Appliances Checklist

If you are relocating internationally, the first decision to make regarding your appliances is whether to ship them or leave them behind. You may also decide to purchase new appliances specifically for overseas use. If you buy appliances for overseas use, keep the bills for purchase or repair so that you can prove prior possession and avoid paying duty upon return to the United States.

If you are planning to ship your appliances, first have them serviced by a qualified repairman prior to the move. You should have the operator’s manual for each appliance on hand to make servicing abroad much easier.

The following checklist of questions should help you with the decision to keep your current appliances or buy new ones.
  • Does it make sense cost-wise to ship my major appliances?

  • Major appliances may incur additional freight charges. Before you decide to include them in your shipment, make sure the appliances are suitable for use at your new destination.

  • If your employer is paying for your move, check with their policy to see if they cover the costs of shipping these major appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.

  • Will I need different appliances that what I have now?

  • In very warm climates, you may require more space for refrigeration than in cooler climates where pantry storage will adequately store food items.

  • You may need a washing machine with a built-in water heater if your new home permits only a cold-water supply.

  • In some countries, newer homes come with built-in vacuum systems. You may no longer need your vacuum cleaner.

  • Will my appliance be suitable for use in my new destination?

  • Is there enough space to accommodate your old appliances in your new home? Hopefully you were able to take measurements of the dimensions of the relevant rooms for these items so that you can plan in advance. Don’t forget that during the move your belongings may need to be brought in using an elevator or stairwell and your appliances must be able to fit in these spaces.

  • Is the electrical voltage compatible? Are plugs and/or sockets compatible? What is the correct configuration? You may be able to use a transformer or converter to convert the appliance’s electrical cycle. Or, the appliance may already have a multi-system or dual voltage option.

  • Different countries have different standards when it comes to TV broadcast signal standards. Check to see that your television will be able to get local broadcasts or learn what options are available such as cable or satellite TV.

  • I plan to buy new appliances. Should I buy now or after I arrive?

  • How soon will you need the new appliances? If you need them right away, you may need to check with local suppliers to see if the items are in stock or if you will need to wait for delivery. Are suitable appliances easy to find locally?

  • How do prices compare in your new destination? Are you better off purchasing the items here and having them shipped?

  • If you plan to return to the US, you may be able to avoid paying duty on these items upon return. You can establish prior possession by purchasing the items in the States and keep proof of all purchases.

  • What if my appliances require servicing after the move?

  • Find out what maintenance and parts services are available locally.

  • Check the terms of any existing warranties on your appliances.

  • If purchasing new items in the US prior to the move, check to see if the warranty includes international coverage.