Are you planning to move into the USA for a few years? The first thing you’ll have to take care of is your Visa. If you’re already thinking of renting a 20 ft or 40 ft container, then you’re probably thinking of staying for a long time.
It’s pretty difficult to get a migrant visa to the USA. It will probably take you three months to get a tourist Visa and even longer to obtain a migrant visa. If you’re currently a non-resident because you’re a national of another country, you have to think these things through.
Exempted, prohibited, and restricted importations
If you’re thinking of moving into the US, and you have household items you would like to bring in using a 20 ft or 40 ft container, go to the Embassy of the United States first. Get a complete list of all exempted, prohibited, and restricted importations. While getting a Visa might be difficult, shipping to USA is pretty lenient when it comes to tax-free importations. You should be able to bring in a number of your personal belongings without losing too much money on taxes.
However, there are also strict rules on items which may need certifications and permits. If you’re shipping pets, you will have to acquire health certificates ensuring that these pets won’t bring harm into the country. The same thing goes for plants and ammunition. If you have items which are very valuable like jewelry and antiques, you should have certificates proving your rightful ownership.
Prohibited items include bootlegs, absinthe, traitorous material, and other items which are deemed by the government to be harmful. Make sure you itemize your personal belongings correctly, acquire proper documentation, and do not include prohibited items. Otherwise, your entire shipment might be quarantined at the US port, and you will be asked to pay a hefty fine.
Prior to choosing the right container size, you will have to make sure you’ve prepackaged your personal items. The mover of your choice will provide you with cardboard boxes. These are standard sized and they would fit perfectly once packaged inside a 20 ft or 40 ft container. These are enclosed containers so it’s extremely important for you to package them in standard sized boxes.
They have to be positioned well inside the container so that they’re compact. Very fragile objects will also have to be packaged well with bubble wrap, Styrofoam, or corrugated cardboard pieces for extra protection.
Unfortunately, while 20 and 40 ft containers are standard for any moving or shipping company, not all items can be fitted into these types of containers. If you are importing oversized furniture, for example, a more flexible container type would be open racks. These have no sides and no roofing. Some shippers are wary of using open racks because they just don’t seem as secure as 20 and 40 ft enclosed racks. However, as long as the items you’re importing are insured, they should be safe from loss or damages. At least, you will be compensated enough should anything happen to them.