International / Cross Border Moves

Cross Border Moving with Atlas Vanlines

Moving across the border is as easy as moving across the street provided you start your planning far in advance of your moving date. We’ll take the extra time to explain all the steps involved with international moving.

We have included a few questions below that anyone moving across borders should keep in mind.

First and foremost, it is important to determine your Customs Status. The Three main categories are:

Returning residents – Non Resident / First Time Immigrants – Part-Time / Season Residents

For assistance in understanding what your residency status is contact the Citizenship and Immigration Service at (250) 514-2000 or at www.uscis.goc/

Q. What documentation is required to ship my household goods to the United States?

A. You are required to complete a U.S. customs form 3299. You should make 4 copies of this form (all with original signatures). Give three copies to us and keep one for yourself. This is given to our drivers. He presents the form o the U.S. customs official at the border along with a copy of your Atlas Bill of Lading and a copy of your descriptive household goods inventory form.

Q. Must I be present at the border when my goods clear customs?

A. Usually not, you should precede your goods into the United States to ensure your status is approved. If for some reason, the goods cannot be cleared at the border (generally if paperwork is not in order) the U.S. customs will place the shipment “in bond”. You will then have to report to a customs office at destination to “personally” clear your shipment. If you are not available, they will request that we put the shipment into storage in a “bonded” warehouse thus incurring extra charges for you.

Q. What must I do in order to get permission to import my car to the United States?

A. All cars going into the United States must meet U.S. EPA and Safety Standards. Your first step is to contact your automobile manufacturer to obtain a clearance or pre-approval letter. To obtain a number of your auto manufacturer please contact us.

You must provide the auto manufacturer with:

The Vehicle Identification Number

Year, Make and Model

A return fax number or a mailing address

In some instances the manufacturer will charge a fee for this letter – they will ask for a credit card number or certified cheque

Certain manufacturers may request a copy of your work visa or employment letter before issuing a compliance letter

If you need assistance call: National Traffic Safety Association 202-366-1024 or 1-888-327-4236

You will also be required to complete EPA #3520-1 and HS-7 forms. Follow these websites to get a copy of the forms. EPA FormDepartment of Transport HS- 7 Form

Q. What happens next?

A. Once you receive the letter back from the auto manufacturer, make a copy and give it to us. You should retain the original as you will need it when you go to register your vehicle in your new state. You should also provide us with a copy of your ownership and proof of insurance.

Q. Can I take my family pet(s) into the United States?

A. You will be required to produce proof of rabies vaccination and a certificate from a veterinarian stating that the animal(s) are in good health. Birds may require a period of quarantine at the owner’s expense for a period of 30 days after entry to the U.S. In some cases this requirement is waived, as long as you’ve owned the bird for at least three months. Please let us know all the details of your pet(s) when meeting us.

Q. Can I move my household plants to the United States?

A. There are no restrictions in the importation of household plants and barerooted outdoor plants. However, customs may require that imported plants must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. Contact your local customs office for more information. Please let us know if you do have plants to move a well.

Customs Information

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service

P.O. Box 7407

Washington, DC 20044

(202) 345-1000


(Click on publications and choose “Search”

Insert #0518 in “Search Box”

Moving Household Goods to the United States)

Immigration Information

Immigration and Visa Information

US Citizenship and Immigration Service

4420 N. Fairfax Drive

Arlington, VA 22203

1-800-375-5283 (within USA)

785-330-1048 (outside USA – Automated Service Only)

Contact Closest US Consulate for personal Service


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Cidel Moving & Storage has been providing services to British Columbia and the Okanagan Area since 1975. Family owned and operated.

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