Moving to Europe

Relocating to Europe? The team at Transworld can help make your move simple and stress-free. We take care of all your shipping needs, from door to door, so you can focus on starting your new chapter.

We are experienced in relocating individuals and families to Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain and other destinations throughout Europe.

To make your transition to living in Europe as smooth as possible, we’ve simplified what you need to know into some useful tips below.

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Shipping Your Personal Belongs: Your Options

As you plan your move to Europe, there are some options to consider when it comes to shipping. Ask yourself these questions to find out which option is best for you and your family:

How much do you want to take?   /  What's your budget?   /  How fast do you want your goods to arrive?


Full Container Load

If you’re moving your entire household to Europe, you’ll likely need exclusive use of a 20’ or 40’ container (FCL).

Depending on the access to your home and council approval, the container may be able to be loaded at your residence, sealed and taken directly to port for shipping on first available vessel.

Transworld delivers to all major centres in Europe, so no matter where you’re living, we’ll deliver your possessions right to your new residence.

Key benefits:

  • Bigger capacity : Enabling you to ship your complete household
  • Exclusive use: As soon as your container is loaded and sealed, it’s delivered straight to port for immediate shipping
  • Shipping to any location: Transworld offers a door to door service to all parts of Europe.
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Groupage: for when you're happy to share

For those with a small household or just looking to ship a few items, groupage shipping is the answer.

This way you share a container with other clients moving to the same destination. Groupage is an economical way of shipping, as you only pay for the space you use. Keep in mind, this service may take a little longer while we wait to fill the container for your destination but it is a very cost effective option. Transworld operates regular groupage service to European countries.

Key benefits:

  • Reduced cost: Because you’re sharing the load, our groupage option is going to cost you less.
  • Pay for what you use: You only pay for the space your shipment occupies in the container
  • Ship to anywhere in Europe.
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Air Freight: for when time is of the essence

Air Freight is the fastest option, though the most expensive. Ideal if you’re not taking a lot, or for those extra items you’ll need soon after your arrival.

Why You Should Choose Transworld

We are proud to provide our customers with a door-to-door service, taking care of all the details involved in relocating to Europe. We’re the experts, and we’re here to take the stress out of moving overseas, so you can relax and leave it to us!

From packing, to shipping and Customs formalities, through to your new home, we’re with you all the way.

From the outset, you’ll have a dedicated team member on-hand throughout the process to answer your queries, keep you informed and make sure your requirements are fully met.

The Transworld team are here to make your move to Europe as simple and straightforward as possible. Give us a call today for a free quote!

Free Moving Quote


Below are some approximate shipping times to popular European destinations

France, Germany, Spain and Netherlands

  • FCL: Approximately 8-9 weeks.
  • Groupage: Approximately 12 weeks.
  • Air Freight: Approximately 2-3 weeks.


The importing of guns, weapons and ammunition into France is highly regulated. You may require registration and certificates and have authorisation from the French Defence Ministry (you’ll need to provide make, caliber, serial number and purpose).

Some weapons are strictly prohibited. We recommend contacting the French Defence Ministry to establish whether you can bring your firearm into France.


All firearms (and ammunition) must be declared when shipping to Germany. Due to strict firearm restrictions in Germany, you will require a special permit, and importation may be refused. We suggest you check with your nearest German Embassy.


If you own hunting gear or other firearms or weapons that you wish to ship to Spain, there are strict laws on the documentation you must possess:

  • Firearm or weapon permit and licence
  • Documentation that proves the purpose of your weapons (e.g. hunting)
  • Copies of passport identification


The good news is, you can bring your pet with you when you move to France!

You will need an import permit, vaccination certificates and have your pet microchipped. Your pet may also be subject to quarantine.


To ensure your pet is eligible for moving to the Netherlands, follow these guidelines:

  • Get your pet microchipped
  • Get a veterinary certificate within 7 days of their flight
  • Book your pet into the compulsory quarantine
  • Obtain an animal import permit


To bring your cat or dog into Germany, you’ll need:

  • Proof of rabies vaccination, which must be no older than 12 months and no more recent than 30 days.
  • Proof of identification so you can apply for a 'pet passport' on arrival in Germany.
  • A health certificate from your vet.


All domestic animals imported into Switzerland are subject to an 8% VAT based on the value of the animal. Because New Zealand is rabies-free, pets must simply be microchipped and be up-to-date with all vaccinations. Contact the Geneva missions office for animal breed regulations in your canton.


People moving to and intending to live in France for some time may bring in one vehicle duty free, if it has been owned and used 6 months prior to shipping.

