Moving a Piano Overseas
Often times when you are moving to a new country, it is difficult to figure out how you are going to ship some larger, or more valuable items. Many times you cannot simply put it in a box, and do not have the necessary materials for any other type of packaging. One such item, is a piano. Here are some things you can do to make sure your piano makes it to your new home.
The first thing you will have to do, is figure out who will be moving your piano for you. Chances are you will be hiring an international moving company for the job, but if the piano needs to be shipped by a boat to a foreign land, they might hire a third party freight forwarder to do the job for them. A freight forwarder has a lot of experience in moving items by boat, and will make sure that the chances of damage while in transit are relatively low. They can also handle getting your piano through customs which can be a hassle. The international moving company that you hire may have packing services available, in which case they will know the proper way to package your piano for shipment.
The next thing you will want to know is what the cost will be for the move. Every company differs on their pricing, but it is usually determined by the size of your piano. The moving company that you have hired should be able to give you an idea of what the cost will be however, and they will probably send an agent to your home, that will take measurements, to give you an even more accurate assessment. You should also factor in the duty cost of moving it into a new country, which is similar to a tax, and also differs from country to country.
The moving company should construct a crate for your piano. First they will put it on a large board that the piano securely fits on. Next, they will probably bolt it down to that board, so the piano will not move while it is in transit. After that, they will construct the rest of the crate around your piano, so it will fit perfectly, and minimize any damage that could occur. Most countries will not allow items in unless they have been professionally packed, so hiring an international moving company like Allied International to do the job for you is a good idea.
Just like with any other large item that is being shipped, you will want to purchase insurance for your piano. This is just to cover you in case something happens. Contact your moving company and find out what they offer in terms of insurance, or consult your homeowner’s insurance to see if it covers it. You need to see if the insurance will cover the full value of your piano, or only part of it. Research is the best thing you can do when it comes to buying insurance.
Important Information Regarding Ivory Transportation
All of the above tips are true for any item that needs to be moved that is large and valuable. One thing that is unique to the piano however, is the rules and regulations that your new country may have regarding ivory. Many pianos use ivory for the white keys, and there is an international ban on the production and sale of ivory. This means that some countries will actually remove the ivory from your piano, before it will be allowed through customs, which is obviously disastrous for your piano. If the piano itself is more than 100 years old, you may be able to get special documentation allowing it to be moved into your new country. You can obtain this from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, but you will want to contact the customs agency of your new country beforehand to make sure that this is enough. If your piano is new, chances are there is not much you can do. You should just have your keys recovered in plastic, to avoid having a customs agent, who may not be trained on how to handle an instrument, remove the keys themselves. You should not worry however, if you follow the steps above, and with the proper planning and documentation, you should have no trouble moving your piano to your new home.