How to Ship Your Belongings From Nigeria to Canada

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You’ve made the big decision to immigrate from Nigeria to Canada. Now comes the tough task of figuring out how to safely transport all your household possessions, including furniture, electronics, clothes, and other personal effects. Shipping your items overseas and insuring them appropriately will require research and preparation. This guide covers key steps for Nigerians to ship belongings and get proper insurance when relocating to any part of Canada.

Choose Between Air and Sea Shipping

The first decision is whether to ship your boxes and furniture by air or sea cargo.

Air freight is faster, taking 1-2 weeks for delivery. This prevents your things from being in-transit for too long. However it’s significantly more expensive than sea cargo and only feasible for smaller, high-value items. Size and weight limits also apply.

Sea shipping takes 4-8 weeks but costs much less per cubic meter. This is practical for larger household goods like sofas, beds, appliances etc. You can send a full 20 or 40-foot shipping container this way.

Think about your timeline, budget and the types/sizes of stuff you need to transport. Combining air and sea shipping works for many relocating families.

Select a Licensed International Moving Company

Don’t attempt to arrange the shipping logistics yourself. Hire an experienced international moving company to handle the end-to-end process. Reputable firms will have established partnerships with cargo airlines and shipping lines. This gives you access to lower rates and reliable service.

When selecting a mover, compare multiple quotes and look for these indicators of a good company:

  • Licensed and insured – Verify they are legally approved for international household goods transport.
  • Experience shipping to Canada – Choose a company very familiar with Canadian customs rules and documentation.
  • No upfront payments – Avoid firms that demand large upfront deposits. Pay only after your items deliver safely.
  • In-home assessment – Quality movers will send an agent to evaluate your belongings in person before preparing a quote.
  • Packing/crating service – Experienced staff will properly pack and crate your fragile items to prevent damage.
  • Door-to-port/door-to-door service – Opt for complete loading, transport, customs-clearance and final delivery.
  • Storage offered – Some movers have secure, short-term storage depots in Canada where your possessions can be held until you’re ready.

Understand Customs Rules

All your personal effects will need to clear customs when they arrive in Canada. Familiarize yourself with customs regulations to avoid problems or delays:

  • Used household goods are duty-free – You won’t pay duty or taxes as long as you’ve owned and used the items for 6+ months.
  • Documents required – Your mover will need your passport, visa, detailed inventory list and proof of residence at origin/destination to clear customs smoothly.
  • Prohibited items – Certain goods like alcohol, plants, fresh food, prescription drugs etc. can’t be shipped. The mover will inform you.
  • Do not pack valuables – Avoid placing money, jewelry, important documents etc. in your shipped boxes. Carry those with you.

Following all customs rules will make the destination arrival and delivery process quick and hassle-free.

Obtain Insurance for Full Coverage

The right insurance is crucial when relocating belongings overseas. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance likely won’t cover possessions in transit. Purchase specialized international shipping insurance to get proper coverage against:

  • Loss of entire shipment due to events like fire, sinking, theft etc.
  • Missing or damaged boxes/items due to mishandling, accidents or adverse weather.
  • Delays that leave your shipment stuck at customs longer than expected.

Insurance will reimburse repair or replacement costs up to your coverage limit. Many moving companies offer insurance policies. Comparison shop to get the optimum coverage at reasonable rates tailored to your shipment value. Read policy terms closely regarding deductibles, exclusions etc.

Pack Properly and Save Records

Packing wisely will reduce chances of damage during loading, vibration and unloading:

  • Use strong boxes (new boxes preferred) with lids taped shut to prevent accidental opening.
  • Wrap fragile items separately in paper or bubble wrap before packing in boxes.
  • Fill empty spaces in boxes with cushioning like crumpled paper or inflatable fillers.
  • Clearly label each box on multiple sides to indicate contents and right-side-up direction.
  • Keep electronics in original boxes with factory packing inserts if you still have them.

Save copies of all shipping paperwork, insurance documents, detailed inventory etc. This creates a record to facilitate claims processing should any loss or damage occur.

Ship Vehicles Separately

Shipping your car or motorcycle from Nigeria to Canada involves extra steps:

  • Only send vehicles worth $10,000 CAD or more – shipping costs are very high.
  • Ensure your vehicle meets Canada’s safety/emissions standards to avoid import issues.
  • Empty the vehicle of all personal belongings before shipping.
  • Hire an international auto shipping specialist for vehicle transport – regular movers won’t handle this.
  • Purchase special auto insurance to cover damages, theft etc. in transit.

For cheaper options, consider selling your current vehicle in Nigeria and using the proceeds to buy a replacement once in Canada.

You’re Ready for Pickup and Transport!

Once you’ve completed preparations using the guidance above, your international mover will be ready to collect all your packed boxes, crates and furniture from your home in Nigeria. Load day is exciting and emotional! After pickup, try not to stress too much during the ocean or air journey – with diligent planning and insurance, your belongings have excellent protection.

Before you know it, everything you hold dear will arrive safely on your doorstep in your new Canadian home. You’ll ride a wave of relief as you unpack and settle into your fresh start in one of the world’s friendliest nations. Wishing you happy travels and a smooth transition!

Please visit regularly for more tips on your new life in Canada.