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What do personal effects mean in shipping?

Personal effects shipping means transporting your personal belongings to the destination of your choice. Personal effects are used items that were in your possessions for at least six months prior to the shipment. 

Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about shipping personal items, as well as some helpful pointers.

What items can be shipped? 

If you are planning on moving to a location abroad, excess baggage can be shipped. This includes;

  • Clothes
  • Handbags
  • Fashion Jewelry 
  • Documents & Letters
  • Food items*
  • Shoes (should be cleaned without any soil/dirt on the sole of the shoe)

*Food items should be in line with export quality standards, which includes mentioning the ingredients, package contents, production date, and expiration date on the packaging.

How to ship personal items with courier services? 

  • Courier (express or standard) – Using courier services saves time and effort because fewer documents are required. The personal effects can be shipped through express service within 5-7 days for a premium charge, as opposed to standard shipping which takes up to 15 days. 
  • Freight – Any shipment weighing more than 150 lbs would be sent through freight. This is a much cheaper option than courier but takes up to 10-15 days for the shipment to reach the destination. 

How to pack your personal items for safe shipping internationally? 

  • Select appropriate packaging for the contents, such as a cardboard box.
  • Before placing each item into the box, wrap it individually.
  • Fill the spaces inside the box with cushioning materials such as bubble wrap.
  • Use multiple layers of the adhesive tape to seal the box.

Insurance: If your package involves fragile or expensive items, be sure to insure the shipment. Sure, it’ll cost you more money, and you might not always get a broken item, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

To obtain more information on shipping insurance press here

Do you pay duty when shipping personal items abroad?

Usually, personal effects are not charged any duties and taxes. However, it depends on the country’s regulations to which the personal effects are shipped. 

Paying Duty 

  • Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) – The sender is obligated to arrange for import clearance, tax payment, and import duty of the shipment
  • Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) – The receiver pays the price that is inclusive of freight, insurance, duties, and import clearance of the shipment

Additional tips for shipping personal effects abroad

  • Avoid shipping any prohibited items which contain aerosols or alcohol including perfumes.
  • A packing list is required, which is a breakdown of the contents. Mention the contents in a non-generic manner, such as 2 x Denim Jeans, and so on, rather than Used Clothing.
  • For more information on which items can be shipped internationally, see our FAQs.

For a hassle-free, high-quality international courier service, write to us at or call us at +94114312525 between 9.30 AM and 5.00 PM on weekdays for a chat!