Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Safety Tips for Moving Furniture

June 22nd, 2017 Comments off

You’ve probably seen movies or TV shows in which the main characters try to move furniture and fail hilariously (scenes of furniture hurtling down flights of stairs or getting stuck around corners seems to be a comedic goldmine).

While the scene might make you laugh, you definitely don’t want that to happen to you in real life. Read on to learn safety tips for moving furniture so that you protect yourself and your property.

Get the Right Equipment
Take a good look at that solid bookcase – you know, the one that your Aunt Ruth left you. It’s made of oak, and it’s at least 70 years old.
Well, if I take everything off of it, the bookcase should be much lighter,” you say to yourself. “Once it’s empty, I just tilt it and I’ll be good to go.

If you want to move the bookcase (or any other heavy furniture), you need the right equipment. A dolly, furniture slides and lifting straps are all crucial to ensuring your furniture doesn’t become damaged and you don’t hurt your back.

Lift Properly
Have you ever heard someone tell someone else, “Lift with your legs!” That’s not just some old wives’ tale – it’s actually good advice.

Moreover, you should lift gradually. Don’t make jerky movements – you’ll hurt yourself. And keep your back straight. That will reduce injuries.

Carry Carefully
You should carry tall or long items (such as filing cabinets, sofas and wardrobes)at an angle. And don’t do it by yourself – these pieces of furniture are heavy.
Large chairs and recliners are cumbersome, which is why you should carefully flip the chair on its side and hook the back around the doorway.

Don’t Rush and Don’t Overdo It
When you’re moving furniture, it’s important to take your time. Rushing leads to mistakes, which in turn lead to injuries to your body and damage to the furniture.

Also, don’t lift more than an amount with which you’re comfortable. Moving furniture isn’t a weight-lifting contest, and you shouldn’t do it to impress someone. If the furniture is too heavy for you, put it down and call in professional movers. There’s no shame in hiring outside help. In fact, it’s better to call a moving company than to hurt yourself because you were too proud to admit the job was too big for you to handle.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your Moving Experts
Do you have furniture that you need to move? Contact Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. today. Our experienced, professional moving crew knows how to safely move furniture without injuring themselves or damaging your property. We work carefully and efficiently to make sure the job is done right, the first time. Our moving crew brings all of the right equipment and materials to the site – you don’t have to worry about a thing. When you choose Orbit, you have peace of mind that your property will be transported safely. To learn more, contact us today at 416-661-4228.

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Why Move to Malta?

May 10th, 2017 Comments off

Malta is a tiny island state located in the Mediterranean. Every year, people move to Malta for a variety of reasons. Some of them are freelance professionals, while others want to retire in the comparatively warm climate.

Read on to learn more about why people are moving to Malta – maybe you’ll be convinced, too!


Malta is one of the most affordable places to live in the EU.
You can buy a pint of beer at an off-the-beaten-path pub for as little as €1.50. Moreover, public transportation is fairly reasonable, too – it costs €0.75 per bus ride. And if you’ve got a bus pass, you won’t spend more than €26 per month on getting around by bus. Utilities tend to be inexpensive in comparison to other EU member states, depending on your immigration status.

The Weather

Malta is known for its fantastic weather – it gets 300 days of sunshine per year! The temperatures are still high even into October (something you won’t find in some parts of Canada). So, don’t forget your hat, and stock up on sunscreen!
In the winter, it’s quite rare for temperatures to fall below 10 degrees Celsius. Just be aware that buildings aren’t as well insulated in Malta as they are in Canada, and there’s no central heating. Wear sweaters, cuddle up and have some hot cocoa.


Malta is one of the safest places to live in the EU.
The country has 0.3 incidents of violent crime per 1,000 residents. Cyprus is the only EU member with a lower rate of violent crime. In fact, many native Maltese still leave their cars and homes unlocked.

English Is an Official Language

When you move to Malta, you don’t have to worry about surviving in a foreign language. English is one of the official languages of Malta.
Everything you need will be in English – government documents, signs, menus, etc. In addition, 88% of the population speaks English. If you want to learn Maltese (a mixture of Italian and Arabic), go for it! Native Maltese will appreciate it. However, you can still get around quite well only in English.

