It’s plain sailing moving to Canada!
When you think about moving to Canada your priority is likely to be the exciting new life that awaits you – and who can blame you? However, to make the move as successful as possible you should give some thought to the move itself. Moving can be stressful so these practical tips will help take away some of the strain.
Our number one tip would be to book your removal as early as possible rather than leaving it to the last minute. At Universal Removals we would recommend you start contacting removals companies at least 12 weeks before your move date, though some people start up to a year before! Choosing a reputable international removals company will make your move much easier.
The best way to approach removals to Canada
When you’re planning a removal to Canada you should start by getting some quotations for packing and shipping – try to get at least two quotes, if not more, so you can compare different companies and services. As with everything the cheapest deal is not always the best, so double check exactly what each company’s quote includes so you can compare like for like.
You’ll often find that removals companies will visit your home or site free of charge to check the volume of goods you’re shipping in order to give you a more accurate quote. Be aware that while quotations normally include packing and shipping, you will need to allow for additional fees such as Customs Duties and Taxes, customs inspections and quarantine fees.
Every country has its own unique customs regulations and Canada is no exception. Being aware of the local regulations will help you avoid delays and costs that can occur through the customs clearance process. In Canada one of the regulations states that the importer has to be present in person when goods are cleared through customs. However, if your goods are being shipped to either Toronto or Vancouver ports there’s a Fast Track or Speed System that permits your removals company or a clearing agent to present your documentation and act on your behalf. This still does not guarantee that your goods will clear customs without a personal interview with you, though, so be prepared.
If you arrive in Canada before your goods are shipped you will need to report to Canadian Immigration, request a B4E declaration form and provide an inventory of the goods in your shipment, including individual values. The inventory needs to be very detailed; for example, if you are shipping the contents of your wine cellar you need to list each bottle individually, with type of wine and brand, quantity in litres, percentage of alcohol and purchase price.
7-10 days before your shipped goods are due to arrive, our Canadian partner will contact you to make delivery arrangements and organise the clearance process.
We will also assist you on delivery day itself. Our crew will check your items against the inventory completed at your original address to ensure everything has arrived and is in good condition. On most door to door contracts we will also unpack and unwrap your items, remove the packing materials and reassemble any furniture that had to be dismantled in the UK. Once done, you just need to sign to confirm the safe receipt of your belongings and can get on with enjoying your new life!
Canada is a vast country and transit times can vary hugely. For example, at Universal Removals we generally quote 4-5 weeks for a Sole Use Container to Canada’s east coast, and transit times to the west coast are normally around 5-7 weeks. Shared containers normally take between 6 and 8 weeks to reach either coast. You also need to allow around 7-10 days for local delivery from port of entry, and 10-15 working days (depending on the final destination) for out of town delivery. These transit times are only estimates and may vary.
To ensure your chosen removals company is best prepared to ship your goods give them as much notice as you can on your actual move date – at a bare minimum they will need to know two weeks in advance. And if you’re packing your own goods make sure you keep a detailed packing list.
Your mover will advise you on the method of shipment, which can play a key part in the cost of your removal. Ships sail for removals to Canada every week.
Insurance is something which must never be overlooked. Make sure everything you are shipping is covered for any eventuality from breakages to the sinking of the ship! And remember that if you need to replace goods you will be purchasing them in the country you’re moving to, not the one you’re leaving – so make sure you bear that in mind when valuing items. On the subject of Canada prices, it’s worth researching the cost of goods in Canada versus the UK, as it might affect what you take with you and what you purchase after the move. There’s an online currency converter at http://universalremovals.com/currency-convertor.html that you might find useful.
Motor vehicles can be imported into Canada; however, they have to be cleared by Customs before they can be licensed, and second hand vehicles more than a year old are normally prohibited. Canada Customs will examine your vehicle at the port of entry and there is a fee to pay of around C$75 + dock handling charges for the inspection.
Make your vehicle the last thing you load into a container, so it’s easily accessible for the customs inspection. To give your vehicle the best chance of clearing customs it needs to be completely clean and free of soil. (This also applies to any other items that might have been in contact with soil, e.g. garden tools, lawnmowers, flowerpots and camping equipment.)
If you enter Canada on a temporary visa, you can import a vehicle that does not comply with Canadian standards, so long as you export it out of the country when your visa expires; be aware that you cannot sell it in Canada.
If you would like more information to check that your vehicle will be allowed into Canada visit the
Transport Canada website, telephone 1-613-998-8616 or fax: 1-613-998-4831.
Planning removals to Canada can be a complex business but at Universal Removals we know what needs to be done and can assist you every step of the way. Make sure you contact us as early as possible and then leave it to the professionals – and start looking forward to your new life!
Removals to Canada customs information - click here
canada customs regs.pdf for a rough guide on what you can and can’t import, and laws on taxes.