What You Need to Know & Prepare for International Moving

Shalom Movers is a council members in Singapore Logistics Association, Singapore Aircargo Agent Association and Singapore Transport Association. 

We are also members of the International Association of Movers, Amercian Moving and Storage Association, Singapore Business Federation, Singapore National Employer Federation, SG Enable & Waste Management & Recycling Association of Singapore. 

With 37 years of experiences and helped in moving for more than 200,000 customers locally and globally. We are the expert in the moving sector that will offer you peace of mind and hassle-free experience.


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Used Household Goods and Personal Effects Documents Required

• Copy of passport (photograph and personal information pages)
• Declaration of facts form
• Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
• Copy of the owner of the goods’ employment pass / green card (both sides)
• Goods and services tax relief form (GST)
• Supplementary Customs declaration form
• Wine and liquor declaration form
• Exemption permit (diplomats)

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects Specific Information

• A duty exemption will be given to goods if all documentation as requested above is in order.
• Goods should be in the owner of the goods’ possession and used for more than 3 months.
• Shipment must be imported into Singapore within 6 months of the owner of the goods’ first arrival into Singapore.
• If shipment arrives more than 6 months after owner of the goods’ employment pass (EP) into Singapore, shipment is subject to 7% goods and services tax (GST) on the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value.
• Returning Singaporean residents should be away for more than 6 months to get 7% GST relief.
• Embassy, high commission, Consulate or accredited trade organization in and owner of the goods who have been accorded diplomatic and consular privileges and immunities by the Singapore Government are eligible for duty exemption and GST relief on all goods that are for the personal or official use of the owner of the goods or organization; an exemption permit is required to cover the import of such goods but the organization and its authorized claimants have to be first registered with Customs.
• A failure to declare all items or pay taxes due may result in prosecution, fines, and/or imprisonment.

Motor Vehicles Documents Required

• Certificate of compliance
• Original commercial invoice
• Insurance papers
• Vehicle registration certificate
• Owner of the goods’ passport
• Inward declaration permit
• Customs in-payment permit
• Customs duty payment receipt
• Temporary certificate of entitlement
• Manufacturer’s letter confirming the date the automobile was manufactured

Motor Vehicles - Specific Information

• Certificate of compliance from exhaust emission control standard is required for all new and used vehicles.
• Autos and motorcycles are subject to very high duty and registration fees; importation highly discouraged.
• Must be registered in owner of the goods’ name for continued use and not for resale.
• Left-hand drive vehicles are prohibited.
• Vehicles more than three years old cannot be imported.
• Boats are duty-free, but must be for the owner of the goods’ use and not for resale.
• Dismantled vehicles are not permitted.
Please do not load motor vehicle into shipment first. The cost of register vehicle for use on roads is significant. It is strongly advised that transferee contact agent as well as the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for specific information.

Pets Documents Required

• Import license from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)
• Reservation for quarantine (if applicable) must be made prior to import

Pets Specific Information

• If ownership of an animal cannot be verified from birth to 6 months for that animal, it will be quarantined.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

• Intoxicating liquors
• Tobacco products
• Motor vehicles
• Petroleum products

Prohibited Items

• Liquors and cigarettes marked with the words “SINGAPORE DUTY NOT PAID” on the labels, cartons or packets
• E-cigarettes
• Chewing gum, chewing tobacco, and imitation tobacco products (except approved oral dental and medicated gum by the Health Sciences Authority)
• Shisha
• Smokeless cigars, smokeless cigarillos or smokeless cigarettes
• Dissolvable tobacco or nicotine
• Any product containing nicotine or tobacco that may be used topically for application, by implant or injected into any parts of the body
• Any solution or substance, of which tobacco or nicotine is a constituent, that is intended to be used with an electronic nicotine delivery system or vaporizers
• Nasal snuff (with effect from 1 August 2016)
• Oral snuff (with effect from 1 August 2016)
• Gutkha, khaini and zarda (with effect from 1 August 2016)
• Weapons, gun, ammunition of any kind, cigarette lighters of pistol or revolver shape
• Narcotics, controlled or non-branded drugs, and psychotropic substances
• Endangered species of wildlife and their byproducts
• Firecrackers or counterfeit currencies
• Obscene articles, pornographic books, materials, publications on video tapes / discs and software
• Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, video compact discs, laser discs, records or cassettes
• Seditious and treasonable materials
• Animals and birds and their by-products
• Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products
• Plants
• nasal snuff
• Arms and Explosives
• Bullet-proof clothing
• Weapons, Kris, spears and swords
• Prerecorded cartridges and cassettes
• Films, video tapes / discs, laser discs, CD-ROMS, and video games
• Medicines, pharmaceuticals, and poisons
• Telecommunications, radio communication equipment, and toy walkie-talkies


Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Original Customs declaration form C5360
  • Copy of passport
  • Detailed packing list / inventory in English or Japanese
  • Ocean bill of lading (OBL) /air waybill (AWB)
  • Keys / combinations to any locked baggage


Specific Information

  • The owner of the goods must be present in Japan prior to the Customs clearance.
  • The air shipment packing list requires a detailed value of the items.
  • Household goods and personal effects must be cleared within 6 months of the date of entry on the Customs declaration form C5360.
  • Two Customs declaration forms must be completed in duplicate for unaccompanied articles.
    • Both forms must be submitted to the officials at the accompanied baggage inspection area upon arrival in Japan.
    • One is used as the Customs record and the duplicate will be returned with an official seal.
  • This certified duplicate is required for clearance of the unaccompanied articles and shipments.
  • In the event the declaration form is not completed and certified by Customs officials upon entry, the shipment may be subject to duties and taxes.
  • Newly-purchased items are duty and tax free up to 200,000 in Japanese Yen / value per person, excluding an 8% consumption tax of the invoice.
  • The owner of the goods should keep receipts with English translation for new items, as duty and tax may apply.
  • Persons living in Japan for more than 1 year may import used household items and personal effects free of duties and taxes within specified timeframes.
  • Copy of passport includes all members of the family indicated on form C5360 with entry stamp, visa, photo and signature.
  • Original Customs declaration form C5360 certificated / stamped by Customs at airport of entry
  • Japanese houses and apartments are generally smaller than in Western countries.
    • Oversized furniture (e.g., couch, king size mattresses, etc.) may not fit through entrance doors, staircases, and other access areas.
  • Due to road conditions, traffic regulations /restrictions, ocean steel containers are inaccessible to an owner of the goods’ residence.
    • All shipments must be placed onto a smaller van from the container at a bonded warehouse on the day of delivery.
Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original passport
  • Vehicle registration
  • Application of duty exemption on automobiles
  • Proof of ownership for more than 1 year
  • Original bill of lading
  • Sales receipt / purchase receipt
  • Insurance certificate
  • Original Customs declaration form C-5360
  • KANGI form

Specific Information

  • Automobiles, boats, and other vehicles, may be included in household goods shipments, provided that the owner of the goods has owned the vehicle for more than 1 year prior to import from the origin country.
  • Automobiles and other vehicles may be imported temporarily free of duty and tax provided that they will be re-exported.
  • Automobiles must comply with Japanese exhaust emission control and safety regulations.   
    • A test of emission control and safety regulations will be given (SHAKEN).
  • Modifications can be quite expensive for an imported car to be examined and registered.
  • KANGI forms can be obtained by the Foreign Ministry in Japan.

Documents Required

  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Microchip
  • Vaccination record
  • Certificate from the Animal Quarantine Service