Laidback Lifestyle, Friendly People

Life in Malta runs at a slower pace. This is great news if you’re looking to escape the rat race (although if you’ve got a Type A personality, Malta might not be the place for you).

The Maltese are some of the friendliest people on Earth. They are helpful, hospitable and warm – even to foreigners. You’ll feel at home right away.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Experts

If you’re interested in moving to Malta, contact Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. today. We’ve got over a decade of experience moving people around the globe. Some of our clients have even used us more than once – they appreciate our professionalism, courtesy and commitment to getting the job done right, the first time. If you want to experience the Orbit difference, call us today at 416-661-4228.

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Moving to Iceland: Permits and Customs

May 8th, 2017 Comments off

Iceland may not seem like the ideal place to move to because of what the country’s name implies, but if you’ve been before, you know that this country is an absolute gem. The travel hot spot is currently on the rise for tourists and expats due to its breathtaking scenery and landscapes, geothermal pools, and of course, the northern lights. It feels almost otherworldly. But not too unfamiliar, as their food is delicious and their music, artists such as Sigur Rós and Kaleo, are quickly making their way to the top of the charts.

Moving to any country can prove to be a difficult endeavor, not to worry though, Orbit International can help you get there. Iceland, being part of the European Union, has a particular hierarchy when it comes to accepting immigrant applications. At the top of the list, European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members are considered first. They do not need a special resident permit to live in Iceland, they just have to register with Registers Iceland upon arrival.

European Economic Area (EEA) Members
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Members
Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein.

There are 6 different types of applications for a residence permit if you are not a member of the EEA or EFTA.

Residence Permit

Just about everyone else, Canadians and Americans included, may visit Iceland on holiday or business for 90 days or less in accordance with the Visa Waiver Program. If you want to stay longer, you must apply for a residence permit with the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration.

If you want to apply for one, there are requirements that need to be met for the specific type of residence permit you are applying for. Documents need to be submitted and it is important to present them properly. If done properly, it will increase your chances of getting accepted and will also speed up the process. Applications that are submitted with all everything in order receive priority.

1) Family reunification: Only the immediate family members of a citizen of Iceland, other Nordic citizens who have a permanent address in Iceland, foreign citizens who are living in Iceland as a specialist, a professional athlete, PhD student, those who have a residence permit based on humanitarian reasons, or are permanent residents, can apply for a residence permit on the basis of family reunification.
2) Spouse /cohabiting partner
3) Child
4) Relative
5) Work: Residence permits can be given out because of specific employment opportunities in Iceland which are not deemed as temporary. According to the Foreign Nationals Right to Work Act, the applicant must be fully qualified in a field that is needed by an employer and have the level of education equivalent in Iceland. Further information about the rights associated with this type of work permit can be found here. Information about athletes and temporary shortage of labourers can be found here.
6) Study/Education: Residence permits for students are issued to foreigners over the age of 18 who intend to study in Iceland at a university level or other studies meeting university admission requirements. The applicant must be registered for full time studies.
7) Au pair
8) Special ties
9) Humanitarian considerations

Customs and Shipping Regulations

If you already have your residence permit in order and all you need to do is move to Iceland, all you need to know if what you can bring into the country. Like all countries, Iceland has import regulations which allow duty-free items to be brought over, while some are prohibited.

Restricted Items
– Arms and ammunition: Firearms and ammunition brought for personal use must be accompanied with a permit issued by the police authorities and a —
– European firearms permit.
– Tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of other tobacco products.
– Cash: Up to ISK 8,000, and an unlimited amount of foreign currencies.

– 1 liter of spirits and 0.75 liter of wine and 3 liters of beer; or
– 3 liters of wine and 6 liters of beer; or
– 1 liter of spirits and 6 liters of beer; or
– 1,5 liters of wine and 12 liters of beer; or
– 18 liters of beer.
– 3 kilograms of food, not exceeding the value of ISK 25,000.
– Gifts not exceeding ISK 10,000 per item.

Prohibited Items
-Narcotics and dangerous drugs
-Uncooked meat and meat
-Weapons: Daggers with blades exceeding 12 centimeters, switchblade knives, knuckles, truncheons, crossbows and handcuffs.
-Snuff and chewing tobacco
-Used riding gear.
-Embassy Support

If you need more information about permits or customs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the two embassies of Iceland in Canada.

