Although it is said to be more cost effective to purchase items such as furniture appliances, and cars once you are in the United Kingdom, there are those that prefer to bring some of their items with them.
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Although it is said to be more cost effective to purchase items such as furniture, appliances, and cars once you are in the United Kingdom, there are those that choose to bring their items over with them by means of shipping and couriers.

Or it may be that you are going to purchase some of the larger items in the United Kingdom, and just bring some smaller personal items over.

Bringing over smaller more personal items that may have sentimental value, can help when settling into a new home in the United Kingdom as these are items that will hold treasured memories for many, and will bring comfort to those who are having to adapt to all the sudden changes. It just gives that added touch in helping to create your comfort zone.

Things to consider when shipping

Make sure you find the right shipping company

Take time to find a good shipping company. One that has a good reputation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.


Your freight company may have coverage, and if they do, check exactly what they cover, and that it covers your goods from end to end.

Make sure you have the cross-border documentation organised

If you are transporting goods to another country, then import/export documentation may be needed. Make sure you have all the right documentation ready in time.

Make sure you label your goods clearly

Knowing what’s inside individual containers helps when your goods arrive at their final destination. It also helps during the shipping process for anyone handling the goods or for border control as it allows them to make sure the utmost care is taken and that the process runs smoothly.

Make sure you are able to track your goods

Your haulage company must be able to track where your goods are and keep you up to date on progress and any issues. Make sure you are able to track your goods from departure through to arrival at the final destination.

Shipping information

A shipping company is a corporation that is engaged in maritime transport. It is usually the case that shipowners are either involved in maritime or inland waterway transport. Not every shipping company has its own ships, but also operates ship charters.

You have tax and customs responsibilities when you move your personal belongings to the UK from abroad.

There are some goods you cannot bring into the UK

These include:

  • illegal drugs
  • offensive weapons, for example, flick knives
  • self-defense sprays, for example, pepper spray and CS gas
  • endangered animal and plant species
  • rough diamonds
  • indecent and obscene materials
  • personal imports of meat and dairy products from most non-EU countries

Your shipping company will ask you to fill in form ToR01 when your things arrive in the UK.

Tax and customs for goods sent from abroad

Anything posted or couriered to you from another country goes through customs to check it is not banned or restricted and you pay the right tax and ‘duty’ on it.

This includes anything new or used that you:

  • buy online
  • buy abroad and send back to the UK
  • receive as a gift

Importing goods into the UK

Import, export and customs for businesses: detailed information

How to check the tariff rates that apply to goods you import.

Import goods into the UK: step by step

ship on sea

Shipping survey

We conducted a survey on shipping companies with the members of our Facebook group, South Africans in the UK & SA Helping One Another.

If you a few spare minutes then please take part in our survey on shipping companies.

Did you use a shipping company to move your personal items to the United Kingdom?

Shipping companies survey did you use a shipping company

Which shipping company did you use?

Shipping companies survey - most popular

If you had to do it again would you use a shipping company?

Shipping companies survey would you use a shipping company again

Shipping Companies in the Survey

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