Supporting the English speaking community in Saudi Arabia 


Personal Effects 
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For a selection of pet carriers and packing materials 
Frequently Asked Questions???
At Ex-Pat Logistics we aim to provide the customer with a complete solution to all your logistics needs.  Large or small, we have the knowledge and the capabilities to sort out your shipment for you.  Air, Sea or Land we can get your goods from A to B with the minimum of fuss and with all the experience that our agents have, you can sit back and relax whilst we arrange everything so your shipment can arrive with the minimum of fuss!

There are many things to consider when moving home and at Ex-Pat Logistics, we aim to help you make the right choice.  Things like:


HOW URGENT IS IT?
DO I REALLY NEED TO TAKE EVERYTHING WITH ME?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEA AND AIR?
WHAT'S THE CHEAPEST WAY TO SHIP?
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO WHEN I GET TO THE COUNTRY OF DESTINATION?
WHAT FORM WILL I NEED TO SHIP OUT OR IN TO ANOTHER COUNTRY?
HOW CAN I TAKE MY DOG / CAT?
DO I NEED INSURANCE?
WHO CAN I TALK TO ABOUT ISSUES WITH AGENTS OR SERVICE PROVIDERS?
GLOSSARY OF SHIPPING TERMS

These are just a few of the questions we know people ask themselves when going through what is described as the 3rd most traumatic experience in life!

Q) I'm moving to another Country, any Suggestion's?
A) Moving abroad can be very traumatic and it is easy to overlook some of the simple things whilst worrying about the major issues.  Thanks to many years working in and around the industry, moving people both domestically and worldwide we are able to help.  We are here to try and make life as easy as possible for you and have compiled a list of things that all good removal companies will advise.  Even with the knowledge base that we work from, this won't be a complete list as it will always grow and we are happy to take suggestions to make other people's life easier.  Check out our list of pre-move and packing day hints 
here.

Q) How urgent is the shipment?
A) If the shipment is urgent the best method of transport is Air unless it is local enough for road to be a suitable alternative.

Q) What should I take?
A) Depending on the country you are moving to, it is always worth while checking out the usual items that may be cheaper, for example, in China, Electronic equipment may well be cheaper.  General household items are usually the same sort of price around the world so therefore taking a wardrobe and bed may be less cost effective than buying new at destination.

Q) What is the difference between sea and air?
A) Sea shipments are perfect for a complete household move, referred to as HHG (Household goods).  This will take longer to arrive, but for bulky shipments it is the most economical mode.  On full container loads you also know that the goods will arrive at your door as they were packed when they left.  Air shipments are far quicker and are more cost effective for smaller shipments.

Q) How can I work out the size / weight of my shipment?
A) In freight terms shipments are either charged as per the actual weight of a shipment or the volume and will always be the greater of the two.  This is all due to the space taken on the mode of transport that you are using.  This is a lot like the ton of lead and a ton of feathers scenario, the feathers taking up so much more space.  The term W/M (Weight / Measure) or volumetric weight is often used to refer to this.  W/M will usually be used in reference to sea shipments and will generally mean either 1 cubic metre (CBM) or 1000 kilograms.  When it comes to air freight and road there is a very simple formula for working out the volume of a shipment.  The formula is the dimensions of the packing (in centimetres) multiplied together and then divided by 6000, for example a 1 metre square box would be 100 x 100 x 100 divide by 6000 totaling a volumetric weight of 166kgs per CBM.  This will give you an approximate weight for the package size and we will soon be introducing a volume calculator to help you with your shipment.

Q) Can I find out where my HHGs are?
A) All modes of shipping have tracking and enable you to find out where the shipment is.  All you need to track a shipment is a tracking number (couriers), B/L number (sea shipments) or an AWB number (air shipments).  You just have to visit the appropriate couriers' website and enter your tracking number.   In the case of air shipments, you can visit 
Cargoserv for the majority of airlines or the airline's own website.  Just enter your AWB number to find out where the goods are.  Sea shipments have limited tracking, namely collection, shipping and arrival but you are able to do this through the cargo line's web sites in most cases.  Please remember that if you have an agent dealing with your goods then they will be doing this for you.  However, some people do enjoy seeing what's happening to their belongings.

Q) I want to take my dog / cat / pet?
A) A lot of people are very attached to their pets and when moving decide that they would like them to move as well.  This is usually a straight forward process, depending on country.  You will usually be able to find recognised companies able to handle Quarantine Procedures, Documentation, Vaccinations, Import / Export Licence and also recommend or provide air freight service.  It can be a lengthy quarantine period but provided your pet is healthy and young enough then it is a fairly easy transition.  Vet's costs, quarantine and priority airline handling can be costly but many people consider it very worthwhile
.


Q) What documents do you need for a HHG shipment?
A) Generally when leaving a country, few documents are required but please refer to the relevant customs authority or agent to confirm this.  On arrival you will always require a copy of your passport, residency permit, packing lists and some form of Customs Declaration.  Each Country is different and you will be able to see the correct forms in the download section of this website or from the relevant Countries Customs department.

Q) Where do I get the documents?
A) Where possible we will try to supply the documents in advance of your shipment with a
selection of common customs documents & advice in our download section, this way you will have everything for departure and arrival.  Asking the relevant customs department or visiting customs web sites will also assist in locating and completing documents.  Please note that in some cases, documents are issued on arrival by the local customs authority so cannot be issued in advance.