Embassy of Iceland in Embassy
Constitution Square
360 Albert Street, Suite 710,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1R 7X7
Phone: +1 (613) 482 1944
Fax: +1 (613) 482 1945
Web Site:
Office Hours: Mon – Fri 08:30 – 16:00

Consulate General of Iceland in Winnipeg, Canada
One Wellington Crescent, Suite 100
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3M 3Z2
Phone: +1 (204) 284 1535
Fax: +1 (204) 284 1539
Web Site:
Office Hours: 09:00 – 16: 00 Monday – Friday

Moving to Iceland?
If all of this seems plausible for you, you may start thinking about moving you and your family or business over to Iceland. Choosing the best company to make that move for you is crucial in assuring a smooth transition over to Iceland. Orbit International Moving Logistics is by far the best and most experienced company in sending containers anywhere around the world and they should be your top choice for doing so. With out extensive knowledge, we can provide you with the proper information regarding the movement of your possessions to Iceland. Get in touch with us on our contact page, and make your first big step towards Iceland.

Moving to Singapore: What You Need to Know

April 13th, 2017 Comments off

Singapore, the tiny city-state in the South Pacific, is an economic powerhouse. In addition to economic opportunity, people are attracted to its political stability and proximity to a number of other hot destinations (such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia).

If you’re planning on moving there for work or for other reasons, here’s what you need to know about shipping your personal effects there.

Shipping Goods without Paying Duties

You can ship your personal effects without paying duties as long as the following criteria are met:
-You’re a Singaporean, a Singaporean permanent resident, a foreigner transferring residence to Singapore, or an immigrant

-If you’re a Singaporean or a returning permanent resident, you have to have lived outside of the country for at least six months

-You can prove you’re the owner of the goods

-You’ve owned these articles for at least three months

-You shipped them by air or by sea

-You’ve imported your belongings within the first six months of your arrival in Singapore

-You don’t try to sell your belongings within three months of their importation

What Goods Are Taxable?

Every country has a list of personal effects that are taxable, and Singapore is no exception.
Liquors, tobacco products, motor vehicles, private aircrafts, boats, yachts and any commercial goods are subject to taxation. It doesn’t matter what your resident status is – you’ll have to pay duties to import any items on the list above.

What Items Are Restricted or Prohibited?

Again, every country has a list of goods that are either highly prohibited or restricted outright. Singapore doesn’t buck any trends in that regard.

Animals (including birds), arms and explosives, batteries, chemicals, diesel oil, movies, fish, flammable materials, food items, pathogens, fertilizer, plants, radioactive materials, and wood are some of the items on the “restricted” list.

Chewing gum, certain kinds of telecommunication equipment, fire crackers and rhino horns are on the prohibited list, so don’t try shipping them.

What Documentation Do You Need to Ship Goods?

You’ll need the following documents when shipping personal effects to Singapore:

-Work permit (if relevant)

-Entry permit

-Bill of lading/air waybill

Picking up Your Belongings

Once your shipment has arrived in Singapore, your moving company’s local agent picks it up.

If your goods are arriving by boat, the agent will retrieve them from the port, and if they’re arriving via air, the agent will bring them from the airport after filling out the relevant customs forms.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Experts

If you’re moving to Singapore, contact Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. today. We have been moving customers across the world for over a decade. Our dedicated, courteous and knowledgeable staff answers all of your questions, no matter how small. And our team of movers arrives on time, with all of the equipment they need, to get the job right the first time. Some of our customers love us so much, they’ve used us more than once! To learn more, call 416-661-4228.

The Benefits of Ocean Freight

May 26th, 2016 Comments off

So you’re planning an international move. One major thing you need to consider is shipping. When you’re getting ready to ship your belongings internationally, you have a couple of choices: you could ship them on an airplane or on a cargo boat. While air shipments have their advantages, so does ocean shipping. Read on to learn more about why ocean freight can be a better shipping option for you.


When it comes to cost, shipping your things on a boat is the cheaper option.  Airlines calculate shipping costs on chargeable weight. The term “chargeable weight” refers to a combination of the weight and size of a shipment.

Shipping companies that use boats, on the other hand, tend to bill customers based on the size of the shipment rather than the weight. When you’re shipping your belongings by boat, they’ll be packed into containers. Containers come in standard sizes. Let’s say your shipment takes up less than a full container. The shipping company will charge you based on how many cubic meters it takes up.


