Moving To United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a grand destination choice for international relocation in Europe. The rich history, heritage, culture and steady economy of the country have been the reasons that have prompted many expats and other people to move to the UK from the USA.

Moving to United Kingdom from USA

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to United Kingdom

At International Sea & Air Shipping, we offer range of services; we specialize in overseas moving; including shipping personal effects and household goods, export packing and crating, and shipping internationally, cars and boats. Whether you’re relocating from the USA for London, Manchester, Cambridge, Liverpool or any other major city or town in the UK, you can count on our dedicated teams of professionals to handle everything smoothly and professionally, from beginning to end.

But an international relocation can be stressful! There is a lot to process when you have taken the decision to moving from the US to the UK despite the fact that both the countries have many upscale facilities to assist in the move.

At International Sea & Air Shipping our team understands each and every steps of an international move. Whether it is to get you ready for the documentation processes or giving you proper guidance on the move – we have experts to assist you at every step. We specialize in many aspects of the relocation like moving the household goods or moving your car to your preferred country of relocation.

At International Sea & Air Shipping offer cost-effective services tailored to your needs, making international moving a more affordable option for you. We have in-house international moving experts who will use their knowledge and experience to offer you the best end-to-end relocation to the UK from the USA. So, let our team of professionals make your moving experience hassle-free. Door to door shipping to the UK has never been so easy.

About the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the UK, or simply Britain, comprises the island of Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland) and Northern Ireland.

There are a few countries in the world which have as rich a heritage as The United Kingdom! Steeped in history, this country amazes with its breadth and depth of culture. On the other hand, the United Kingdom offers the best of modernism! Indeed, moving from the USA to the UK may be a great decision because this country offers the best of both the old world and the modern world!

Made of the nations – England, Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland, Great Britain or the United Kingdom is a study in itself. When you are moving from the USA to this great country you won’t have any dearth of reasons to celebrate! There are top class cities, a buffet of benefits for the citizens and cultural offerings that will make you feel at ease while settling down in the UK.

Customs Regulations for the United Kingdom

  • Valid passport
  • You may need a visa.
  • Work permit (if necessary)
  • Customs Form (Import Declaration)
    • Two fully completed originals need to be provided to Customs agent
  • C-3 Form (household goods and personal effects for primary residence)
    • To clear household goods, you must complete this form with original ink signatures, no photocopies.
  • C-33 Form (household goods and personal effects for secondary residence)
  • Detailed Inventory of household goods and personal effects in English
    • Two copies, valued, dated and signed by Customer
  • C426 Form (for diplomatic entry)
  • All household goods and personal effects must arrive within 12 months after Customer or up to six months before Customer’s arrival in order to clear Customs
    • These items should come accompanied with a C-3 or C-33 Form
    • You must also include a detailed inventory of goods and household effects.
  • Special regulations apply to the following, and therefore, customers must obtain specific information directly from the Embassy or Consulate.
    • Students
    • Newlyweds and those who plan to marry shortly
    • Visitors
    • Goods coming from EU countries
    • Personal antiques or inheritances not meant for resale

In the United Kingdom, some articles may not be imported whatsoever. These items include, but may not be limited to:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Flick knives (AKA switchblades) and gravity knives
  • All handguns other than certain .22 caliber target pistols
  • Pornographic material
  • Horror comics
  • Drugs and other narcotics
  • Counterfeit currency
  • Meat, poultry, fish and other animal products (if traveling from a country not in the EU)
  • Trees, plants, shrubs, seeds, bulbs, soil, potatoes and other vegetables and fruits (if traveling from a country not in the EU)
  • Products created from remains of protected/endangered animal and plant species
    • Fur, skins, ivory, reptile leather, caviar, shells or products made from these items

Some articles may have restricted quantities or require special authorization/ payments of duties and taxes to clear customs in the UK. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Firearms
  • Ammunition and explosives
  • New household goods and personal effects if they are less than six months old (invoice required)
  • Alcohol, tobacco, and perfume products are subject to duties, and you must make a declaration on your Customs Form (C-3 or C-33).
    • Do not ship these items along with your household goods
    • Importation of these items can result in a full inspection of your entire shipment
  • Plants require a Phytosanitary Certificate
  • Certain radio transmitters
    • CB radios, walkie-talkie, cordless telephones, etc.

