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Moving from China At Your Own Expense

If you’re longing for a new employment opportunity, how much will it cost you to move on your own dollar? Paying for your own moving expenses and making all the arrangements can be quite daunting, therefore contacting a professional international mover such as Allied Pickfords can help alleviate a lot of the added stress.

The sooner you start planning, the less stressful your move may be and be sure to ask Allied Pickfords to provide you with a moving checklist to keep track of everything you need. Ideally, your checklist begins 8-12 weeks before your moving date and involves easy-to-follow steps so you’re not overwhelmed in a last-minute rush.

One of the critical things you need to know is how much it will cost. If you are relocating for work, you can certainly discuss with your employer what will be covered by the relocation package.

Here are 9 key factors to consider:

  1. Transportation & Packing/Unpacking: This will be the most expensive part of your international relocation costs. Moving by sea is the least expensive and by air will see you out of pocket for much more.

    Customs may want to inspect boxes before they are shipped and even though you could save a little money by packing yourself, it is better to let your professional China movers do this for you so your items comply with regulations. Sometimes it’s better to spend a little more to ensure there are no problems or delays.  Allied Pickfords China provide a door to door service inclusive of transportation and all your packaging needs.

  2. Moving Insurance: Check the insurance provided to make sure it covers your belongings. If you have valuables, you will want them protected. Never underestimate the things that could go wrong that are completely out of the control of your moving company and speak to Allied Pickfords about the best possible options for your precious goods.

    Allied Pickfords provides full protection coverage for your household goods which will cover both move and storage.

  3. Storage Costs: After your belongings are packed there may be a delay between shipping and your date of travel. Talk to your Allied Pickfords Move Manager about a storage solution for you.


  4. Taxes, Customs & Duty Charges: Take as many items as you can with your carry-on luggage. Do not pack prohibited items, such as food or electronics, which may be confiscated when your bags are checked at customs. When you book your airline tickets take note how much your luggage weight allowance adds up to, as well as any luggage restrictions for your departure from China and entry to your next destination. Make sure you have this in order before you begin packing. The costs could be from zero to an unlimited amount for valuable items and extra baggage costs much more at the airport than if you’d pre-booked online.


  5. Bank Accounts: Your hard-earned money will need to be transferred to an accessible account at your new destination, which will need to be organised pre-move. Chinese regulations are very strict to prevent people from removing large amounts out of the economy, but your personal accounts can be handled through SAFE (State Administration of Foreign Exchange) an institution authorised to handle transactions. You can make an application for your funds removal through your bank so that appropriate taxes are paid on the money before you withdraw it.


  6. Visa Fees: You must secure an appropriate Visa before finalising your move. Be aware of any special requirements before you depart and have the proper documentation and fees, if required for your next destination.SIRVA can assist you with any Visa and Immigration procedures as part of our global relocation services.


  7. Attorney Fees & Documents: Many people feel they can find out how to fill out Customs documents on the internet, but if you prefer to use a lawyer you can expect to pay by the hour. There are procedures and documents you will need before you depart, so follow these suggestions to make it run easier.


    Unregister with your Consulate (if you are a foreign national in China). Even though you could do this by email, it is recommended you do it formally and have an actual signed official document, which you can make copies of and keep them within easy access.


    Translation of documents. Not all Chinese documents are valid wherever you go, so you may have to have them properly translated and prepared. Check with the Chinese Foreign Ministry for assistance, which should take about a week. Do not depend on your new destination to handle this. This must be done in China before you leave, especially documentation such as work contracts.


    Residency. If you are not returning to China or your country of origin you may need to provide proof of your new residence and possibly obtain a residency permit for up to 6 months.


  8. Housing Costs: Finding a new residence and paying for rental costs and fees and taxes can add up quickly. Ask about all of these items up front.

    If you are moving out of your home, you will need to apply for an exit permit from your building management, and get landlord permission, before anything can be moved out.

  9. Other Costs: If you are moving to a much colder or warmer climate you may need to buy new clothes. Also, if you are moving appliances, you’ll need to check the voltage to see if they will operate using the local electrical current. You may require an adapter for small appliances, but it may be easier to sell your much larger appliances to make way for new ones in your next home.

When making an international move out of China, there may be areas in which you can try to save money but trusting a reputable and accredited moving company is worth the price for their expertise and professionalism, which brings with it peace of mind.

Contact us at or call 800 988 6683.

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