Specific Information

  • Dogs, cats, foxes, raccoons and skunks imported into Japan must undergo import quarantine requirements in accordance with the Rabies Prevention Law.
  • Animals are subject to a quarantine period up to 12 hours.
  • Pets not meeting the required criteria must remain at an Animal Quarantine Service for the necessary quarantine period up to 180 days.
  • Depending on the results of the import inspection, pets/animals may be denied entry into Japan.
  • The owner of the goods shall obtain a certificate issued by the responsible government agency of the exporting country; it is recommended that the forms be obtained from the Animal Quarantine Service in Japan.
  • Animals and pets must be implanted with a microchip.
  • Microchip implanting must adhere to ISO standards 11784 / 11785.
    • If not, please bring a microchip reader with you.
  • The following preparations are recommended prior to import:
    • Advance notification (notify agent at least 40 days prior to the arrival date).
    • Approval of import inspection of animals
    • Clinical inspection before departure (rabies and leptospirosis).
    • Certification from the responsible government agency of origin (veterinary health certificate).
    • Transport (pet transport cage must sealed)
  • The following criteria must be met for importation:
    • Microchip number (standard, number, date of inspection, inspection point).
    • Kept for the past 180 days (or since birth) in the exporting country, or kept only in designated regions since exported from Japan.
    • Not infected nor suspected of being infected with rabies (for dogs, rabies and leptospirosis).
    • No occurrence of rabies in the exporting country in the past 2 years.
    • Immunizations for diseases other than rabies and parasite treatment (date of treatments, address and name of the veterinarian who administered the treatments, vaccine effectiveness period, and product name).
    • The transport cage seal number.
  • For pets/animals that have been kept for less than 180 days in the exporting country before arrival in Japan, the date of entry into the exporting country and names of the countries (regions) where pets/animals had been before shall be clearly indicated on the certificate issued by the responsible government agency in the country of export.
  • If the pet/animal is in countries (regions) other than the designated regions, it will be detained in an Animal Quarantine Service to make up for the incomplete part of the 180 day residency period after arrival in Japan.
  • The rabies free designated regions (countries) as of June 7, 2005, are Taiwan, Iceland, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and Guam; further certification is required for pets/animals from regions other than these designated regions.
  • The quarantine period of pets/animals entering Japan will be within 12 hours if the following requirements are satisfied:
    • Pets/animals have a microchip implanted and were vaccinated twice against rabies with an inactivated vaccine.
      • The second vaccination was given not less than 30 days and not more than 1 year (or within the validity) after the first vaccination.
    • After the two vaccinations, a neutralizing antibody titration test was carried out at a laboratory approved by the Japanese government and showed a serum antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml.
    • At arrival not less than 180 days and not more than 2 years having passed since the above serum had been sampled. 
    • If 180 days have not passed at time of arrival, pets/animals will be detained in a quarantine facility to make up for the days of shortage.
        • Pets/animals that do not fulfill the above requirements shall be kept in quarantine for 180 days.
    • After vaccination the animal must receive subsequent rabies booster vaccinations.
    • The animal must show no clinical sign of rabies, and leptospirosis for dogs, immediately before departure.
  • Quarantine examinations performed at private residences are not accepted.
Restricted/Dutiable Items
  • Plants with or without soil, fresh fruits and vegetables (a quarantine certificate is required prior to Customs examination).
  • To import fresh meat including poultry, sausage, ham, bacon or any other meat products requires an animal health certificate issued by the animal health authority of the exporting country.
  • Bones, eggs, fat, blood, skins, hides, pelts, Fur, hair, feathers, down, horns, antlers, hooves etc. (subject to an animal quarantine inspection)
  • Medicines and cosmetics (e.g., pharmaceutical products; amount for use during a period of 2 months; quasi-drugs: 24 pieces)
  • Firearms (a permit is required)
Prohibited Items
  • Opium, ether, narcotic drugs and utensils for opium smoking, and stimulants (including Vicks Inhalers and Sudafed)
  • Psychotropic substances (excluding those designated by an ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare)
  • Counterfeit, altered, or imitated articles of coins, paper money, banknotes, or securities
  • Books, drawings, carvings, and any other article which injures public security or morals (obscene or immoral materials, pornography, etc.)
  • Articles which infringe upon rights in patents, utility-models, designs, trademarks, copyrights, neighboring rights, or layout design of integrated circuits
  • Firearms (pistols, rifles, machine guns, etc.) and ammunition (bullets) thereof, and parts of firearms
  • Weapons (swords, daggers, bows and arrows, etc. with blades more than 15 centimeters in length prohibited)


Used Household Goods and Personal Effects
  • Copy of passport with clear photo
  • Copy of bill of lading (OBL) / CMR (Road) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Originally signed Customs form 18.44 (application for duty & tax-free clearance of removal goods)
  • Supplemental declaration for alcoholic products
  • Detailed inventory list
  • Copy of residence permit (except for Swiss citizens and immigrants from the 15 initial EU states and from the EFTA states)
    • If not yet available, copy of the work contract or letter of employment from Swiss employer (all confidential data such as salary, bonus, etc may be deleted)
  • Registration at local Swiss town hall
  • Coy of lease agreement / purchase contract (property title)
  • Detailed packing list in German, French, Italian, or English
  • Proof of stay more than 1 year outside of Switzerland (military booklet, attestation from Swiss Consulate or earlier de-registration) (returning citizens)
  • Original Customs form 14.60 provided by employer, duly signed, and stamped (diplomats)
  • Copy of “Carte de Légitimation” (diplomats)


