- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals USA Guide (PDF)
The costs and logistics of shipping items to, from or across the US are largely dependent on the area of the country goods are being shipped to.
Both coasts of America have a number of major ports, making shipping to these regions less expensive than inland. To deliver smaller cargo to landlocked cities, it is much faster to use air-freight delivery. It is also a good idea to buy cargo insurance, and most reputable movers will offer this.
Shipping household goods to the USA
Household goods can be brought into the USA duty-free as long as they are not new and have been in use for at least a year prior to relocation. When transporting household goods into the US, it's important to ensure that a full and detailed inventory list accompanies the shipment.
Shipping pets to the USA
There are numerous vaccination, microchipping and certification requirements that must be met before a pet can be brought into the US. The details of these requirements can vary widely depending on the country of origin and the intended state of residence. In addition, numerous government bodies may be involved in determining the requirements for entry. This can include the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Expats should check the websites of these entities and seek information on their new home state's requirements to ensure full compliance. If requirements aren't fully met, animals are shipped back to the country they flew in from at the expense of the owner.
Note that the CDC has issued a temporary suspension for dogs entering the USA from high-risk countries for rabies. Originally, this restriction was to be lifted in July 2021 – however, it has been extended to July 2023.
►Preparing for a move to the USA is essential reading for anyone considering relocating to the USA
►For all your shipping and moving needs, see GoodMigrations
Are you an expat living in The USA?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to The USA. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.