Q) How do I deal with customs and clearance?
A) Most countries will allow you to clear your own goods and in some air shipments this is a very cheap and effective way of getting your goods if you are happy to spend time at the airport and waiting at cargo sheds for collection, however using an agent will remove the need for you to go through all the time and effort spent trying to deal with various airline departments and customs.  Please note that in some cases you MUST attend customs for the clearance of your goods as a requirement of entry to that country.  We have agents in all the major areas and this list is always growing.  By doing this we can often provide a door to door service and advise all foreseeable costs in advance.  We are happy to advise of agents in area's not covered on our agents listing's page from where you will be able to contact them directly and pay them for their services on arrival however all customers can choose who the goods are addressed to and an agent of their choice to carry out the service.  We can only give details of agents and may not have any previous contact with them in the past so cannot be responsible for there service levels

Q) What will an agent do for me?
A) There are various agents that we can put you in touch with, subject to your requirement.  Depending on the agent, they will be able to offer some, if not all of the following services:
- Clearance only - Allowing you to collect once cleared from an airport BEWARE - There are usually very expensive storage penalties if late collecting, normally only the first 24 hours are free
- Clearance and collection - Allowing you to go and collect from there warehouse or depot at your leisure in agreement with the agent
- Clearance and onward delivery - Clearing your goods and then arranging delivery to your choice of destination by the most appropriate means NOTE when receiving HHG's by full container, unless pre-arranged, the goods will be delivered and you will be expected to unload or certainly make provision to unload within a time limit for delivery
- Clearance, delivery and unloading / packing - Associated with HHG shipments usually by full container load, your goods will be delivered with the same level of service you would expect from a local Removals Company, delivering your property into your accommodation

Q) What should I not pack?
A) Again this varies between country so you need to check with the relevant Customs Authority however it is safe to say that combustible materials, weapons, drugs (unless prescribed) should never be packed.  Please visit
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/TravellingAbroad/AirTravel/DG_176922 for a more concise list.

Q) Is there anything else I can't take?
A) Each country has restriction on goods that it may or may not allow.  For example, wooden furniture must be fumigated prior to shipment into Australia or New Zealand and certainly if travelling to Saudi Arabia / Middle East care must be taken with regard to items that are banned from circulation. 
Please check here for Saudi Restrictions.

Q) Do I have to pay Customs Duties on my HHG's
A) As a general rule, most countries don't charge you duty on all USED items entering their country.  This will include vehicles for personal use.  As mentioned some countries do charge duties on all imports so please check with your destination agent prior to import to ensure you know what you may have to pay.  Duties are a fixed percentage on the value of the goods imported and will often be around the 5-10% of the commodities value, but again this varies from country to country and different commodities so please check first.

Q) Do I need insurance?
A) It is not compulsory to have insurance and some people to choose not to insure there goods.  This can often be due to value or even the unlikely risk of damage or loss.

Q) What insurance should I get?
A) Most insurance companies will offer insurance that covers your belongings in transit in some form with marine insurance covering most modes of transport.  You should make sure that you get the level of cover you need and make sure that anything valuable is covered before departing because as soon as the goods are collected most companies will not issue insurance.

Q) What sort of cover do I need?
A) You can cover for breakages, loss and damage but you must be careful.  Most policies will not cover broken crockery or glass and when they are covered they can be very expensive.

Q) What about other Insurance issues I should consider?
A) Make sure you read the small print and where possible get insurance from someone who has a good knowledge of the area you are travelling to or from.  You must check to make sure that your goods are not going through any excluded areas for example Iran or Iraq as this may null and void your policy.  You should also consider the policies that are recognised in a country or region for example Sharia Insurance would be recognised in Saudi Arabia but has very limited coverage.

Q) What about me?
A) As with all cargo insurance, you should make sure that personal travel insurance covers you at the level you expect.  Often long term travel policies only cover you for a maximum of 28 at which point you must return to your home country for it to continue and there are often other restrictions such as excluded countries, recreational sports and some professions.  It is also worth remembering that you may need property insurance at destination so finding a good company that covers the area that you are moving to is always a first.

Glossary of Terms
MAWB - Master Airway Bill (Air freight)
AWB - Airway Bill (Air Freight)
B/L - Bill of Lading (Sea Freight)
HHG - House Hold Goods or Personal Effects
Customs - Government department ensuring goods arriving and departing from the country are legally allowed and that duty is paid / refunded where nessacary
MODE - Mode of transport refers to the type of transport that you are using like Air, Sea, Road or Rail.
Multi Mode - Refers to shipments travelling by two or more modes of transport
CBM - Cubic Meter
W/M - Weight / Measure pricing would appear as W/M GBP74.25 this would mean your price is 74.25 per 1000kgs or 1CBM whichever is greater
Volume - The volume weight is a rate applied to the size of a package
Volumetric weight - Same as Volume
INCOTERMS 2000- An industry standard list of shipping terms defining who is paying for what part of the shipment.  Used in conjunction with general cargo rather than HHG shipments

Q) Who is responsible for the agents?
A) Most agents will be part of a recognised organisation and you can always refer any issues directly to them.  Agents we use are members of some of the following governing bodies and / or federations:

IATA - International Air Transport Association
FIATA - Federation Internationale des Associations de Transitaires et Assimiles (International Freight Forwarders Assoc.)
FIDI - International Removals Association