Customs for household goods: how does it work?

The process of moving abroad requires a lot of work, including customs for household goods. In the following article we explain the process of clearing your household goods through customs. 

Removal of household goods and personal belongings

Moving abroad? You may wish to ship your belongings to your new home, from a complete set of household goods to just a few boxes with essential and personal items. There are customs formalities to undergo when sending goods abroad (outside of the EU).*

Rules vary between household goods and commercial goods. The logistics involved in the international shipping of household goods are particularly complex. It is best to contact a specialist.

*When moving within the EU, there is no need for customs clearance. 

International Relocation Company

We always recommend shipping your personal belongings with the help of an international relocation company. You should choose one that you can trust based on their experience and positive reviews. 

Windmill Forwarding is experienced in relocation services around the world. We will manage the customs clearance of your move. We have reliable business partners in every country to ensure your Shipment arrives safely. Select a reliable moving company to avoid issues such as delays at the port and unnecessary storage costs.

Customs clearance rules for each country: where can I find them?

Rules vary from one country to another and laws are subject to change. Make sure you have the latest information. You can stay updated on customs formalities for each country here: specific country information.

Windmill Forwarding will thoroughly discuss the procedure of clearing your shipment with you. We will inform you on the exact documents required for customs clearance. 

Customs clearance for household goods: what documents are required?

Each country has different customs formalities. You can check these on our website. Generally, the minimum requirements are:

  • Valid passport
  • Work permit
  • Residence permit
  • Visa (if applicable)


The importation of personal belongings is tax free. The cost of arranging customs clearance through Windmill Forwarding is included in your quote.

Extra requirements to consider

Make sure your international mover keeps you well informed about any extra requirements depending on your country of destination. For example, in the UAE there are limits to the importation of alcohol. 

Windmill Forwarding will provide you with a detailed inventory list of approved items. We have the experience and connections required to guarantee a hassle-free customs clearance process.

In some cases, it is recommended to store your household goods in our storage facility in the Netherlands. In the meantime, you will be able to organize the necessary documents without expensive storage costs in the country of destination. 

Contact our enthusiastic team if you have any questions. We are here for you!

Clearance of household goods. How does this work?

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