Getting to know important terms about overseas container shipping

It’s no secret that the moving industry has their own common terms to describe overseas container shipping. But if you know what those terms are and learn about the differences of each one, it will provide you with important knowledge when you decide to move overseas, so you are aware of any potential additional charges when moving. Some of the terminology can get quite confusing at times if you don’t know the meanings of container shipping and charges that come with it.

I’ll provide you with important key terms and to clarify each of them so that you will be better suited to know about container shipping and especially when you are talking to your moving representative or agent about your personal belongings or other shipping items headed out of the country.

Let’s begin with container demurrage and container detention. Both are uniquely different but can be confusing at times. The term demurrage relates to cargo while the cargo is in the container. Detention is when your possessions or general equipment (cargo) is empty and out of the container after unpacking or before packing.

Container demurrage is referred to when the container with a payload has either been offloaded from a vessel, also known as import or waiting to be loaded onto a vessel, known as an export. An import container can’t be shipped out until U.S. Customs officially releases it or decides to exam the container or schedules it for an inspection. If Customs decides to do this, it can impact the delay of the shipment and accrue demurrage charges if it’s not picked up in time. An export container doesn’t usually incur demurrage charges due to the return date and port dates are for the most part, extremely narrow. But if an export container does sustain demurrage fees, it’s due to a shipper or exporter deciding to delay a container or U.S. Customs chooses to exam or inspect the shipment.

Container detention is when the container is offloaded or discharged from the port with or without a payload, and is in possession of a drayage company that will then ship your possessions to an importer’s or exporter’s facilities before it is shipped to you. Detention just means that it’s in a facility being prepared to get the shipment out to you from when it was in the port or other locations.

Other terms include demurrage charges which varies from port-to-port and increases over time depending upon the length of time the container is at the port. Please know that demurrage charges must be paid to the ocean carrier before the container can be released. Keep in mind that ports set their own port free time which means no charges will be applied while the container is at their port (ports free time days vary). If free time days are exceeded, demurrage charges will apply. In addition, ocean carriers allow drayage companies to have containers in a facility for a set number of days at no charge which is referred to as container free time.

When moving a container on the road, you need a chassis rental for a truck to move the container. When a chassis has been provided, the owner of the chassis, whether an ocean liner or port operator, will charge a daily chassis rental charge which varies depending upon the location.

These are just some of the terms used in overseas container shipping. By getting to know these terms and shipping overall (please visit www.rainieros.com to learn more), it will prevent very little surprises if some fees are charged due to delays out of the control of your shipping representative or agent who are trying to manage and limit your fees as much as possible!

Tips for Obtaining a Fine Art/Collection appraisal –

Myth: I don’t really need an appraisal.
Facts:
There are many important reasons to establish and maintain an appraisal on your valuable collections:
• Avoiding underinsurance
• Estate Planning
• Tax Planning
• Understanding your assets and how to protect them
• Planning for division of property after or before: a death in the family, divorce, or the dissolution of a family partnership where the collection is an asset

Myth: It’s too expensive.
Facts:
• Request a flat fee for the entire appraisal at the outset rather than an hourly rate; you may or may not achieve this, but it can’t hurt to ask.
• A well-executed appraisal will cost approximately $125 – $350 per hour.
• Depending on the nature of your collection, an appraiser can usually assess five to ten items an hour. Very important works or those with extensive provenance may take longer to appraise.
• Don’t hire an appraiser on a “per item” basis. The cost should be based on the time it will take to review your entire collection as a whole.
• Appraisal fees should never be based on the value of your property. This is a major conflict of interest for the appraiser, and appraisals billed this way are not USPAP compliant (see below) and will not be accepted by the IRS.
• Resist the temptation to hire a less expensive appraiser with fewer years’ experience. Your appraisal document should withstand the rigors of both time and the vagaries of the art market, and it is worth investing in a high quality appraisal from the beginning.
• Some insurance companies and insurance brokers have discounts negotiated for their clients with some appraisal firms. Be sure to ask about a potential discount.

