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Packing for an International Move

Protect your move by following these tips:


  • Request professional packing services and confirm that items will be shrink wrapped and palleted when shipped.  
  • Consult with the mover before shipping items such as an automobile or gas-powered appliances such as grills or lawnmowers; there are special rules that apply to transporting such items.  
  • Ensure that outside items (e.g. bicycles, flower pots, etc.) are clean and free of dirt and/or insects.
  • Keep an inventory of all items included in the shipment (including receipts, photos, appraisals).
  • Ensure that the mover’s inventory clearly labels items (e.g. "Lladro figurine" not "generic glassware" ) and provides size, make, model, and serial number for larger items such as t.v.s, stereo and video systems, etc.  
  • Ensure that the mover’s inventory and representation of the items’ condition is correct. If you disagree, discuss it with the mover and note it on the packing list.


  • Ship valuable items such as cash, stock, bonds, jewelry, coins, and photo albums – these items should be carried on your person or in a suitcase
  • Add commercial items or newly purchased goods without checking with your mover
  • Include plants, seeds, pet food, pesticides, firearms, or meat products in your shipment
  • Sign a blank, incomplete, or illegible inventory packing list
Due to a lapse in appropriations, the FMC's website may not be up to date after December 22, 2018. Applications and databases will not be available and links may not function properly. No transactions or filings will be accepted until appropriations legislation is enacted and the federal government reopens.