How to ship internationally from South Africa – Special Items

How to ship internationally from South Africa – Special Items

How to ship internationally from South Africa

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If you’re looking to ship special items internationally from South Africa when you emigrate, you may be wondering how to navigate the international shipping rules and limitations of your transport company and the regulations of the country you are moving to. From valuable collectables and jewellery to miscellaneous items like batteries and gas bottles, there are several factors to consider when shipping items across borders, including whether they can be shipped at all.

Elliott knows from decades of experience that whether you can ship some special items internationally or not, all depends on where you are going. During the pre-move survey, our highly experienced sales staff will explain the rules and regulations of moving special items to another country and whether Elliott will be able to assist you in moving a particular item.

Shipping jewellery overseas

Although jewellery is a personal item, shipping any jewellery is high risk due to the value of precious metals and stones.   

When it comes to shipping jewellery internationally, there are several factors to consider. Depending on the value of the items, jewellery may be subject to forex control regulations. At Elliott, we do not move jewellery nationally or internationally. Instead, we recommend that you use a licensed jeweller who can provide specialised courier services, including armed response and other security measures that ensure the safe transportation of your high-end jewels.

It’s important to note that this only applies to high-value jewellery, not costume jewellery or trinkets with little monetary value.

What is considered high-end jewellery?

Any jewellery from brands such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Buccellati, Chopard, Harry Winston, and Bulgari are examples of luxury jewellery brands. However, rings, necklaces, bracelets, charms, watches, or any other jewellery or ornaments made from diamonds, gold, precious gemstones, silver, platinum, and similar precious materials are considered valuable and will not be moved with your consignment through Elliott.   

How do I insure my jewellery while it is in transit?

Elliott does not facilitate the insurance of jewellery in transit. Our experienced sales consultant will recommend that you use a specialised courier service that can also offer you insurance for the transit of these and other high-value specialised items, such as coins, stamp collections, and similar collector items.

What if I have my own insurance?

Even if you have secured your own insurance, we may not be able to move valuable specialised items with your consignment. If you insist on shipping high-value items that fall outside of our service offering (the transport of second-hand household and personal effects and art), you may need to sign an indemnity, and our board will decide on whether we can move the items in question – on a case-by-case basis.

If you need to move art, see Elliott’s Fine Art Relocation page.

Can I carry jewellery with me when I travel?

If your personal jewellery is not of such value that it requires a specialised courier, the best way to move it is by carrying it on your person. Make sure that you keep it safe during travel, as any movement of items carries risks.

Can I ship firearms internationally?

There are several reasons why people may choose to keep their firearms when emigrating rather than selling them off. Firearms may hold sentimental value, particularly if they have been passed down through generations as part of a family heirloom. Firearms may also have been acquired for sport or recreational purposes, such as shooting competitions or target practice. For those who have invested considerable time and money in acquiring and maintaining their firearms, parting with them can be difficult. However, whether to keep or sell firearms when emigrating is a personal decision that depends on individual circumstances and priorities.

The export and import of firearms require specific licenses, permits, and preparations, and it’s crucial to ensure compliance with the legal requirements of both the exporting and importing countries. This involves preparing legal documents in accordance with the regulations and requirements of each country involved before transporting firearms and any ammunition.

Let’s look at an example:

For instance, if you intend to take firearms out of South Africa, you must obtain an export permit from the South African Police (SAPS) and comply with the full legal requirements for importing them into the destination country. If, for example, you need to import a firearm into the US, make sure you visit the U.S Customs and Border Protection Information Centre as well as the ATF website for the rules and regulations, and forms that must be filled out for import for citizens and other visa-type holders. If you are moving to the UK, a good place to start your research is the guidance summary for Guns, knives, swords and other offensive weapons: UK border control.

It’s worth noting that shipping lines do not transport firearms, which means you’ll have to carry them with you by air when emigrating. Hence, early preparation for exporting firearms is vital, given that different airlines have varying rules and restrictions regarding carrying firearms and ammunition. Moreover, some airlines may not carry them at all.

Given the specialised nature of importing and exporting firearms, we recommend contacting a specialised firearm transportation company.

What about hunting trophies and emigration?

Over the last few years, views and opinions about trophies have changed, and with that, the rules and regulations for their movement abroad. It is essential that you check with your shipping line whether the transport of trophies is permitted. Some may refuse to carry them. Only a select few airlines carry any hunting trophies.

When shipping trophies, it is important to have the necessary documentation ready for the authorities. CITES permits are required for the export and import of all trophies listed on the CITES list of endangered species. All countries will also require a taxidermy certificate depending on the species being exported/imported. It is essential to take note that a CITES permit must be endorsed by the relevant authority prior to shipping.  When shipping any trophies listed on the CITES as endangered list, a CITES permit will be required for export from the authorities in the origin country and a separate CITES permit from the authorities in the destination country.

Another consideration for the movement of trophies is timing. A CITES permit is only valid for 6 months, and the person exporting/importing the trophy must apply for the permit. Visit Cites for more information.

How to ship alcohol internationally from South Africa

You must declare alcohol, which is also taxable, regardless of the amount you take.

Whether you are shipping a bottle of wine or a few cases of beer, liquor will attract the attention of the customs office. It is therefore important that you declare any alcohol in your consignment or baggage.

When travelling with alcohol, it is also crucial to consider the country you are travelling to (watch those reroutes). Although most countries allow the import of alcohol, countries such as Dubai prohibits the import of liquor. Entering the country with it could get you into serious trouble with the authorities. On the other hand, although you will be okay travelling to most countries with alcohol, it is important to check which entry ports are “dry ports”. Examples are those in the State of Texas in the US.

How to ship other special household items internationally from South Africa

It is important to keep in mind that Elliott specialises in the transportation of household and personal effects both locally and internationally. We ship special items on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether the Elliott team and our logistics equipment can handle the consignment. This is especially important to consider for international relocations, which require your consignment to travel by air and/or sea.

Here are a few interesting items that can and cannot be moved by air and/or sea freight.

1. Gas bottles, whether they are empty or not, cannot be shipped by either air or sea

2. Liquids (alcohol, perfumes, etc.) aerosols and any compressed gases, magnetized materials, laptops, batteries, and chargers cannot travel by air cargo and are considered dangerous

3. You cannot move tools and equipment that have batteries inserted or enclosed by air or sea

4. No religious items of any kind other than those religious items that are not of an Islamic nature (religious books, other than dealing with Islamic beliefs, any controversial, political literature and materials contrary to the Islamic State Principle) may travel to Islamic countries by any means.

Lithium-Ion batteries

Elliott may be able to facilitate the move of your lithium-ion batteries. If you have any lithium-ion batteries that need to make the move overseas with you, our sales consultant will advise that you contact a specialised company that can wrap the battery and provide you with a certificate of its classification. If you follow these steps, we may be able to ship the battery via sea.

Please read our full moving guide here. O,r contact us for more information on how to ship internationally from South Africa. Our dedicated and experienced team can assist you with all your moving needs.

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Thank you for your interest in our removal services. Unfortunately, we no longer offer local/middle-distance removal services in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal. With recent changes to our business, our focus is now solely on long-distance and international removals, and as a result, we cannot provide you with a quote for your move. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Please let us know if you have any further questions or require assistance.