Category Archives: Removals

Doing Business in Barcelona

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Barcelona by Bert Kaufmann

Barcelona by Bert Kaufmann

Barcelona has an irresistible attraction for many British expats. With the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains close by, this vibrant, cosmopolitan city is also brimming with history and culture. But what possibilities does the city hold for expats that want to do business there?

Spain as a whole remains a relatively easy place in which to do business. This may explain why it was positioned 33 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey for 2016. Spain ranked well in factors such as trading across borders (earning first place), resolving insolvency (25th), and protecting minority investors (29th).

Perhaps due to its diversity, with Spanish nationals and international expats living and working closely together, there are excellent business prospects for expatriates in Barcelona. However, to make the most of business opportunities, fluency in the Spanish language and, ideally, a basic grasp of Catalan, is an enormous benefit.

When you get past the language, what is different about doing business in Barcelona? Well, there’s a different timetable for starters. Business isn’t typically 9 ‘til 5. Instead, it starts somewhere between 9 and 10am, breaks for lunch around 1pm, and resumes from about 3pm until evening. There isn’t quite a siesta, but a long lunch is quite normal.

That break in the middle of the day isn’t all about feasting and snoozing, however, as business is often carried out over lunch. Spaniards and Catalans love eating and it is very common to spend time in restaurants combining delicious food with business.

One of the characteristics of doing business in Barcelona, is that relationships tend to be formed between people, rather than companies. As a result, once you have established a connection, it will be unaffected when you, or the other party, change companies. Trust, therefore, is very important, and demonstrating reliability and strong business ethics is key.

You must also show due respect to those senior to you, as Spanish businesses are hierarchical. Even though you may be depending on a decision from a senior executive, it would be bad form to attempt to set up an initial meeting with anyone above your own rank.

On the subject of etiquette, dealing with associates in their own language is another essential, not just verbally but in all your materials. Offering presentations in both English and Spanish shows that you appreciate the opportunity to take your business to their country.

Some customs in Spanish businesses may seem strange, even rude. For instance, it’s quite normal for people around the meeting table to interrupt one another, and even talk over each other. This should not be misinterpreted as impoliteness, although it can make it difficult to follow the conversation, especially when it is in a foreign tongue.

Once you navigate around a few cultural differences, you will find that doing business in Barcelona can be a pleasurable experience. Spaniards are generally friendly and cheerful, and those in Barcelona are no exception. It’s likely that you will find the business community warm and genuinely interested in you and what you can offer through your business.

If you are setting out on a business venture in Spain, it is advisable to consult with a solicitor and accountant to ensure that all your dealings adhere to Spanish law and tax regulations. You may be considering setting up a company in Barcelona – a Sociedad Limitada. In which case, you will need assistance with this and with setting up an overseas bank account.

If you are considering moving to Barcelona, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.


Advice on taking your pet to a new country

"AKC Great Falls June 2011" by SheltieBoy - Flickr: AKC Great Falls June 2011. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“AKC Great Falls June 2011” by SheltieBoy – Flickr: AKC Great Falls June 2011. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

According to recent news reports, a dog a day is currently being caught travelling into the UK on a forged passport with breeders from all over the world trying to smuggle dogs into the country using fake documents.

However, leaving the UK and moving abroad with your pet is actually a lot easier than you might think and doesn’t present the need for such desperate measures.

Unless there is a concrete reason as to why your beloved dog, cat, rabbit or guinea pig can’t make the move, it’s something that really shouldn’t deter you. Whilst the loss of a much-loved animal can be devastating, taking them abroad can really aid your family in settling into your new home. Besides, families who, as children, moved overseas without their treasured pets, often report being upset at leaving them behind. Some never even forgave their parents so don’t allow the same to happen to you!

With this in mind, whilst your new country’s climate and possible quarantine regulations may be a major deciding factor, should you decide to leave without your pet, be sure to discuss the situation carefully with your family to alleviate any potential problems. Here are some useful websites, resources and related businesses worth reviewing before having that all-important conversation:

Transfur animals

UK Government advice on taking your pet abroad

Pet Travel

Pet Plan

Procedures vary for every country of origin and destination so we highly recommend employing a specialist pet relocation agent such as PSS International Removals who can offer you advice as well as put you in touch with our own tried and tested pet specialist.

Regardless of which company you choose, as soon as you know when and where you’ll be moving, contact your vet to make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date. Some will need to take place on specific dates prior to your relocation, so be sure to formulate a schedule and try to stick to it as rigidly as possible.

You should also have your pet fully inspected to ensure that it will withstand the journey by air. For example, some dog breeds have been known not to travel well due to their respiratory problems so make sure you seek professional advice well in advance. Always ask and research the various airlines for their pet relocation options because most have different regulations.

