Shipping and Removals in India

Expats interested in shipping household goods to India will find an abundance of service providers offering both piecemeal delivery and complete relocation packages from anywhere in the world. Expats will generally have the choice of using sea freight, air freight, or both. The cost of shipping is determined by volume and method of delivery of the goods, as well as how far they will need to be transported.

Sea freight will, in most cases, prove to be more cost effective, especially if moving a large volume of goods. Air freight is delivered much quicker but costs are also higher. As a general rule, it’s best to divide shipments; send the essentials ahead of time via air freight, and the goods that are not immediate necessities via sea freight.

That said, expats should consider that inexpensive furniture options abound in India, and many accommodation options come either fully or partially furnished. As a result, it may not even be necessary to ship furniture at all.

Shipping duty-free to India

Expats planning on becoming formal residents of India can import their used personal and household goods duty-free. There are some exceptions to this rule, though, so it’s best that expats consult the Indian government’s baggage rules before finalising their shipment. 

Most expat relocation packages offer an allowance for air and sea freight, and it's best to take full advantage of any air freight allowance for essentials needed right away. 

Hiring an international removal company

The process of cross-continental relocation is best handled by international removal companies familiar with Indian transport and customs rules. These companies will survey everything that needs to be shipped and make a quote based on the size of the shipment. It's worthwhile to get a number of quotes for comparison before deciding which company to go with.

On the day of the move, the company will pack everything, take inventory, do basic disassembling of furniture, and deal with all customs formalities. Expect quotes to include delivery and unpacking services, as well as removal of debris, and basic reassembling of furniture at the destination point.

Expats should take out shipping insurance with a company not involved in the removal, as to ensure adequate protection and coverage of their goods. 

Shipping pets to India

The rules for shipping pets to India vary according to country of origin, but a vet's certificate and proof of certain vaccinations are standard requirements. Pets will also need to have a microchip implanted. As animal import regulations can be complex, it's best to consult with a pet relocation company.

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