think twice about bringing:

  • wardrobes (most houses have built-in wardrobes

  • ovens (most houses come with one, and gas is not universally available.) 

  • white goods (for washing machines especially, check that your brand is available in New Zealand - you may find it difficult to get it serviced otherwise)

  • Scuba diving tanks - NZ regulations require burst valves, and it can be expensive to upgrade. You will not be able to get non-compliant tanks filled. To check whether your tanks are compliant, contact a NZ dive shop.




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