Moving to USA & Canada

The team at Transworld International Removals will make your move to the USA & Canada seamless and stress-free. Whether you're moving your whole household or just a few items, we can arrange the whole process.

As certified and knowledgeable moving experts, the Transworld team are here to help you work out your options, answer your queries, and make your move as simple as possible.

We’ve put together useful tips and advice below to help you plan your move to North America.

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Shipping Your Personal Belongs: Your Options

Shipping your effects to the USA & Canada can be quite cost-effective, when compared with replacing locally. Plus of course, you will have items of a personal or sentimental value which are literally irreplaceable. When shipping to the USA & Canada, consider the following options:


Full Container Load

Transworld operates regular FCL shipping services to all major American and Canadian ports and cities.

If you are shipping a full household you’ll probably need either a 20’ or 40’ sole-use 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 the first available vessel.

In your destination country, your shipment will be delivered to residence by our local partners, for unloading, unwrapping of furniture, and unpacking of cartons.


Groupage: for when you're happy to share the load

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 regularly ships groupage containers to locations in both Canada and the USA.


Air Freight

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

Here at Transworld, we pride ourselves on our door-to-door service that takes care of your shipping needs at every step of the journey.

We handle the packing of your goods, the shipping, a smooth transition through Customs and safe delivery to your new home in the USA or Canada.

Throughout the process, you will have your own allocated Transworld member on hand to keep you updated, answer your questions and make sure your move is stress-free.

We would love to help you with your move to North America.

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  • FCL: Approximately 6-7 weeks via Vancouver or 8-9 weeks via Toronto.
  • Groupage: Approximately 12-16 weeks via Vancouver or 16-20 weeks via Toronto.
  • Air Freight: Approximately 2-3 weeks.


  • FCL: Approximately 9-10 weeks to most major US destinations.
  • Groupage: Approximately 12-16 weeks.
  • Air Freight: Approximately 2-3 weeks.


If you're planning on shipping firearms or weapons into Canada, there are several things you need to do:

  • Declare them. Make sure our team is aware so they can be included in the inventory of your items.
  • Obtain a permit before shipment, which can be obtained from the Canadian Firearms Centre, Ottawa.
  • Provided you have a permit, your firearm can be included in your shipment.


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulates and restricts firearm and weapon importation.

If you are planning to import firearms or weapons to the USA, you must do so through a licensed importer, dealer or manufacturer. Requests for import must be made with an ATF form and permit.


There are no quarantine restrictions in Canada, which makes bringing your pet on your move to Canada a whole lot easier.

  • Pet dogs do not have to be quarantined, nor do they need a microchip. All dogs must have the necessary vaccinations (with certificates) according to their age. Your dog will undergo an inspection upon arrival, for which a small fee applies.
  • Pet cats must be accompanied by a rabies vaccination certificate, or a veterinary certificate which declares the cat is from a recognised rabies-free country.
  • For other pets, some restrictions may apply. Give us a call and the Transworld team will be happy to help!


While it is possible to ship pets to the US, there are certain restrictions and prohibitions. Rules differ between states, and it is always wise to check the requirements of the specific state you are moving to.

Unlike other countries, there is no quarantine in the US. Dogs and cats from New Zealand do not require rabies vaccinations, as New Zealand is a rabies-free country.


Because of its harsh conditions, Canada has strict safety regulations for motor vehicles. Each province also has its own licencing and importing regulations for vehicles, so we recommend contacting your soon-to-be local authority. Before you prepare to ship your car, make sure you have met these requirements:

  • Ensure your car complies with Canadian standards. You can see details of these requirements here.
  • You are carrying proof of vehicle ownership when you clear Customs.

You are carrying your passport when you clear Customs.


There are a number of regulations and requirements around importing vehicles into the US. It is a complicated and costly process and not many private individuals ship their vehicles to the US. All vehicles must comply with relevant safety standards. It is advised that before deciding to ship your vehicle you contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EDA) and Department of Transportation (DOT).

To import a vehicle to the USA, these are some of the requirements:

  • Vehicles must meet the fuel-emission requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency and the safety, bumper and theft prevention standards of the U.S Department of Transportation
  • Vehicles purchased in foreign countries must be modified to meet American standards - it is unlikely a vehicle obtained abroad will meet all relevant standards
  • Vehicles entering the US that do not comply with the standards are either brought into compliance, exported or destroyed
  • Necessary documentation include the original bill of lading, bill of sale and foreign registration
  • Relevant EPA form 3520-1 and DOT form HS-7


Under Canadian law, you need to be in Canada when your shipment arrives, and will need to be present at the Customs office to clear your shipment.

We take care of:

  • Making sure you have all the paperwork you need to complete.
  • Advising you which CBSA office (Canada Border Services Agency) you need to attend to clear your shipment.

What you need to do:

  • Complete Form BSF186 before your arrival in Canada. This is essentially a full list of the goods you plan to ship, including value, make, model and serial number (where applicable). Those belongings which have been used for 6 months or more prior to shipping can be brought in duty-free.
  • You need to bring your current passport, visa and residency documents to facilitate Customs clearance.

As there are certain items, such as jewellery, which require a full description, we recommend you study the Customs website before you prepare to pack.


As part of our comprehensive, door-to-door service, we’ll manage all the formalities involved in moving to the USA.

With a wealth of experience in dealing with US Customs, the Transworld team can help you prepare your items and ensure you have completed all the necessary paperwork for the move.

We take care of:

  • Packing, and completing a detailed inventory of all items
  • Providing the documents you'll need to complete for US Customs

What you need to do:

  • Provide a copy of your passport
  • Be aware that items packed by yourself will be subject to full Customs examination, so we recommend all packing is carried out by our professional team
  • Be in possession of an official Green Card or Residency Visa


When relocating to Canada it's wise to take into account their shipping restrictions, as there are strict regulations you need to be aware of.

Items which are restricted or prohibited include:

  • Health products and medicines.
  • Fruits and vegetables. Avoid shipping food because of the additional clearance process and costs. If you do, expect delays.
  • There is no restriction on alcohol but taxes will apply, and each province has their own process for importation.
  • Anything contaminated with soil.

These requirements can change frequently, so if you have any questions, give us a ring, we're happy to help!


Before moving to the United States from New Zealand, it's important to know what is restricted or prohibited from entry. Examples of items that can't be imported include:

  • All food
  • Alcohol should not be included due to costs for clearance and duty
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Merchandise from Cuba, Iran, Burma or Sudan