Once you’ve decided upon which company to use to transport your pet, your chosen company should then start preparing a crate for their journey. Again, every airline will have slightly different rules and regulations but in general, the crate needs to comply with airline and government regulations as well as be the correct size for your pet. It is the responsibility of the company transporting your pet to ensure that the crate has been manufactured large enough for them to stand, sit and lie down in a natural, comfortable position. Get this part wrong and you may face the shock of your pet not being allowed on the plane!

Make sure they have a microchip, collar and ID tag and that their name and details are clearly marked on the crate. Include your pet’s name, your name as well as the destination address and a telephone number.

In an effort to be extra-organised, create a file containing copies of all the relevant paperwork, vaccination certificates and microchip number so that everything’s together in one place. It may also be useful to include a photo of your pet, details of its species, breed and colour as well as size. Do also keep a note of any relevant contact details such as your vet and your pet relocation or removals agent.

It should be noted that assistance dogs are allowed to travel in the aircraft cabin with their owner on approved routes and carriers registered to carry assistance dogs. They can normally also travel on other forms of transport where other animals aren’t allowed. The Guide Dogs Association website has advice about taking assistance dogs abroad.

PSS International Removals offer a wide range of shipping and removal services, as well as advice and recommendations from our panel of tried-and-tested professional companies to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible. Our chosen pet specialist will ensure that your pet’s needs are catered for and that they arrive at your new destination fit and well.

Furthermore, they will be able to advise you on everything from import and export permits, welfare, vaccinations, kennels, flights and special crates for the airline including quarantine rules.

For more information or for our pet partner to contact you, please click this link, select the pet migration country you plan to move to, scroll down to the ‘Pet Transport’ section and click ‘Enquire Now’ to fill out a simple form.


Shipping your car abroad

By ヤマモトキョージ (Own work (投稿者撮影)) [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons

By ヤマモトキョージ (Own work (投稿者撮影)) [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Your move to a new country will raise many questions, not just in relation to how you get there, but what you need to take with you, and what to buy when you arrive. Perhaps one of the biggest costs in relation to the ‘take with you or buy new’ question is your mode of transport. For most of us that means do you take your car or buy one in your new country?

Shipping a vehicle these days really isn’t as complicated or expensive as you might think; although there are many factors to consider.

For example, you may discover your steering wheel being positioned on the opposite side to what you are used to back home. Also, did you know that the cost of any car shipping quote can often depend on your specific make and model of car, which country you are shipping it to and via which service? The length of delivery can also largely depend on which country it is going to and the transit time can range from two to twelve weeks depending on the distance & Service type.

Many worry that they might have to pay taxes when importing their car but this all depends on the destination, how long you’ve been the owner and whether or not you are a first time immigrant or returning citizen.

Most countries either offer tax-free entry on cars for all first time immigrants and citizens, or free entry if you originally left your country of origin with no intention of returning. It’s also worth bearing in mind that some countries do charge taxes based on the purchase price of the value of the car and you should always research into whether or not your driving license might be recognised in your new country.

Always make a note of your car’s condition and ask the removal men the necessary questions should you discover scratches or dents upon arrival at your new destination. Be aware that most removal companies, including PSS International Removals will also ask you to provide keys to the many car locks you may have installed.

In terms of pre-shipping logistics, it is vital that you advise the DVLA that you will be exporting your vehicle and complete and return the relevant section on your V5 (log book) document to them. Always ensure that the exterior of your car is steam cleaned 24-48 hours before loading, with special attention being given to the wheels and wheel arches. It is also advisable to keep hold of the receipt and supply a copy to your removals company should they need it.

Some countries may even require your car to conform to its own transport policy before they will grant import approval, so in most cases this should be done prior to shipment. Common requirements of conformity would be road safety or environmental, however PSS International Removals will always advise you of any certificate or statement that you might need to complete or obtain.

When removal day arrives, your removals company should supply you with all of the necessary information and if we are not loading your car at your residence we will advise you where to take your car so that it is ready to be loaded onto the vessel.

When the shipping process begins costs and procedures greatly depends on where your car is being transported to, how much you are willing to spend and whether or not you intend to ship any of your household contents at the same time.

If you are only shipping your car then PSS International Removals offer the option to send it via our ‘Roll on Roll off’ service where your vehicle is driven onto a vessel and secured for the entire journey. Alternatively, PSS can arrange to have your car secured and containerized either at your residence or at one of UK depots.

If you are intending on consolidating your household effects and your car inside one container, PSS would load and secure your car and build a wooden frame and crate around it to ensure that it is fully protected and sectioned-off. PSS would then utilize the additional container space containing your household contents.

Upon arrival at your new destination, your car will either be unloaded at your door or handed out at our depot or in some circumstances at the port/container base. Some countries may then carry out a full inspection of the vehicle to ensure that it is road worthy and the safety features are in line with their own transport policy. It is not uncommon for some cars to even be steam cleaned again upon arrival.

