European Moving Update - Sept 21

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If you are moving to Europe, you should prepare for the challenges presented by both the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and by the global pandemic. There have been changes in regulations and processes that may add additional costs or time to consignments transitioning to and from the UK.

Additional customs clearance paperwork and documentation

If you are moving to the EU there is additional paperwork to complete which does vary by country. It is important to complete this documentation as early in the process as possible to ensure that delays are avoided.

Residency permits

Customers moving to the EU will require, amongst other documentation, a Residency Permit to be included in the required paperwork by customs prior to the move. Typically, applications for Residency Permits are taking from 7 to 10 days and this additional paperwork may again cause delays in transit times.

Period of consolidation

Due to COVID isolation requirements within the EU, European moves generally need to come in to store for a period of consolidation prior to departure to EU countries. Many countries require the individual to visit the local council offices to obtain the necessary documents on their arrival and post isolation. This may lead to additional costs for handling charges via a warehouse and storage rental.

Increased travel to customs clearance point

Customs clearance now takes place at designated customs clearance points in Europe and additional travel to these points will be factored into the price of a European move.

Additional duties

With the end of free movement, our customers can expect to pay duties on gifts, moves to and from secondary residences, new goods and alcohol.


It is now inadvisable to move plants to Europe as they require a phytosanitary certificate and must survive for longer period where warehouse consolidation is a requirement.

How can you best prepare for your move?

In summary there are many factors affecting removals to Europe currently. Our advice to our customers includes:

  • Do your research and be aware of your travel restrictions to ensure your arrival in your new country is not delayed.
  • Be flexible and understand that your consignment may take longer and in fact delivery dates and costs can change at any time.
  • Make sure you complete your paperwork as early as possible to ensure the customs clearance is not delayed for any reason.
  • Budget for additional costs that may be enforced due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Consider storage with your removal company in the event of a delay to your consignment.
  • Ensure you factor in your travel and quarantine period to ensure that you are in your destination country when your consignment arrives.

If you're moving to Europe and would like to talk to our international removal specialists, don't hesitate to give us a call.