How to do a Background Check on an International Moving Company?

Moving internationally involves a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. One of the most critical decisions you’ll make is choosing the right international moving company to handle the transportation of your belongings. Unlike local or long-distance movers, international moving companies operate under different regulations and rules, making it essential to conduct a thorough background check.

Finding an international mover is similar to finding any other mover. You should be asking for quotes, additional information, and references from all your prospective vendors. It will also be a good idea to enlist the help of a freight forwarder to ensure your belongings are safe from their departure to arrival.

It is important to remember to be particularly careful when hiring an international mover since they are not subjected to the same regulations and rules as long-distance movers.

First Things First: Check for Memberships and Affiliations

International moving companies that hold reputable memberships and affiliations can generally be trusted to provide reliable services. Consider the following key memberships and affiliations:

FIDI Membership

FIDI, the Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux, is a global federation of international movers. Membership in FIDI indicates a commitment to international moving standards and best practices.

RIM Certification

Registered International Mover (RIM) Certification, offered through the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), ensures a high level of professionalism and adherence to industry standards. This certification requires rigorous training and education.

RIM Certification has two objectives that help customers compare and select an international mover:

  • It provides a system of standardization and means of comparison for selecting a qualified international mover anywhere in the world.
  • The certification increases the level of professionalism, performance and standards at a moving company due to the rigid demands of the certification program. Before a company can be certified, it must undergo an examination and meet the equipment and facility standards for handling household goods. In order to maintain certification, the company must complete 15 hours of RIM-approved education and training over the course of three years. After that, the company is inspected again and the process continues.

Although RIM Certification is generally considered to be one of the best indicators of a reputable company, other memberships are important for companies to maintain.

OMNI Affiliation

Overseas Movers Network International (OMNI) is a network that promotes quality services for international relocation companies. Affiliation with OMNI indicates a commitment to strict policies and standards.

ISO 9002 Certification

Companies registered as ISO 9002 certified demonstrate a dedication to maintaining high-quality practices and performance. This certification reinforces their commitment to customer satisfaction.

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) License

International moving involves ocean transport, and a license from the FMC is crucial for regulatory compliance in shipping laws.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Ratings

Positive ratings and reviews with the BBB reflect a company’s reputation and customer satisfaction. Look for companies with higher ratings and minimal complaints.

Beware of Blacklists – Check for Scam Indicators

Before hiring an international moving company, ensure they are not blacklisted. Research websites that list “moving scam” blacklisted companies. Avoid companies with a history of poor service or unethical practices.

Outstanding Complaints and References

Gather information about the company’s history by asking about their previous international moves and the number of international offices they have. Request references from recently moved customers. Reputable companies will readily provide testimonials from satisfied clients and have a limited number of complaints reported to the Better Business Bureau.

Checking References Effectively

When collecting references, follow these steps to ensure thorough evaluation:

Contact References Directly

Personally call each reference to discuss their experience with the moving company. This direct communication allows you to gather unbiased insights.

Verify Reference Information

Request full names, job titles, and email addresses of references. Ensure you have at least three references from each prospective company.

Look for Connections

Pay attention to possible connections between references and the moving company’s employees. Similar area codes or last names may indicate biased references.

Schedule Callbacks

If a reference initiates contact, be cautious. Schedule a callback to ensure a more convenient time for you to gather information.

Domain and Location Verification

To validate the legitimacy of the company, perform domain verification:

Conduct a Whois search to find out how long the company’s website domain has been active and who created it. This can reveal the company’s online history.

Location Matching

Use Wikipedia or other reliable sources to match up company locations with area codes. This helps confirm the authenticity of references and the company’s claims.


As you embark on the journey of choosing an overseas moving company, keep these steps and insights in mind to ensure a smooth and secure transition of your cherished belongings. Conducting thorough research and due diligence will give you the confidence to entrust your move to a reputable and reliable international moving company. If you are keen to understand more about the authenticity and reliability of the International Sea & Air Shipping company, get in touch with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are memberships and affiliations important for international moving companies?

Membership in organizations like FIDI, RIM Certification, and affiliation with OMNI demonstrate a company’s commitment to professionalism, quality standards, and adherence to industry regulations. These affiliations provide a level of trustworthiness and accountability.

What is RIM Certification, and how does it benefit customers?

Registered International Mover (RIM) Certification, provided through AMSA, offers a standardized way to evaluate and compare international movers worldwide. It signifies a higher level of professionalism and adherence to industry standards due to the rigorous certification process.

How can I check if a company is blacklisted?

There are websites which have lists endorsed and blacklisted companies. Researching these lists can help you avoid potentially unreliable or problematic companies.

How do I effectively check references provided by a moving company?

Collect at least three references from each prospective company. Personally contact these references to discuss their experiences and gather insights. Be cautious if references have similar area codes or last names, as this might indicate bias.

Why is domain verification important?

Verifying a company’s website domain through a Whois search can reveal the duration of its activity and ownership. Cross-reference with location data using platforms like Wikipedia to ensure the legitimacy of references and the company itself.

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