Part of the reason that shipping things via air is more expensive than by boat is because boats have significantly more room for storage.

Planes are large vehicles, especially the cargo variety. However, ocean freighters are much bigger. They can hold a lot more. Consequently, you can ship greater quantities. You want to ship your grandmother’s dining set? A boat can accommodate your needs. Planes weren’t built to carry such heavy or large loads.

A Greater Variety of Permitted Goods

Airlines have restrictions on what you can bring on board. There are a number of items that affect cabin pressure and the safety of the flight. For example, you can’t ship aerosol cans on a plane.

Ships have fewer restrictions on what you can ship because they don’t have the same safety issues as planes. You can ship aerosols by boat, for example.

Environmental Impact

Shipping your goods by boat has a lower environmental impact than air freight. For some people, this is an important consideration.

Boats emit far less carbon dioxide than planes. In addition, the international ocean freight industry is constantly working to improve this shipping method’s environmental friendliness. Industry organizations have set standards for ships’ fuel efficiency.

Moreover, the ocean freight industry has been very proactive about managing waste and recycling materials. Shipping containers are constantly reused, and those that need to be “retired” can find new life as storage units or even offices in remote locations.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Experts

No matter what shipping method you choose, when you’re moving abroad you want an experienced, reliable moving company to ensure your belongings arrive intact at your new home. Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. has been shipping customers’ goods across the world for over a decade. Some of our clients have been so happy with us, they’ve used our services more than once!

Why are we different than other moving companies? Our staff is professional and courteous, and our movers show up on time to every job with all of the equipment they need. Contact us today at 416-661-4228 to learn more.

By Adi Shaked

Categories: blog, International moving, Tips Tags:

How to Cope with Your New Life Abroad

May 18th, 2016 Comments off

Moving internationally is a huge step. Even if it’s something you’ve planned for, the experience still might not meet your expectations. After moving abroad, you might find that you feel homesick, lonely, or overwhelmed – even if you’re in a country where you speak the language. Read on for some useful tips on how to cope with your new life abroad.

Make New Friends

Your transition to life abroad will be easier if you make new friends, especially if those new friends come from your home country and/or speak your language.  Sometimes, consulates or embassies organize events for expatriates. There might also be organizations run by people from your home country that run events for people like you.

In addition to socializing with other expatriates, make an effort to get to know the locals. This can be very important if you don’t speak the language very well, because it will give you an opportunity to practice. Another advantage of befriending locals is that they can give you important advice about living in the city or the country that you might not discover otherwise.

Explore Your New Home

You’ll feel less homesick and more excited to be starting your life abroad if you take the time to explore what your new home has to offer. Take some time to research what the local attractions are. Eat at local restaurants to get a taste for the national or regional cuisine. Making friends with long-time residents can give you insight into your new home and help you feel like less of an outsider.

Stay in Touch with Family and Friends Back Home

Being connected with your loved ones back home makes you feel connected to them and can reduce feelings of homesickness. Technology today makes it easier and cheaper than ever to stay in touch.

Talking to friends and relatives can also remind you why you wanted to move in the first place. They might reinforce why you made the right decision.

Take a Little Bit of Home with You

Being surrounded by familiar furniture or belongings can make the transition to a new country less intimidating. You’ll feel as though you’ve brought a little bit of home with you to your destination.

In some cases, it makes sense to ship some of your things abroad. It might be more expensive to purchase those items in your new home, or they might not be readily available.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Experts

Using a reliable, trustworthy shipping company for your international move makes the transition to a new country easier. Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. has been moving clients across the world for over a decade. Some of our clients have been so impressed with us that they’ve used us more than once. Why choose Orbit? Our dedicated customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving staff arrives on time with all of the equipment they need. Find out what else makes Orbit different – call us today at 416-661-4228.

By Adi Shaked

Categories: blog, International moving, Tips Tags:

Moving Internationally: Can’t I Just Buy Stuff There?

August 13th, 2015 Comments off

Moving Internationally: Can’t I Just Buy Stuff There?International moving has its perks. The opportunity to live abroad is exciting – you get to experience a new culture, try different food, and you’ll probably learn another language. It also means you’re going to be starting life over someplace else.