At PSS, we believe it is essential that when you are shipping your car or vehicle you have peace of mind in knowing that professionals will handle it. PSS International Removals are fully bonded members of the British Association of Removers (BAR Overseas), IMMI (International Movers Mutual Insurance), FIDI (Global alliance) we have also been awarded with FAIM accreditation, which is the international removal industries quality standard.
For more information and a free quote, please click the following link.

Would you like to live in Queensland, Australia?


For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

If so, then why not pop along to our upcoming Queensland Seminar Event – taking place this Thursday 4th December from 6-8pm at the Down Under Centre – 48, Haven Green, Ealing Broadway, London, W5 2NX.

The seminar is being organised and run by both the Queensland Government and Down Under Centre to provide useful background information on this magnificent part of The East Coast of Australia, the migration process, employment opportunities and general relocation advice.

PSS International Removals will also be present at the event to offer advice on your international removal needs.

For an overview of the seminar, or if you might be unable to attend, please click this link to find out whether you might be eligible and what’s required.

How to ensure your move abroad goes smoothly

By Cpl. Jovane Holland ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Cpl. Jovane Holland ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Recent reports suggest that there are over 3.4 million British people living abroad, which is 7% of the overall British population. One of the major reasons for this is the weather. Roughly 1000 people leave the UK every day in search of sunnier climes and a higher standard of living. Of these 1000 people, over 40% are usually British citizens and most choose to relocate to either Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, the US or UAE.

Although the UK has some beautiful countryside and stunning coastlines throughout the country, the weather defines how often we get to enjoy the outdoors. Even during the summer, there is no guarantee that we’ll be able to visit our favourite beach due to either wind or rain often destroying our best-laid plans.

It’s generally a lot cheaper to live abroad and many skilled professionals find that they can often earn more than they do in the UK whilst experiencing better working conditions, less working hours, less tax and better private healthcare schemes.

According to a report by the Daily Mail in 2010, nine out of ten Brits currently living abroad said their quality of life had improved since leaving the UK; but that’s not to say that the moving process always goes according to plan! Unfortunately, it is often this process that is misunderstood; landing people with all sorts of unexpected difficulties to tackle.

If you are considering leaving the UK permanently, it goes without saying that thoroughly researching your chosen destination and not overlooking the important points is vital. Always visit key forums and expat community resources to help get a feel for the country, region or city you intend to move to first. For example, how does Melbourne differ from Sydney or Auckland from Christchurch? You might be surprised!

Familiarise yourself with the local regulations and customs. One great resource for this is The FCO’s Know Before You Go page on

Consider your health. Once you permanently leave the UK you are no longer entitled to medical treatment under the NHS or via a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Be sure to sign-up to health insurance and if you are staying within the European Economic Area (EEA), read up on the S1 form (previously known as the E121 form). For more useful information visit the NHS moving abroad page.

Consider your long-term financial requirements by reading up on the impact moving overseas may have on any benefits or retirement income. Visit this state pension abroad page as a good resource. Be realistic about your living costs, don’t automatically assume they will be the same as the UK and don’t forget to formulate a Plan B if things go wrong.

Once your key research is in place and before deciding on a leaving date, set up a consultancy session with an independent legal professional and don’t feel under pressure to use your property developer’s or estate agent’s contacts. Take a look at for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s English-speaking lawyers lists. It is very important that your legal consultant understands the law in the country you intend to move to.

Investigate recruiting a specialist international removals company such as PSS International Removals. We have successfully helped thousands of customers move throughout the world, over more than 30 years, and we are fully aware that issues with packing, customs and shipping must all be taken into account, and that’s not to mention initial advice on Visas, job seeking, property searches, tax and all of the elements that go into an individual’s life in a new country.

It is always important that you are covered for financial security to avoid any possible problems at foreign ports and paying extortionate fees just to recover property. With this in mind, we offer a door-to-door service meaning the customer sees their belongings being packed at their doorstep and then opened in the same state at destination.

Furthermore, we have achieved the highest level of service within the industry by attaining FAIM ACCREDITATION which is the only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry.

PSS is also a Member of the FIDI Global alliance, British Association of Removers Overseas Group, and BAR OVERSEAS, which is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for customer’s financial protection.

Once you have moved abroad and understand the costs, research the taxes that will be applicable to you in your new home (as well as back in the UK). Don’t forget to take exchange rates into account and consider the potential financial implications of moving.

Never rush into buying. Many advise renting for the first 6 months in a new country while you take the time to settle in, investigate the area and integrate into your community, ensuring you become familiar with the local protocol. You can then decide whether it might be somewhere you or your family will be happy long-term. Try and make a concerted effort to avoid isolating yourself and learn the local language that will play an important role in helping you settle in and meet new friends.

And finally, don’t forget to notify the Social Security Office, HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Work & Pensions that you are moving overseas, as well as your GP. For a full list of who to contact, visit this retiring abroad page.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with our international moves team.