Hey Blanca and Antonio,Love your blog – most especially because my husband and i are moving to Lisbon at the end of the year! We\’re super excited – and ofcourse nervous. I would really really like to ship some furniture from India (which is where I am from) – but I know that you advise one not to do this. Can you give me a sense of what happened to your pieces that were shipped to Lisbon? What were the specific difficulties you faced through this process. Was it the time that it took – or the customs/import difficulties that you had to face once your container arrived.Looking forward to hearing from you,Srila
Thanks for checking out our blog. Thrilled to see you like it and excited for your move. We had a very bad experience moving our furniture and plenty of other people who did the same tell us they did too.
Our issue is that the company we worked with was horrible.
First, they did not explain the process to us.
Second, they overcharged us (we had our stuff in storage – we had contacted our storage to ask about the size and gave this to our shippers – when the shippers arrived they said it was larger and we had ended our contract with our storage unit so we did not have a choice but to go with our shipper).
Our shipper did not tell us about all the paperwork we had to fill out. The biggest issue was a Certificado de Bagagem that had to be authorized in the states and re-sent to Portugal. Make sure you ask your shipper about this document and that you get it done before you leave India.
Our shipper did not explain that they would work with a subcontractor when our items arrived in Portugal and that this subcontractor would charge us $200 per day to store our items (luckily, we had already found an apartment, but we were hustling to get it empty and to get parking permits (which we ultimately did not need – you will see why in a few), etc since we were told they’d be delivering soon.
Lastly, the subcontracting company just showed up one day…we did not even have parking permist for that day.
Overall, it was super stressful.
If you decide to ship furniture, and I don’t recommend it (expensive, tedious), be sure that your shipper explains the entire process, if they are working with other companies once your items land in PT, and what extra costs could be incurred.
Also, make sure to ask about import tax liabilities. Your shipment can be tax free, but you need to make sure that you are not shipping any forbidden items (example – electronics no matter how old need to be carefully documented in the certificado de bagagem with proof of purchase and serial numbers). They may not inspect your container, but if you do and the certificado does not match the items in the container, you can be liable for a good amount of money.
I may have forgotten a few things, so I’ll ask Antonio to chime in as well 🙂
Don’t do it! Some things to notes not mentioned in our blog:
- Many won’t fit in normal Portuguese apartments
- You may get taxed if you mis-represent an item in the shipping ledger
- Furniture is cheap here. Why spend the money?
- Humidity is high in Portugal your stuff will grow mold
- Portuguese movers will break your stuff because they don’t care
- You will end up replacing most of the items anyway, why not buy new
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