When you’re moving internationally, you have some choices to make. If you are a home owner or renter, you need to decide what you’re going to do with your belongings. Are you going to move them? If so, what items are you going to move?

Some people might think that it’s easier to sell all of their belongings and buy everything they need in their new country. That might not be such a bad idea, in some cases. However, it could end up working against you. Read on to learn why it may be better to ship your belongings.

If You Have Kids

When moving overseas with kids, especially if they’re young, having familiar toys and furniture can make the transition to a new country easier.  They’ll be surrounded by the things they love, so they won’t feel as though they’ve had to leave everything behind.

If You Have Items of Sentimental Value

Kids aren’t the only ones who want to be surrounded by the familiar. No matter how badly you may want to move, it’s still a difficult, hectic and stressful process. Having your beloved armchair might help things go a little smoother.

Also, you might have heirloom furniture that you’d like to take with you so you can ensure it stays in good hands.  You can’t replace your grandmother’s armoire, so look into having it shipped.

The Cost and Quality of Furniture

You should also take into account the cost of buying completely new furniture. In some countries, the cost of living is high. That makes buying goods quite expensive relative to your income. Before you decide to leave it all behind, do some research to determine whether it’s cheaper to ship your furniture (all or some of it) or to buy it at your destination.

Furthermore, you also have to consider the quality of the furniture available in your new home. Is it built well? Will it last for years? You get what you pay for. If you buy something cheap, it’s not worth it in the long run if you have to replace it more than once.

Buying Furniture Can Be a Hassle

When you arrive at your destination, is the first thing you want to do to spend hours wandering through stores buying furniture and arranging for it to be delivered? You will have many other things you need to deal with, so why worry about going shopping for things?

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Discover the Difference

Are you planning on moving overseas? Contact Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. today at 416-661-4228. We have over ten years of experience shipping our clients’ precious cargo across the world. Our staff is courteous and professional.

Talk to our customers. They’ll tell you about the Orbit difference.


What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You about International Moving

January 28th, 2015 Comments off

International Moving - Orbit Moving

When you want to find information about a particular topic, your go-to website is probably Wikipedia. It’s one of the most popular websites on the Internet, and rightfully so: the English version of Wikipedia has nearly 4.7 million articles.

However, if you search for “international moving,” the site will tell you there are no results for that term. So, as it turns out, international moving is one topic that Wikipedia can’t really tell you anything about. Don’t worry, though – Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. is here for you. After reading this blog post, you’ll feel as though you’re an expert on the subject!

The Process of International Moving

International moving involves quite a bit of planning and a series of steps before the final result (transporting yourself and your goods to another country) is achieved. Many people complain that it is a stressful experience.

We are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way! Let’s start by breaking down the process of international moving:

  • Deciding you want to move somewhere/being told you need to move for work
  • Selecting the date you will travel to your new home
  • Finding a moving company
  • Sorting through your belongings and choosing what to take with you
  • Packing your belongings before you leave
  • Traveling to your destination

Of course, there are more details that accompany these six bullet points, especially the point about finding a moving company. Finding a moving company is one of the most important steps in the international moving process.

Finding an International Moving Company

Why is selecting an international moving company so critical? Your moving company will determine how successful, simple and stress free your move will be.

So, how do you go about finding a good international moving company?

Talk to your friends, colleagues and family members. They might be able to give you recommendations. If they can’t, perhaps they can suggest someone who can.

Call three to five companies to receive quotes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what the quote includes.

Remember that a cheap quote is an indication of quality. You get what you pay for, and when you go with a low quote, and you’ll discover that there might not be enough movers for the job, they might be using subpar packing materials, and they might not even have their own truck.

What you should be looking for is a reasonable quote that includes as many services as possible. You also want to pay attention to how good the customer service is. Do the people you speak to treat you with courtesy and respect? Do they respond to your questions in a timely fashion?

Another thing to look for is whether the moving company supplies you with necessary information. For example, some ports have a reputation for workers frequently striking. Moving companies with good customer service will tell you that so you are aware that your shipment may be delayed.

Moving companies with good reputations will have staff that will help you every step of the way. These companies care about providing an excellent customer experience to their clients, and they want you to be happy.

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd. has been serving customers for over ten years. Contact us today to see how we can meet your international moving needs.