Myth: It takes too much time.
Facts:
• For insurance, not everything needs to be appraised. Review your fine art schedule with your broker to determine a value threshold. For example, you might not want to include items that fall below your deductible.
• Many appraisers will provide a complimentary review of your schedule, identifying the top five or ten items that may require updated values.
• Once you have a comprehensive appraisal on file, future updates become much faster and cost effective, and can often be completed without further inspections.

Myth: I can get an appraisal for free.
Facts:
As they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Someone offering a free appraisal often has an agenda that could influence their appraisal, particularly with an auction house or a dealer. An auction house’s main objective is to gain access to your collection so they can sell it. Their values may not accurately reflect the marketplace, or best represent your appraisal needs as a client; low values might minimize your sales expectations, or high values might tempt you to sell. Sometimes a dealer may provide you with an updated value for a work they have sold to you, but keep in mind that it benefits the dealer for that value to be as high as possible, as it shows you what a wonderful investment they’ve provided while also establishing a higher baseline for their own future sales.

Myth: All I need is a value.
Facts:
• A formal appraisal should contain the following elements:
– Description of items appraised and values
– Purpose of Appraisal – this is very important as the value can vary greatly depending on whether the appraisal is for Insurance, Donation, Estate, Equitable Distribution (Divorce), Inventory, Damage/Loss, etc.
– Type of value being applied, how values were determined (appraiser’s methodology), and discussion of the marketplace
– Inspection date (nothing whether inspected in person or from images), date of appraisal preparation, and effective date of the values
– Appraiser’s biography, resume, and signature
– Fee structure
– The appraiser should also confirm:
o The appraisal is USPAP compliant
o They have no interest in the items appraised or their values
o They have no reason to question the authenticity of the items appraised or the information provided

• Each item on an appraisal should have the following information addressed:
– Full description (including title, artist, dimensions, materials, etc.)
– Provenance
– Exhibition and publication history, if applicable
– Catalogue Raisonné number, if applicable
– Condition of item
– Comparables – this establishes what similar sales were used as a basis for valuation, and may include further analysis of comparables and bearing on value of this item
– Statement of value (this should not be an estimate or a range)
• For IRS appraisals, the following additional information should be included:
– Confirmation that the IRS has not disqualified the appraiser
– Required IRS forms
– Appraiser’s Tax ID number
– Photograph of artwork – see strict IRS criteria for photographs: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/art_appraisal_services_photographic_requirements.pdf
• A properly executed formal appraisal should be USPAP compliant – Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice:
• The amount of information included in a proper appraisal can be rigorous. It is important that the appraisal contain this information in order to “stand the test of time” with regard to insurance values, the IRS, etc. Whether you are basing your insurance off of this value, or submitting it to the IRS, you want it to be as accurate as possible to avoid potential negative consequences of underinsurance or inaccurate tax-related information.

Myth: The IRS will know what I have.
Facts:
• Appraisals are confidential, and appraisers only share their documents with you or parties you designate. Documents are not filed with any authorities or made public.
• The IRS is well-versed in personal property appraisals and understands the difference between an insurance appraisal and a tax appraisal. When the IRS reviews appraisals, it is done by a special fine art advisory panel.
https://www.irs.gov/compliance/appeals/art-appraisal-services
• Before making any assumptions about how an appraisal may affect your tax liabilities, contact your tax attorney for advice.
• Your collection is an asset and should be considered like any other part of your estate. By taking an inventory and establishing values, you can clearly identify the complete contents of your collection for your heirs, properly understand value to set aside estate tax funds, or even minimize the tax burden on your heirs. An appraisal document is a helpful first step in allowing your heirs to prove clear title, should they someday wish to sell inherited works.