Customers moving to the United Kingdom for the first time may import vehicles (including trailers, boats and aircrafts) into the country if:

  • The owner is moving their primary residence to the UK
  • Customer living outside the European Union (EU) has been abroad for at least 12 months
  • The customer has owned and used the vehicle abroad for at least six months.
  • The customer did not purchase it duty-free or tax-free.
  • The customer will use the vehicle for personal use only and will not sell it within a year of importation.
  • A Declaration to Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise must specify:
    • Manufacture date, make, model name, serial number, chassis number and engine number
    • Cubic engine capacity and number of cylinders
    • Whether it is petrol or diesel and left or right-hand drive
    • Description of the body, the price and the odometer reading
    • Any extra or special features
      • Such as automatic transmission
    • Any defects in the vehicle that would affect its price
  • Customs clearance may require the customer’s presence.

Customers moving to the United Kingdom for the first time may import vehicles (including trailers, boats and aircrafts) into the country if:

  • Registration papers and title
  • Police certificate or registration
  • Insurance policy
  • Original purchase invoice
  • Logbook
  • Customs Form C104A (Importing vehicle in connection with moving main residence to the United Kingdom)
  • Customs Form C104F (Importing vehicle for a 6-12 month period)
  • Customs Form C384 (Importing vehicle when duty is applicable)
  • Community Transit Document T2 in the country from which you are exporting your vehicle.

When importing a pet to the United Kingdom, the requirements are:

  • A microchip
  • Proof of rabies vaccination
  • Pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate
  • Proof of tapeworm treatment (for dogs only)
  • Use of an authorized carrier by an approved route
  • A blood test taken at least 30 days after rabies vaccination
    • Only if you are traveling from an unlisted country
    • Must wait three months from the date of the blood sample before traveling
    • The vet must receive a copy of the test results.
    • Blood test must show that the vaccination was successful.
  • Customs Form C-5
  • Six months in quarantine in a government-approved facility for all dogs and cats
    • You must book this time before importing your pet due to limited space in the quarantine kennel.
  • The import license is not granted until other requirements have been met and a schedule for six months in quarantine has been arranged.
  • There are no restrictions on pet rodents, rabbits, birds, decorative fish, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles when arriving from EU countries
    • Rabbits and rodents from countries outside the EU must spend four months in quarantine and have a rabies import license

Rules for household goods and person effects that are duty-free vary based on the following:

  • Customers moving their principal home or returning to the United Kingdom:
    • The customer has personally used the goods for at least six months before importing them.
    • The customer can prove that payment of duty and tax have is done before arrival.
    • The customer declares the items on the C-3 Form.
  • Customers coming from outside the European Union:
    • Have lived at least at least 12 months abroad
    • The customer will not sell, loan out, or dispose of household goods within 12 months of importation, unless permitted by the Customs authority.
  • Customer is setting up a secondary household in the UK
  • Customers are living in another European Union country:
    • Customer owns a secondary home in the UK or will be renting one for a minimum of 12 months
    • The customer has owned the items for three months before importation and will not sell them for up to 12 months afterward.
    • The customer can provide proof that duty and tax have already been paid on the items.
    • The customer declares the items on the C-3 Form.
  • Customer is living outside the EU (items can be duty-free but not VAT free):
    • Customer has lived for at least twelve months outside of the EU
    • Customer owns a secondary home in the UK or is renting one for twenty-four months minimum
    • The customer has owned and used the goods for personal use for at least six months before importation.

    • The customer will not sell, lend out, or dispose of items and effects within twelve months of importation, unless permitted by the Customs authority.
    • The customer can provide proof that duty and tax payment has been done.
    • The customer declares the items on the C-33 Form.
  • Importation of the majority of private vehicles are duty-free assuming:
    • The owner of the vehicle is moving their primary residence to the UK
    • Customer’s living outside of EU countries have been abroad for more than 12 months
    • The customer has owned and used the vehicle abroad for a minimum of six months.
    • The customer did not purchase the vehicle duty or tax-free.
    • The vehicle is for personal use and will not be put to resale within a year of import.