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Ten Tips for International Moving

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

Ten Tips for International Moving

Ten Tips for International Moving

International moving can be stressful – you’re leaving the comfort of your home in a country you know and going to someplace with different customs and possibly a different language. How can you make an experience such as this smooth and (almost) painless? Read on for ten quick and helpful tips that will guide you through the process of an international move.

  1. Get organized early in the process. Start sorting through your belongings to decide what you’ll be taking with you and what won’t be making the journey. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, think about items or clothing you haven’t used or worn in over a year. Whatever you haven’t been using or wearing should be donated (if it’s in good condition) or thrown out.
  2. Set a schedule. Take out your calendar and create a timeline for your move. Work backwards from the date when you’ll be leaving. Your belongings should be shipped just before you leave, so that you don’t spend too much time in an empty home. Make sure that your utilities are still connected until you leave – you don’t want the added stress of living in a place with no water, heat or electricity.
  3. Research moving companies. This might sound like a daunting task, but it’s as easy as talking to your friends, family and colleagues and asking them for references. These people can also tell you which companies to avoid. If you don’t know anyone who’s gone through the process of an international move, ask the people you do know if they know anyone. Social media can often be a great tool for this.
  4. Obtain quotes from moving companies. Call three to five moving companies and ask for quotes for their services. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what these quotes include. Remember, you get what you pay for. The cheapest quote isn’t always the best quote, because that company might skimp on important things like quality shipping materials. Pick a quote that sounds reasonable but includes as much as possible. It’s all about balance.
  5. Decide what will be shipped and what will come with you in your luggage. Once you’ve settled on what you’re going to take with you, you’re going to have to go through a second round of sorting. There are things you’ll need immediately, such as clothes. However, if you’re moving from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere and it will be summer when you arrive, you won’t need your winter clothes. Also bear in mind that shipping can take weeks depending on your destination.
  6. Keep important and necessary items separate. You’ll need your passport and any other crucial documents, so don’t pack them, and make sure they don’t find their way into a box that will be shipped. Also, if you’re traveling with children, keep their toys or colouring books with you so they’ll have something to do on the plane.
  7. Be ready for the movers. Make sure that you’ve sorted out what’s going to be shipped and what’s coming with you in your luggage. The more prepared you are, the smoother the move will go.
  8. Number each box and make a list of its contents. This step will save you time when you unpack. You won’t be stuck asking, “Where are the oven mitts?” Instead, you can pull out your list and say, “The oven mitts are in box three.”
  9. Stay organized through the process. If you’re not a naturally organized person, this will be difficult. While it might seem like a lot of effort, the payoff will be well worth it when your international move goes off without a hitch.
  10. Maintain a sense of humour. Although being organized is a very helpful trait to have during the moving process, be aware that things will happen that are beyond your control. You have to learn to laugh at some of these things and move on.

With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to ensuring that your international move will be carried out with a minimum of stress and headaches. And that’s well worth it every time.


Categories: International moving, Tips Tags:

How Much Alcohol Can I Bring into Canada?

September 29th, 2014 Comments off

bringing alcohol into Canada

Importing Alcohol into Canada: What You Need to Know

Being outside of the country, whether you are traveling or living abroad, gives you an opportunity to learn about new cultures, try new foods, and sample different kinds of wines and spirits that aren’t available at home. Luckily for you, it’s possible to bring these wines and spirits back to Canada as souvenirs of your journeys to other places. However, there are some important things you need to know about importing alcohol into Canada, whether you are bringing it with you or having it shipped.

Just How Much Alcohol Can You Bring into Canada?

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) allows you to bring a certain amount of alcohol with you in your luggage for personal use if you have been outside of the country for a year or longer. You can bring 1.5 liters of wine, a total of 1.14 liters of alcoholic beverages, or up to 8.5 liters of beer or ale. The CBSA defines alcohol as products that exceed 0.5% alcohol by volume. You can’t bring alcohol in your luggage for personal use if you’re under the legal drinking age.

Shipping Alcohol to Canada

You’re allowed to ship a greater amount of alcoholic beverages than that to Canada, though. The amount you’re allowed to ship will depend on the province. Also, you’ll need to contact that province’s liquor control authority before you ship the alcohol.

