To help alleviate much of the stress usually associated with moving home, we’ve prepared a list of frequently asked questions which, we hope, will provide you with the information you are looking for.

If however you still need to discuss your forthcoming move, please get in touch with our team of experts on 0808 302 4342.  They will be happy to guide you and answer your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions about International Removals

How soon should I arrange for a quotation?

It’s never too early to get a quotation from us. We recommend you get a quote at least 12 weeks prior to your move. Some people choose to begin up to 12 months before. Just whatever you do, don’t leave it until the last minute!


How soon will my quote be with me?

We provide our quotes within 48 hours of a survey, online enquiry or telephone call.

How will you calculate the cost of my removal?

The cost depends on the volume of goods you want to ship. A Robinsons Moving Consultant will assess the volume of your goods during our free survey. They will also discuss your individual needs and answer any questions you may have.

How can I pay?

The cost of your removal can be paid online or by cheque, cash or bank transfer. Please note that we accept credit card payments at a surcharge. We provide a written quotation but will review our pricing if requested.

Will you do all of the packing and unpacking?

Yes, if you want us to. If you choose, you can pack some or all of your goods by yourself. Disassembling and packing by yourself is relatively cheaper, but we strongly recommend the ‘full export pack’ option. With this selection, you’ll have increased insurance cover and greater physical protection for your furniture.

What do I need to do if I get a full pack service?

With our full pack service, we’ll need you to put aside things that need to be disposed of or kept with you during the journey (e.g. passport). We can disconnect appliances, remove pictures and take down curtains for an additional, pre-planned charge.

How many people will be sent to pack my things?

The required crew size is based on the amount of work needed to be done.

Are the crews all employed by Robinsons?

Yes, we don’t contract employees from other companies. This means that all Robinsons staff are fully-trained and dedicated to achieving Robinsons standards.

What happens when my goods arrive at their destination?

Robinsons will be with you every step of the way. One-to-one contact with your Robinsons Move Manager will keep you fully updated with the progress of your move.

Trusted, experienced overseas partners carry out our destination services. They’re specially selected for their expertise.  We choose agents who, like ourselves , are members of FIDI and/or OMNI, and are FAIM 3.1 Top Performer.

Once your goods have arrived at their destination we will contact you to arrange a convenient delivery date. Our partner will unload all items into your property. Where agreed, they will unpack and remove the packing materials.

Will my shipment be opened on the way?

In most cases, sole-use containers will be delivered unopened. However, in some countries (e.g. Australia) all containers are unloaded for quarantine inspection. Our destination partners will oversee the process.

We do our best to respect your privacy. However, customs officials reserve the right to inspect goods anywhere in the world. Inspections are therefore beyond our control.

What are the fumigation costs?

Fumigation costs are not uncommon in Australia or New Zealand.  DAFF in Australia and MAFF in New Zealand may order items to be fumigated. If so, a cost will be incurred locally at the destination.  We can provide indicative costs for fumigation of items.

How long will my shipment take to arrive at the destination?

Transit times vary depending on your destination, mode of transport and a country’s customs. Here are approximate door-to-door timescales for container shipments from the UK:

Destination Sole Use Container       Shared Container
Australia 7-8 weeks       10-12 weeks
New Zealand 7-8 weeks       10-12 weeks
Canada East coast 4-5 weeks        6-8 weeks
Canada West coast 5-7 weeks        6-8 weeks
USA East coast 4-5 weeks        8-10 weeks
South Africa 6-7 weeks        8-10 weeks
Will I have to be at the destination for customs clearance?

Most destination countries require you to be there when your belongings clear customs. However, there are some exceptions – your Move Manager will be able to let you know whether your destination is one of them.

Are Robinsons fully insured?

Yes. Robinsons hold full public liability and vehicle insurance. Regarding goods in transit, we offer insurance cover for UK, European and International moves.

If I’m shipping my car, can I pack household goods in it?

No, custom formalities will prohibit this. The only items that can remain in the car are ones directly related to it ( e.g. warning triangle, first aid kit).

Can I access items that are in store?

Yes. Generally we would require 48 hours notice.

Where are your storage facilities?

At all of our branch locations – Birmingham, Basingstoke, and Oxford.

How much are the customs fees?

These will vary according to the destination.  We will advise on associated costs within our quotation.

Will there be charges to pay at the destination port?

This depends on the destination. For example, all shipments to Australia are inspected and charges for this are payable locally. We provide indicative charges for this within our quote. Likewise, we can advise on the costs of any duty/tax payable at any other destination.

Which is better, groupage or full container load?

This depends on the size of the consignment. Full container load is generally faster. We can quote and advise on transit times for either groupage or full container load.

Can I ship toiletries, alcohol and food?

Food is generally not permitted for most destinations, but toiletries are. For more information, check out our country-specific customs guides. Alcohol is generally permitted, although you will likely have to pay duty/tax. We can advise you about any extra costs.

Can you help me moving to and from the UK with my pets?

If you’re leaving or entering the UK with a pet, check out the government’s advice page.

If you’re moving from the UK to another country, you’ll need to research the rules and regulations for that country because they may vary from the UK’s requirements and processes.

If you’re moving within the UK, our special guides will help you move with your favourite sidekick.

Should I take out insurance with Robinsons? If I don’t, can I claim if a Robinsons employee damages an item?

Whilst great care is taken in the removal of your goods, accidents beyond our control can happen. The removal team’s liability for loss or damage is limited by their standard contract terms and conditions. For these reasons, you are strongly advised to take out an All Risks insurance policy.

If you don’t take out adequate insurance, your recourse against a crew member may be limited. Other parties (e.g. the shipping company or airline) operate under separate contract conditions that may limit/exclude their liability. If a loss occurs at sea, a shipping company may declare a ‘general average loss’. In this case, you may have to contribute to the ‘general average loss’ incurred by the shipping company. Our standard contract conditions (BAR conditions) specifically limit our liability.

 Do you recycle your boxes?

Yes. As part of our environmentally friendly initiative, we recycle used packing materials.

What is a part load delivery?

A delivery in conjunction with other moves/deliveries to a particular geographical area. Transit time for such deliveries will be provided within our quotation.

Do you belong to any professional organisations?

Yes, both in the UK and internationally. We’re members of the British Association of Removers (B.A.R.) and founder members of internationally recognised industry associations OMNI and FIDI. This means we work with overseas members to ensure you get the same high quality service across all continents.

Your international move with Robinsons in 6 steps

  • STEP 1

    We quote your move

  • STEP 2

    We schedule your move

  • STEP 3

    We pack and load

  • STEP 4

    We deal with customs

  • STEP 5

    We keep you informed

  • STEP 6

    We deliver at destination

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Why choose Robinsons?

  • Market leading

    We provide a fast, convenient, reliable and professional service that makes use of the latest materials and technologies. This makes us stand out from the crowd.

  • Years of experience

    We’ve been helping people move and store their personal belongings for more than a century. This has equipped us for any eventuality on moving day.

  • Putting you first

    Our customer-focused approach is what sets us apart in the removals industry. Excellent customer service is at the heart of everything we do.

  • Flexible service

    Our staff want to make moving house as simple for you as possible, whatever your requirements. Speak to one of our team today and they'll talk you through the Robinsons process.