• Many of us assume we can simply tell our heirs which artworks they can take after we die. But what happens when they later try to sell this work? How do they prove their ownership? If they go to auction, the auction house will need to establish the heir has title. If the artwork has not passed to your heir through the normal channels, and taxes have not been paid, either as a gift before your death or as part of your estate, the IRS will inevitably find out whenever it comes time to sell. Estate taxes will have to be paid, and usually there will be additional capital gains on the work.
• It is a good idea to have an updated appraisal as you make estate plans. This document will give you an objective understanding of your collection’s value and can aid in how you distribute your estate. Having a clear plan in place, an appraisal on file, and a complete inventory of items will help avoid potential administrative fees from attorneys and trustees as the estate is settled.
**You should always consult with your tax attorney and accountant when making tax decisions. **

Fact: Who do I call for an appraisal?
• The appraiser should be Senior Accredited Appraiser affiliated with one of the recognized industry associations (such as the Appraisers Association of America, American Society of Appraisers, or International Society of Appraisers) and should be USPAP Certified.
• Appraisers Association of America – Organization with professional requirements in order to be a member – Search by location/type of item to find a local independent appraiser http://www.appraisersassociation.org/
• American Society of Appraisers – Organization with professional requirements in order to be a member – Search by location/type of item to find a local independent appraiser http://www.appraisers.org/
• International Society of Appraisers – Organization with professional requirements in order to be a member – Search by location/type of item to find a local independent appraiser
www.isa-appraisers.org
• Winston Art Group – Appraisal Firm with many experts (artwork, jewelry, coins, memorabilia, etc.) http://winstonartgroup.com/
• Pall Mall Art Advisors – Appraisal Firm with many experts (artwork, jewelry, coins, memorabilia, etc.) http://www.pallmallartadvisors.com/
• Gurr Johns – Appraisal Firm with many experts (artwork, jewelry, coins, memorabilia, etc.) New York
https://gurrjohns.com/
• Fine Art Appraisers – Appraisal Firm with many experts (artwork, jewelry, coins, memorabilia, etc.)
http://www.nyfaa.com
• Allyson Lee Art Appraisal Services – Independent Appraiser in Boston
http:/www.aleeappraisals.com/

Fact: How do I know if an appraiser is “certified”?
• Appraisers should be “USPAP Certified” which means that they comply with the requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. This dictates ethics, report requirements, etc. https://www.appraisalfoundation.org/
• The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is the generally recognized ethical and performance standards for the appraisal profession in the United States. USPAP was adopted by Congress in 1989, and contains standards for all types of appraisal services, including real estate, personal property, business and mass appraisal.

See “Putting an Estate Value on the Assets Unique to You.” The New York Times September 27, 2013 for more information on this subject. https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/your-money/putting-an-estate-value-on-the-assets-unique-to-you.html
The elements of appraisals information were derived from Jane H. Willis, Appraisal Writing Workshop.

Tips moving to Tokyo

This week, I’m going to provide you tips if you plan to move to Tokyo.

Tokyo is an exciting city to visit but if you plan on laying down your roots there, you’ll need to prepare. It can be a culture shock even for those that are used to living in big cities:
• Visas – Plan at least two months in getting a visa and make sure you get the correct one. If you plan to work, apply for a work visa. Tourist and general visas are also available.
• Language – Something that a lot of people don’t know is that most Japanese don’t speak English. In addition, there are not a lot of accommodations for English speakers. Just getting around requires knowing the basics of the Japanese language.
• Apartment hunting – It can be daunting to not only find the right place for you, but to pay the upfront costs landlords require. Deposits and other fees are a lot higher there than in the U.S. sometimes requiring more than $5,000 in costs just to move in.
• City hall – All citizens staying a long period of time need to register at city hall to receive an ID card. It’s similar to a driver’s license in the U.S. This is required and you need it on you at all times.
• Like in London, you won’t need a car while in Tokyo. Their public transportation is excellent and the finest in the world.

Safe moving!

