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Moving to the USA from NZ

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Moving to the USA

What you need to know when moving to the USA

Moving to the USA from New Zealand? Whether you’re relocating to America with the family, or just on your own, the Transworld team are here to help.

Moving doesn’t have to be a drawn out, stressful process. We make it easy. As certified and knowledgeable moving experts, the Transworld team are here to help you work out your options, answer your queries, and make the whole process as simple as possible.

To help with your move to the USA, we’ve put together useful tips and advice around:

  1. Shipping options
  2. American Customs
  3. What you can and can’t take


Shipping your personal belongings: your options

There are a number of different options available. When weighing up these options, consider the following:

  1. How much do you want to take?
  2. What’s your budget?
  3. How soon do you want your goods to arrive?


FCL: for when you need the space

If you are shipping a full household you’ll probably need a sole-use container (FCL).

This is a faster way to ship as you’re not having to share the container with others. Once your container has been loaded, it will be sealed and delivered to the port for immediate shipping.

Transworld operates regular FCL shipping services to all major US East and West Coast ports

Key benefits:

    1. More capacity:a full container can typically accommodate a complete household
    2. Faster shipping times:normally FCLs are loaded at client’s residence, delivered  directly to the port and shipped on the first available vessel. 
    3. Ship anywhere in the United States; our full container service covers all major US ports


Groupage: for when you’re happy to share

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For those with a small household or just looking to ship a few items, groupage shipping is the answer.

This way you share a container with other clients moving to the same destination. Groupage is an economical way of shipping, as you only pay for the space you use. Keep in mind, this service may take a little longer while we wait to fill the container for your destination but it is a very cost effective option.

Key benefits:

  1. Lower cost: pricing is based on the actual size of your shipment, so you only pay for the space your effects take up in the container

  2. Flexibility: giving you the freedom to decide how much you want to ship, from a couple of boxes to a small household.

  3. Regularity: We regularly ship groupage containers to all major US ports, and from there, deliver to any part of the United States.


Air Freight: for when you need items urgently

Air Freight is the fastest option, though the most expensive. Ideal if you’re not taking a lot, or for those extra items you’ll need soon after your arrival

Key benefits:

    1. Fastest option:air freight is the fastest way to get your effects to the US.
    2. Essentials: Perfect for a few essential items you want delivered quickly
    3. Coverage: Our air freight service covers all major cities in the United States


How long will shipping take?

Approximate door to door transit times, including packing and unpacking, are as follows:

  1. FCL: Allowing for Customs and quarantine delays at destination,  shipping to the US will take approximately 9-10 weeks.

  2. Groupage: Because we need to wait until we have enough consignments to fill the container, shipping can take a little longer. Once it is full, shipping times will be approximately 12 to 16 weeks 

  3. Air Freight: As the fastest shipping options, air freight will usually take 2-3 weeks.


Want to know how much shipping to America costs? Receive a free quote!


We handle all the Customs requirements

customs3As part of our comprehensive, door-to-door service, we’ll manage all the formalities involved in moving to the USA.

With a wealth of experience in dealing with US Customs, the Transworld team can help you prepare your items and ensure you have completed all the necessary paperwork for the move.

We take care of:

  1. Packing, and completing a detailed inventory of all items
  2. Providing the documents you'll need to complete for US Customs

What you need to do:

  1. Provide a copy of your passport
  2. Be aware that items packed by yourself will be subject to full Customs examination, so we recommend all packing is carried out by our professional team
  3. Be in possession of an official Green Card or Residency Visa


What you can and can’t ship to the USA

Prohibited and restricted items

Before moving to the United States from New Zealand, it's important to know what is restricted or prohibited from entry. . Examples of items that can't be imported include:

  1. All food
  2. Alcohol should not be included due to costs for clearance and duty
  3. Drug paraphernalia
  4. Merchandise from Cuba, Iran, Burma or Sudan


Firearms and weapons

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulates and restricts firearm and weapon importation.

If you are planning to import firearms or weapons to the USA, you must do so through a licensed importer, dealer or manufacturer. Requests for import must be made with an ATF form and permit.


Shipping vehicles to the USA

article.originalThere are a number of regulations and requirements around importing vehicles into the US. It is a complicated and costly process and not many private individuals ship their vehicles to the US. All vehicles must comply with relevant safety standards. It is advised that before deciding to ship your vehicle you contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EDA) and Department of Transportation (DOT).

To import a vehicle to the USA, these are some of the requirements:

  1. Vehicles must meet the fuel-emission requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency and the safety, bumper and theft prevention standards of the U.S Department of Transportation
  2. Vehicles purchased in foreign countries must be modified to meet American standards - it is unlikely a vehicle obtained abroad will meet all relevant standards
  3. Vehicles entering the US that do not comply with the standards are either brought into compliance, exported or destroyed
  4. Necessary documentation include the original bill of lading, bill of sale and foreign registration
  5. Relevant EPA form 3520-1 and DOT form HS-7


If you’ve got a query regarding shipping vehicles to the US, give us a call. We’re here to help!


Shipping pets to the USA

While it is possible to ship pets to the US, there are certain restrictions and prohibitions. Rules differ between states, and it is always wise to check the requirements of the specific state you are moving to.

Unlike other countries, there is no quarantine in the US. Dogs and cats from New Zealand do not require rabies vaccinations, as New Zealand is a rabies-free country.


The Transworld service

The Transworld team provide customers with a door-to-door service, taking care of all the details involved in relocating to America. From packing your items here in New Zealand, to arranging shipping and Customs formalities, to safely delivering your shipment to your new residence in America.

You’ll also have a dedicated team member on-hand throughout the process to answer your queries, keep you informed and make sure your items arrive safely.


The Transworld team are here to make your move to the USA as simple and straightforward as possible. Give us a call today for a free quote!


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