Below are the regulations for shipping alcohol to Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Shipping Alcohol to Ontario

In Ontario, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) regulates the import of alcohol. The LCBO is also in charge of the liquor permit process. In order to ship alcoholic beverages into Ontario for personal use, you must fill out a liquor permit form.

The LCBO allows individuals to ship up to 120 bottles of spirits that are 750 mL, 1 L or 1.14 L, and up to 1200 bottles of wine that are 750 mL or 1 L in size. You must report all of them on the application form. If you’ve lived outside of Canada for less than five years, the alcohol needs to have been in your possession for at least six months. Have you lived outside of Canada for more than five years? The six month rule doesn’t apply – you simply have to have owned and used the alcohol you’re importing. You also can’t import the alcohol from someplace other than where you’ve been living abroad. So, let’s say you’ve been living in England for the past four years. You can’t import wine from France (no matter how much you love Bordeaux).

On the liquor permit form, you’ll need to enter the number of containers and calculate the deposit as well as the tax on each bottle. The tax and deposit information is listed here. You’ll also need to add HST. To calculate how much HST you owe, multiply the total tax by 13%. When you are clearing customs, you will submit the liquor permit form. You’ll also need to pay the tax and deposit on your alcohol, which is the sum of the tax, deposit and HST.

Shipping Alcohol to Quebec

In Quebec, the Societe des alcools du Quebec (SAQ) is the authority that controls the import of alcohol. To import alcoholic beverages into Quebec, you must contact the SAQ before you return to Canada.

The SAQ allows immigrants, residents and Canadian citizens to bring alcohol into Quebec as long as the alcohol has been in their possession for at least three months before their return to Canada. The alcohol must be imported no later than one year after your return, and it must be part of the same, single shipment as your personal effects. Furthermore, the alcohol cannot make up the larger portion of the shipment in either quantity or value.

A family can only bring in one beverage collection, and the amount of beverages in that collection depends on your status under Canadian law. Canadian citizens can bring in up to 180 liters of alcohol per full year spent abroad, up to 540 liters. Immigrants to Canada can also bring in up to 540 liters of alcohol. Temporary residents are allowed to bring in up to 90 liters for each year of their authorized stay, provided that the beverages were acquired three months before they came to Canada.

When your shipment arrives in Quebec, the CBSA will require the SAQ’s authorization to release the beverages. In order to obtain the SAQ’s authorization, you’ll need to provide documentation that you lived abroad, a shipping document listing your personal effects, and a list of the beverages in your collection. You’ll also need to pay a markup fee, the specific tax, the GST, and Quebec’s sales tax (QST) on each bottle. The specific tax is $1.40 per liter for all alcoholic beverages, and the GST and QST are 5% and 9.975% respectively. The markup fee for wine and beer is $3 per liter and $5 per liter for spirits. You will also need to pay federal duties and customs fees for your alcoholic beverages that are part of your shipment when you clear customs.

Shipping Alcohol to British Columbia

British Columbia does not place any restrictions on the amount of alcohol you can bring with you if you’ve been living outside of the country for a year or longer. This applies to immigrants, former residents of Canada who have lived abroad for at least a year, and temporary residents. The British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB) requires that you possess the alcohol for at least six months before your return to Canada, and that it accompanies your personal effects.

You will pay a reduced provincial markup and tax on the alcohol you import into the province. The BCLDB has based its tax on 750 mL bottles. Table wine is $2 per bottle, fortified and sparkling wines are $3 per bottle, and spirits are $8 per bottle. These amounts will be prorated for different sized bottles or partially full bottles. It’s important to remember these amounts don’t include federal duties and taxes.

The BCLDB prepares the B3 Canada Customs entry form for you. This form contains information about the wines and spirits you’re importing. You need to supply the BCLDB with the following information: the number of bottles you’re bringing in, the size of these bottles, the type of alcohol, and the percentage of alcohol. The BCLDB also needs the name of the country you’re emigrating from as well as your local address, phone number and email address in case the agency needs more information. When the BCLDB has all of this information, a representative will fax, email or mail the completed form to you.

If you’re planning an international move to Canada from abroad and have personal items that need special care (such as an alcohol collection), you’ll need to contact a reputable company specialized in shipping to Canada to help you with the logistics, which can be quite complex.

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