Specific Regulations

  • The importation of used household goods and personal effects into Switzerland is usually duty and tax free.
  • All documents must be available at the time when the Customs formalities are affected.
    • If documents are missing, Customs formalities can only arrange a temporary clearance.
    • In these circumstances, Swiss Customs will levy an appropriate fee or ask for a deposit which is laid down according to the volume of the removal.
  • The “Carte de Légitimation” takes approximately 2 months to obtain.
  • Used household goods may be imported if it is in the owner of the goods’ possession, has been used abroad for at least 6 months, are for the continued use of the owner of the goods, and correspond to the normal requirements of an intended resident after importation.
  • Personal office goods and papers belonging to the owner of the goods are considered household goods.
  • Returning Swiss citizens qualify for duty-free entry if the duration of employment abroad exceeded 12 months.
  • If possible, all goods should be imported in one consignment.
  • If one or more documents are missing, generally the residence permit, import clearance can be arranged on a temporary basis, but a certain amount will need to be granted to Swiss custom’s. This amount will be refunded once all missing documents are provided, but within a maximum delay of 6 months. Swiss mover might ask you to advance the money
  • Diplomats must have the Carte de Legitimation, which takes approximately 2 months to obtain. Clients who are not officially changing residence from abroad will have to pay duties and taxes
  • People officially changing residence from abroad to Switzerland, can import duty free, all their effects. These have to be in their possession and being used at least 6 months prior to their official date of change of residence Effects can not be sold for a period of 1 year(date that will be shown on their residence permit) All documents must be available at the time when the Customs formalities are done.
  • Later consignments should be listed on the inventory of the first shipment.
    • If a later shipment is to follow, it should be noted on the owner of the goods’ declaration of personal household goods under the appropriate section.
    • If the owner of the goods can prove that he is unable to proceed with the clearance of a second shipment, Customs will extend a delay for clearance up to 24 months from the date of the first clearance.
  • Unaccompanied hand baggage may be imported duty free, provided it consists only of used personal effects and/or books.
    • The shipment should be accompanied by an inventory and is subject to Customs inspection.
  • If a secondary home is bought or rented, import of removal goods is free of duties and taxes.
    • However, importation must occur close to the time of the issue of the purchase or lease contract.
    • Cars do not fall under this rule and are not duty and tax-free, even if used. 
Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Official foreign driver’s license
  • Original certificate title
  • Original bill of sale / purchase invoice

Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
    • Rabies required
  • Veterinarian health certificate in German, French, Italian, or English
  • Blood analysis may be requested depending on country of origin


Specific Regulations

  • For countries with urban rabies, a blood analysis is required. 
    • The import of the pet can only be done 4 months after the vaccination.
  • The veterinary health certificate must include the following information:
    • Name and address of owner of the goods
    • Description of animal (breed, sex, age, color)
    • An attestation that the animal was clinically examined by a veterinarian prior to vaccination and found to be healthy
    • Date of the preventive vaccination against rabies, type of vaccine, name of vaccine producer, and serial number of vaccine
    • Stamp and signature of the veterinarian
  • The import of pets is allowed with some restrictions; check with the destination agent for details.
  • Potential owners of the goods should contact a Swiss Customs authorities or a local agent in Switzerland no less than 6 months prior to import if it has not been determined the pet will be permitted for import.
  • The vaccination must have been administered no less than 30 days prior, but no more than 12 months after entering Switzerland.
Antiques, Artifacts, Carpets, Paintings

Documents Required

  • Written letter of confirmation
  • List of paintings with artist names and values


Specific Regulations

  • For all pictures and paintings, the owner of the goods must submit a letter to Customs attesting that none of the imported items are original artwork.
Restricted/Dutiable Items
  • Food products
  • Tobacco
  • New articles and consumer goods, which do not correspond to normal household requirements are dutiable. Purchas invoice is required.
  • Furnishings, which do not correspond to normal household requirements
  • Weapons, including firearms (a permit is required)
  • The following items are admitted duty and tax free, provided they are destined for one’s own requirements:
    • Used motor cars and/or used motor boats (at least 6 months)
    • Maximum 12 liters of hard liquor over 25% volume
    • Maximum 200 liters of red / white wine, champagne
    • Hunting rifles
  • The following conditions apply to the import of alcohol:
    • Swiss Customs authorities will personally assess whether the quantity of alcoholic beverages imported corresponds with the size of the shipment.
    • The maximum duty-free allowance for:
      • Spirits and liquors exceeding 25% alcohol by volume is 12 liters
      • Red or white wine is 200 liters
      • Champagne or other alcohol less than 25% alcohol by volume, depends on the size of the shipment
Prohibited Items
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Weapons (other than sporting and hunting guns)
  • Ammunition
  • Anti-radar equipment
  • Animal products from protected / endangered species (ivory, skins etc.)
  • Fake items (e.g. watches, faked brand name & model items)

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