As you may have realised by now, there are lots of practical matters that will need to be taken care of. Within this bigger shipping journey, there are those intricate details which should not be overlooked at this stage. It is not just a simple matter of transporting your worldly possessions and yourself to your new life. Make sure that you check what the regulations about bringing goods into your chosen country are, for example New Zealand has strict bio-security measures in place.
I have referred to MAF (Mimstry of Agriculture and Forestry) now called MPI (Mimstry for Primary Industries) earlier. You Will be reaching the final stages of the process once you meet this technical jargon. So in simpler terms this is what it means for you and your shipment to New Zealand.
If you completed your recce trip to New Zealand then you will be well aware of the strict biosecurity regulations. New Zealand is a small Island and like many small islands they have to ensure that pests and the like are not brought in to the country. New breeds of pests could destroy crops and populations of rare species of animals. Before you land in the country, you will be given a customs card to fill out. This states that no food products and other items such as seeds or plant materials should be brought into the country. Look at the list carefully because you will receive a fine if you bring into the country anything that is on that list without declaring it.
Now some items can be brought in with no problem, for example we had factory packaged chocolate and sweets. All we did was declare these items on the customs form. The customs officer will assess the items being brought in and we had no problem with these. If there is any doubts about an item then just declare it, and I mean any food item. This could cause you more problems than it is worth. So just to be clear here, anything that can go into your mouth is food. You’d be surprised at what items people try to pass off as non-food items despite it needing to pass through the oral orifice.
Do not take any plane food into the country either – despite the countless warnings given on the flight some individuals continue to ignore these warnings. There are fines for bringing in any fresh produce such as fruit so that apple you cannot manage at dinner – whatever you do, don’t pop it in your bag for later. But let us get back to the details you will need to attend to before you even set foot in your new country.
Things you should know beforehand to prepare for when your worldly possessions arrive
I cannot stress enough, how important the packing and preparation of your possessions will be prior to being shipped. This will only become clear to you when your possessions arrive at your chosen destination. It will be at that stage that you will find yourself saying once again, I wish I knew when I was preparing my stuff for shipping. Read on as I share what will help in minimising any disruption when your goods finally arrive.
Hints and tips when packing for shipping
The cleaning process prior to packing is the most time consuming but also the most important aspect. You will need a good quality cleaning solution such as Jeyes or other similar outdoor disinfectants and some good strong gloves. Give yourself enough time to clean and get everything dry before they need to be packed.
Shoes, remember that these will need to be cleaned and any muddy boots will need to be sparkling. With regard to any gardening stuff, everything that has been in contact with the ground or soil will need to be cleaned thoroughly and to a high standard if you are taking these with you.
I abandoned all gardening equipment as it was just too much hassle to try to clean and decided that we would start afresh in New Zealand.
We also had a trampoline which became the bane of my life. I desperately tried to get rid of it but my daughter went into such a hissy fit. I recommend that you check the prices of a replacement item in your chosen destination to decide if the item could be replaced as this may be cheaper and easier in the long run. We decided to take ours and this was probably not a good move. I can still see all those little springs and pieces that had to be jet washed and thoroughly cleansed. The smell of Jeyes cleaning fluid has only just left my nostrils. Believe me they will check these items and it is best to have them packed together. Remember that you will also be charged per box that is checked by biosecurity so try to group them into as few boxes as possible.
You cannot bring in any plants, dried flowers, bulbs, seeds or pine cones. Look through your Christmas decorations for any pine cones, lucky I noticed the fake Christmas wreath had real pine cones and we discarded them prior to shipping. Throw out dried flowers and potpourri; they are on the banned list.
Cane furniture is a big No No. I had to get rid of my lovely conservatory cane furniture or I would have had to have it chemically treated to bring it over. Frankly it would have cost more than they were worth in order to do so.
Some wooden items will not be allowed in depending on whether it was treated correctly and your shipping company should be able to advise you of this.
Before packing your electrical goods, find out whether they will be compatible in your new destination. For example, DVDs will only work in the area they are prepared for, and televisions and phones work differently in different countries. We didn’t take our TV or telephone for these reasons. For smaller items it is possible to obtain an adapter to convert the outlets available in your new home to that which suits your current electrical items. We were able to purchase plugs and changed these over for items such as toasters and kettles.
Remove the batteries from items you are intending to take with you, to prevent the leakage of battery fluid and consequent damage of your belongings.
Also remove the printer cartridges from your printer I forgot to do this and we had a very inky box when we arrived. Thankfully the printer still worked.
When your goods arrive at their destination, before you can receive them they will need to be checked against the inventory by MPI. What will happen is that your possessions will be delivered to your new home at an agreed time that a MPI inspector will be able to attend. The MPI inspector will have a look at the inventory of your items beforehand and they will advise your shipping company which boxes they need to open and inspect on the day. When your stuff is delivered, these boxes will be placed to the side and you cannot open these until they are inspected. You can start unpacking everything else whilst you are waiting.
In our case, the MPI inspector opened each box that contained trampoline parts and closely inspected several of the spring components. He also opened the Christmas decoration box and again thankfully we had removed the pine cones that he was looking for. He also looked at the box containing shoes; again ensure that muddy boots are cleaned prior to packing. You will also be charged per box that needs to be inspected. Therefore try to ensure that items that contain any gardening tools, shoes wooden items, Christmas decorations are grouped in as few boxes as
possible. The boxes containing these items were the ones that the MPI inspector chose to open.
I had spent a long time cleaning items, so thankfully they all passed the inspection and we did not have to have anything specially cleaned or treated. If you do need to have any items cleaned, at this stage, then you will be charged for this so you have been pre warned.
As you complete these cleaning and sorting out preparations, you will realise that you are coming closer to reaching your dreams and life is full of the excitement that is to come. Suddenly, it is all becoming a reality and the first pangs of doubt begin to creep in.
I’m Jenny and I whilst I love being an expat in Auckland I could not find any reliable advice or guides online from someone who had actually made the move to New Zealand. So I decided to create this blog which offers free advice for expats by an expat. Hopefully you will find everything you’re looking for (and what I wish I knew before) here but if you can’t please do contact us.