Shipping Inherited Furniture overseas from the UK

Our professional packing services, specialist experience and support with customs processes make shipping your cherished inherited items easy. 

If you've inherited cherished belongings from a loved one abroad and need help with the logistical challenges of getting the items to you, we can help. 

As international shipping experts we're here to guide you through the process using our experience, specialist moving skills and knowledge of global customs requirements to ensure everything arrives safely, efficiently and cost effectively

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How we do it

Exporting inherited belongings from the UK and importing into your home country can be a simple process with the guidance and support of a professional moving company.

packing inheritance items for shipping

Step 1 - Packing and Inventory

Professional international packers will pack your items safely for transport and prepare and inventory for customs before loading onto our vehicle for return to our warehouse for loading. 
shipping inheritance items via sea or air

Step 2 - Shipping

Typically unless you've inherited and want to ship a full household of items your shipment will move via a Shared Load (Groupage) service. This is where you share space in a container with other people moving items to your destination so that you only need to pay for the space you need. 
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Step 3 - Customs Clearance

On arrival in your destination country, we will work with local customs agents to clear your items through customs.

Step 4 - Delivery

Once items have cleared customs we'll contact you to arrange a convenient date for delivery.

Need help shipping your inherited items?

Contact us to find out how we can help you with shipping your inherited furniture or personal effects and for a free, no obligation quote.

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Shipping Inherited Items Overseas from the UK: A Guide

This guide highlights the key aspects to consider when preparing and planning for moving inherited furniture or items from the UK worldwide. 


What you'll need

Before you can ship your inherited items you'll need to gather several items. This can differ depending on your destination country but may include:

  • A copy of the Will
  • A copy of the Death Certificate
  • Proof of Inheritance

When you contact us we will advise you on the specific requirements for your destination country or you can check the FIDI customs guide

Customs Declarations

We will provide the required forms for you to complete for your items to clear customs and your dedicated move manager will guide you through the process. You'll need to declare the contents and the value of the shipment on the customs form. 


Duties and Taxes for inherited items

Some countries may charge duties or taxes for importing inherited goods, but there are also often exemptions. We'll help you evaluate based on your individual circumstances and advise you if there is additional documentation you'll need to prove exemption. 

You can view the general rules for duties / taxes and exemptions in the FIDI customs guide for your destination, under the 'inheritance' section. 

Example: Inheritance shipments to the USA are imported duty-free if the inheritor confirms they grew up with the items in their immediate household, however, duties are applicable if the items were not in their home (e.g. inherited from a more distant relative)

Photo by Charlotte May

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Restricted and Prohibited Items

Whilst some items may be cherished and hold wonderful memories, not all items can be imported to some destinations. 

It's important to be aware of the restricted/prohibited items for your destination country as incorrectly shipping something could lead to costly fines for treating, re-exporting or destroying items that customs authorities refuse for import. 

Common items of concern include:

  • Ivory
  • Rosewood
  • Weapons
  • Animal products

In some instances items are completely banned from import, in others you may require additional permits or paperwork.  We will be able to help you review your items when you contact us, or you can review the FIDI customs guide for your destination. 

Photo by Steve Johnson

Why choose Bournes for your inheritance shipment?


Award winning customer service

A reputation built on award-winning personal service, quality and outstanding customer feedback.


Dedicated move manager

To guide you through your move, assist with documentation and customs processes and to keep you up to date with progress.

removals quote

Fixed quote with no hidden surprises

We take the time to make sure we have all the information we need to give you an accurate quote up front.

range of removals services

A range of moving services

Flexible services to provide what’s most important to you, whether that’s custom crates to ensure your most sentimental items are protected, to extra help with packing or a schedule that works best for you.

independently certified removals

Independently certified

Pre-vetted and approved by the British Association of Removers and FIDI FAIM.

Insurance certificates

Fully insured

Offering comprehensive protection for your belongings whilst they are in our care.


Security vetted staff

Uniformed, DBS checked, experienced and professionally trained removals crews.

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Financial Protection

An advanced payment guarantee provided by the British Association of Removers.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Shipping Inherited Goods from the UK

How long will it take my inherited items to arrive?

The length of time for your shipment of inherited items depends on a) the method of shipment and b) your destination. 

Typically inherited goods are shipped using a part load service (where you share a container with other customers moving to your destination so you only pay for the space you need). 

As an example shipments from the UK to USA via a part load service take 8+ weeks door to door, with shipments to Australia taking 12+ weeks due to the additional sailing time. 

Do I need to insure items for the move?

Inherited items often have a value beyond their sentimental nature so we would strongly recommend arranging insurance for shipping, particularly if you're shipping inherited artwork or antique furniture.  

Whilst we'll pack and protect your items professionally to reduce the risk of damage in transit, there is always a small risk due to the nature of international transport. 

We can provide specialist international moving insurance based on your declared replacement value so please make sure you leave time to evaluate the value if it's not already known. 

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