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Due to the potential for regulations to change without notice, International Sea & Air Shipping cannot accept responsibility for any costs, damage, delays, or other adverse events that might arise from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Top reasons to move in the UK from the USA

Employment Opportunities

Great Britain or the UK is one of the places where there are enough employment opportunities for skilled job seekers. Even though COVID situation affected the entire world in terms of unemployment, the UK stayed quite optimistic. Compared to many European nations the UK offers greater employment opportunities. So, when you are moving to the UK from the USA you can rest assured that the employment scenario is stable and strong in this country. This is mainly because the government comes up with new initiatives and is planning to reduce unemployment. The UK is even a booming tech center of the world and offers lucrative employment opportunities.

Healthcare Facility

Relocation to the UK from the USA brings with it the healthy benefit! The National Health Service (NHS) is considered one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world. And then there is the system of paying a surcharge, Immigration Health Surcharge, which then helps you to access the benefits of NHS services. Under the NHS services one gets free GP and nurse consultation services for primary care. However, note that this free healthcare does not extend to opticians or dentistry related treatments.


When we talk about education in the UK we cannot but utter the names of Cambridge and Oxford universities in the back of our minds! Great Britain is well-known globally for its high quality of education system. So, when you are relocating to the UK from the USA and if you have kids or looking for further education for yourself, it will be great to know that the UK is home to 4 out of 10 top universities in the whole world. Additionally, the UK Government provides high quality primary and secondary education to its citizens at no extra cost!

High quality of life

Needless to say, with job opportunities, a comprehensive healthcare system, high quality of education and many more social benefits, the UK offers one of the best quality of life among other European countries. Naturally, moving to the UK from the USA is a great decision whether you are moving alone or relocating your entire family.

However, while moving to the UK from the USA, especially when your family is accompanying you, one may need assistance in moving automobiles or household goods. You can check with our professionals at the International Sea & Air Shipping to get more insights for a hassle-free relocation to the UK.

“International Sea and Air Shipping was helpful at every turn. They delivered boxes for things we wanted to pack; they were on time with the packing date; the personnel were courteous, careful and efficient, and when we asked for assistance and clarification with one or two things in the course of the move, they were unfailingly helpful. We had a couple of minor things damaged, but with a move of this size that could be expected. Certainly, it was not because things were not packed carefully. All in all, they met our expectations and I would recommend them to anyone undertaking a move abroad.”

– John Paas

Best cities to move in the UK

The wide variety of landscape, culture and a mix of modern facilities makes the UK a place where you can look forward to settle down at ease. Whether it is for your career you are moving to the UK from the USA to provide the best quality education to your kids or even to retire – Great Britain has many things to offer.


Being the capital city, London offers best in class opportunities for employment education and other facilities.


As the second-largest city in Great Britain with excellent connectivity through a top-notch transport system, this is another ideal place to live when you relocate to the UK.


This is Scotland’s capital and feels like “home”. The homely ambience and facilities make this city another great choice when you shipping to UK from US.


If you are looking for a city in the UK for affordable living then Cardiff is the answer for you.


Well-known as the friendliest and happiest city in the UK Belfast certainly makes it into the list of the top cities to relocate in the UK.


How much does it cost to move to the UK from the USA?

The shipping cost of your belongings when you are relocating to the UK from the USA will depend on the volume of the belongings and also their condition. At International Sea & Air Shipping we can provide you with a competitive quotation for your relocation. Based on how much container space your belongings will contain the price is further calculated from major ports in the USA to major ports in the UK.

What are the major ports in the UK for relocation?

Port of London: Once the largest port in the world, the Port of London is the gateway to the UK ‘s financial capital, London.
The Port of Felixstowe: The busiest port, which deals with the UK’s 48% of the container trade is located in Suffolk.
Port of Southampton: This UK port is a popular port for passenger transport but can also handle huge amounts of cargo.
Liverpool Port: The most centrally located port in the UK, the Port of Liverpool handles a diverse range of cargo.
Port of Immingham: Commonly known as the Immingham Docks this port is located on the East coast.

Do I need VISA to move to the UK?

While relocating to the UK you will need to acquire a proper visa. Work and family visa are the most common types of visa for moving to the UK from the USA. There are different types of work visa that you need to be aware of.