Moving from Canada to USA

Thursday, April 19, 2012

With so many North American companies operating in both Canada and the US, cross border moves have become quite common. Moving across a border is unlike any other move, many more details must be looked after before you go. It is important to plan ahead and know what to expect before you begin packing, or you risk being stuck at customs, unable to cross the border.

Know what can and cannot be transported across the border; for example alcohol and house plants will need to be left in your country of residence. You should find out what the laws are in the state or province you are moving to. For example in some states items such as arm supported sling shots, or pepper spray are illegal, they are not in most provinces. Firearms will need to be dealt with on a case by case basis at customs, be sure to bring all of your documentation with you to properly import your firearms.

If you have household pets, be sure that all of their vaccinations are up to date, and bring proof of vaccinations and ownership with you.

It is a good idea to have receipts for any new or large purchases. You will need to keep an extremely detailed inventory of all of your belongings. Be ready to answer for the value of any given item in your home. You may be asked the value or purchase price at customs.

When packing boxes you will need to keep a detailed inventory of each item you pack. You will want to have it listed on the outside of each box, as well as on a master list. Take multiple copies of the master list as customs will want to keep a copy of it. This list will need to include everything. Customs will be most interested in small appliances and electronics. Be sure to record the make, model and serial number for each item.

If you are importing vehicles to the US you will need plan ahead and have all of your paperwork in order when you arrive at customs, if you do not have everything it may require a trip back to the boarder at a later date. You will need a letter from your car’s manufacturer stating that your car passes all safety and emissions requirements for the country you are moving to. This letter can take three to five weeks in the mail, so you will want to plan ahead. There are forms that will need to be filled out by a customs agent at the border upon inspection of your vehicle.

Lastly and most importantly you will need to have all of your documentation in order before arriving at the border. Be sure that you have all of the required documentation to enter the country as a resident.