The car must pass the inspection for compliance with French standards and must be roadworthy. As the owner, you will need to supply the following documents:

  • Purchase Invoice
  • Original title showing owner's name and vehicle serial number
  • Insurance certificate from French insurer
  • Registration card
  • Plate numbers


You can bring your car with you on your move to Germany, but there may be hefty taxes applicable depending on your residence status and how long you have owned the vehicle. Our helpful team can advise on the best options available.


If you wish to ship your personal vehicle to Spain, ensure that you tick the following boxes:

  • Proof of ownership for at least 6 months
  • Be willing to pay a vehicle tax
  • Proof and exchange of foreign license


In order to ship your vehicles to the Netherlands, you will need copies of your passport and license and proof of documentation that you are the owner and user of the vehicle (e.g. invoices).

Here are a few things to be aware of:

  • You will need a registration card, certificate of residence and insurance certificate
  • Upon arrival in the Netherlands you will need to change your license
  • You will be required to pay taxes to import your vehicle
  • In order to qualify to ship your vehicle you must have owned it for at least 6 months


Cars owned for more than six months are considered personal property, and must be registered in Switzerland within twelve months of moving (providing it complies with technical inspections).


Our Transworld team understand what’s involved in shipping your household to France and will prepare you accordingly.

We take care of:

  • Providing you with the necessary French customs forms.
  • Compiling an inventory of all packed items for Customs clearance.

What you need to do:

  • Make sure your passport, residency document and visa are all up to date.
  • Produce a signed ‘Attestation de non-cession’ i.e statement that you have lived abroad for over a year, that you have owned your items for more than 6 months and that you don’t plan to sell them for 12 months.
  • We'll also need to know the details (brand name and serial number) of any electrical items you are shipping.


Our team are experienced with taking care of the paperwork and formalities for moving to Spain, so we will take care of the following for you:

  • Quarantine inspection
  • Supply and guidance of Spanish Customs forms
  • Packing and inventory of your belongings

All we need from you is the following documentation:

  • Passport copies of all travellers
  • Your intended length of stay (e.g. tourist, indefinitely, etc.)


We handle all customs and quarantine formalities to get you and your household to Switzerland. Our team will compile and provide the following paperwork:

  • Quarantine inspection
  • Supplying all necessary Swiss customs forms
  • Creating an inventory of your items
  • Packing your shipment

All you need to do is provide us with the following identification and details:

  • Copies of your passport and anyone moving with you
  • Indication of your intended length of stay – i.e. indefinitely, tourist or temporary residence, etc.


When shipping your belongings into France, there are certain regulations you need to be aware of:

Alcohol must be inventoried separately with brand name, type, number of bottles, and value (import licence or liquor licence may be required).

The following items are prohibited altogether:

  • Paints, polishes and cleaning solutions
  • Live plants
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Pornographic material
  • Ivory and animal skins

Explosives and matches


When shipping to Germany, there are a few regulations and restrictions to be aware of.

Restricted items include:

  • Pornographic material.
  • Media featuring "unconstitutional content", which includes literature that trivialises or glamorises Germany’s role in World War II and any symbols associated with the Nazi regime.
  • Contact the German Customs office to see if your plants comply with the sanitary plant protection code.


When moving to Switzerland to live, you can import your household items duty-free so long as you are establishing residency, your belongings have been used (and will continue to be used) by yourself for at least six months and that you are shipping your items within two years of transferring residency.

Prohibited and restricted items

  • These items are prohibited from import into Switzerland:
  • Edible animal products
  • Protected species and items containing or including anything falling under the CITES list (eg. a piano with ivory keys)
  • Counterfeited goods (eg. fake designer goods)
  • Semi-automatic weapons, stun guns, silencers, commodity-imitating weapons, trigger-mechanised knives/daggers
  • Plants


As is true of shipping to any overseas location, there are restrictions on what you can pack.

So make sure you check this list beforehand.

Prohibited items when shipping to Spain:

  • Drugs, tobacco or alcoholic beverages
  • Animal skins or plant products
  • Foodstuffs
  • Indecent material

Restricted items that require a permit or licence:

  • Pets or live animals
  • Guns or firearms
  • Personal vehicles


When moving overseas, no matter the destination, there are strict rules on what you can and cannot pack.

The following is a guideline for shipping to the Netherlands.

Prohibited items:

  • Flammable items such as petroleum, matches, etc.
  • Live plants or animals (except pets with a permit)
  • Any animal products such as meat or dairy
  • Drugs, unlicensed guns or indecent material

Restricted items that require a permit:

  • Vehicles
  • Pets
  • Imitation guns
  • Alcohol