Moving Items to The U.S.
Most people figure that moving from the United States to another country would be a complicated process. There is paperwork to fill out, documentation to get, and customs to pass through. But what about if you are moving from another country, into the United States? The process can be similar, but it is still good to know how to get your household items back from your international home.
To start with, whenever you are moving, you will need to know the difference between household goods, and personal effects. The two terms may seem like they mean the same thing, however there are slight differences. Personal effects are typically items that would belong to an individual person, as opposed to an entire family. Things like electronics, clothing and jewelry are considered personal effects, because they are not things that are normally shared with other people. Items such as furniture, dishes, silverware, and artwork are considered to be household goods. They are normally larger pieces and would not be carried on your person when you are traveling.
The reason why it is important to distinguish between these two types is that there are very different processes that you must follow in order to bring them into the United States. For personal effects, they will be checked by security and customs officials while you wait, and does not require any paperwork, for the most part. This is because they are in your possession the entire journey, so they can be checked once.
Importing household goods is a different story all together. There are different customs forms that you will have to fill out, in order to bring them into the United States. There are also certain qualifications that your items must meet, including owning said item for a minimum of a year. This is true whether you ship your household goods independently from your journey, or are on the plane or boat with you. Customs requires a lot of information, so it would be wise to contact them or search their website, so you can make sure you have all of the information that they need.
There are also a list of things that cannot be transported into the United States. These are things that might be legal in the country you are arriving from, but are not within the boundaries of the US. Furthermore, on your paperwork you will have to make a special distinction for certain items. These include firearms, pornography, alcohol, vegetation and fruits, wildlife kept as a pet, and any item that was bought or repaired from a country outside of the United States. Customs requires this because it might be necessary that these items be further inspected by other agencies before they are allowed into the country. It might seem confusing and complicated, but most international moving companies, like Allied International, will provide you with an agent that can help speed things along.