Blog. Paperwork

December 27, 2018


Hello Again!  Lets dive into Paperwork requirements for Exporting Household Goods from the USA. The documentation requirements of your destination country for importation may vary. Each Country has their own forms for Household Goods declaration (more on that later), however, the documentation for export is straightforward.

Before you start, double check the restricted and prohibited items as they pertain to your destination Country. (click HERE for more information) The first document that you should create is a packing list. Do this while you are loading up your boxes, so it is fresh in your mind and you do not have to struggle to remember. You can hand write your list to start as most things change up to the day of shipping. Do not list anything you are packing in your suitcase and taking with you on the airplane. This list is for unaccompanied articles that you are shipping separately. If you are storing your goods while you travel and find accommodations, I still recommend doing the packing list as you pack – this is not something you want to leave to a friend or relative or do at the last minute.

Use general terms i.e. toiletries, dishes, kitchenware, linens, shoes, clothes, tools etc. As long as you are shipping like items you do not have to list every item in the box nor count the pieces in the box. Then assign a value in USD. Lump like boxes together like this:

1 Box Toiletries $50.00

3 Box Clothes     $200.00

2 Box Kitchenware $150.00

Anything not in a box, list them as individual items:  

2 end tables $100

1 sofa $300

1 exercise bike $300

Once you make your final adjustments you type it up. At the top of your page list your name, address, phone number and email (in USA) (as the Shipper or USPPI) and your name. foreign address, contact information (as the Consignee).  Make sure to list the Total number of boxes/pieces and Total value at the bottom.  Keep in mind that if you are insuring (We highly recommend Marine Cargo Insurance) you cannot insure for more than your declared value +freight+10% - get your shipping company to help you if you are unsure. We will discuss insurance in a later blog. (Sample Packing list on our Helpful Forms page)

You will keep a printed copy of your packing list with you and email copy to your shipping company. You will need to fill out an SLI or Shippers Letter of Instructions with self-explained fields.  We have a copy of our SLI under Helpful Forms if you want to take a look at one. Each shipping company will have their own version, but the information required is the same.  This will help us prepare your US Customs Export entry filing.  Other than these two documents, we will need a copy of your passport.  For all US Citizens exporting goods from the USA whose cargo value is over $2500 is required to obtain an EIN number from  Instructions how to get EIN is on our Links page. This is to protect your social security number. Your shipping company is NOT the exporter of your things, you are! You will also have to sign a letter of authorization (LOA), this allows your forwarder or shipping company to file directly with US Customs on your behalf.  It is the US government ruling to force exporters to get an EIN number so please do not take it out on your shipping company 😊.

Now that we have the USA side of the paperwork done, let’s discuss what paperwork you need at destination to import Household goods.  If you have read my other blogs you know that I am going to recommend getting the paperwork from the destination agent/broker, Consulate or simply ask your shipping company.  I have asked my good friend and long time agent, Steven Burge of Keys Freight to write an article about Importing Household goods into Australia that I will post next week. In our helpful forms tab you can find Government forms and information for the UK, Germany and Australia. ( I will upload more as I receive them ) 

Our goal is to make sure my you stay in compliance and have a good shipping experience without hurting your wallet. If you have interest in relocating to Australia, please check out our next blog for information directly from the source.  If you have any quote inquiries, please click HERE. If you have any questions about this blog or suggestions for future topics click HERE.


Sue Fitzgerald, GM, Dove Shipping International Inc.



There is no comment.

Your Name
Enter the code