Tips moving appliances

If you are flying by plane and want to also move your appliances overseas, I would leave that up to the moving experts. But if you do want to move them, here are some tips to keep in mind:
• Freight charges – Appliances are big-tickets items and will incur freight charges. Make sure to ask your moving company the prices of the charges.
• Voltage – Most countries have their own voltage systems. Check to see if your appliances are compatible.
• Size – Make sure to check the size of your new home because some countries have smaller spaces such as for refrigerators and other types of appliances.
• Buying – You might want to consider purchasing the appliances in your new country. Check the costs, it might be a more convenient and inexpensive way to go.
• Warrantees – Check to see if your current or new appliances have warrantees that will cover the items overseas.

Safe moving!

Tips organizing a storage unit like a pro

This week, I’m going to give you tips on how to organize a storage unit like a pro.

Storage bins, moving bins

After you move, and you still have to store some of your personal belongings, rent a self-storage facility near you and make sure it’s a climate-controlled facility. Once that is completed, follow these tips:
• Inventory – Create a list of all of your belongings. After months and years go by, it’s easy to forget what you have in your unit. Use a spreadsheet and list all your furnishings.
• Clear bins – Consider using plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes. Both are fine but clear bins make it easier to find your items.
• Frequent items – If you have items you plan on using during the year, make sure they are placed near the front door of your storage unit.
• Furniture in the back – Store large and heavy furniture items in the back of the unit. Larger and heavier items should always be on the bottom to allow for lighter items to store on top to minimize damage.
• Disassemble furniture – To maximize space, take apart large furniture items prior to putting them in storage. I’d store all items upright vertical except for beds that should be down flat. This provides you plenty of more room.

Use these simple tips to become a storage unit pro.

Safe moving!

Giving Back – DAWNrising.org

2020 was to say the least, a very tough year on everyone. We made a lot of changes throughout the year, but the one thing that never changed was Rainier and Rainier’s staff’s dedication to giving back to their community. In support of the local DAWN organization and spearheaded by our very own Carrie Bredeson, the Rainier team pulled together and managed to give one family in need a very merry Christmas. DAWN (Dawnrising.org ) supports, empowers and shelters survivors of domestic abuse in King County, WA.

I am proud of our team, and thankful to DAWN for all the amazing work they do year-round. We encourage you to look them up and join them in supporting local families in need.

The below is a very sweet note form the family we were so very blessed to be able to share the holidays with.

dawn.org

Tips about choosing an international school

For most families, no aspect of a move overseas is more important than the education of school-aged children. Most parents believe that an education abroad will be inferior to that at home. Here are some tips for you when selecting an international school for your kids:
• Research – Before you leave, do your research about what is available in your new country. Many countries with expatriate communities offer international schools that teach the same or similar to the curricula based on familiar models.
• Local schools – Some local school systems in other countries offer the same type of curricula including in their native languages. English is popular over the world so there are plenty of options.
• Lessons – If the school doesn’t offer everything your child would like or you prefer, there are teachers available that can teach specific courses outside of the school system.
• Plan ahead – Begin the process of looking for an international school right when you know you’ll be moving your family overseas. International schools sometimes have limited enrollments and or limited enrollment periods. Look into possibilities long before your move.

Safe moving!

Moving during wintertime

So, you cleaned your house, got rid of all that junk and now you are ready to move.

I would recommend (if you are flexible with moving) to move overseas during the winter months minus the holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Many times, people utilize the holidays to move. If you can avoid it, the worst time to move is from May to September, in essence, Memorial Day to Labor Day. Moves are based on weight, storage requirements and distance but don’t decide solely on trying to save money verses moving at a different time.

Moving during the winter is the ideal time but there are some factors to consider. Winter months are darker which cuts the moving workday shorter potentially resulting in a 2-day move instead of one. Movers usually don’t work more than 12-hour shifts.

If you are on a tight budget and haven’t planned out in a timely manner of moving, then the winter is best. Keep in mind, temperatures in some countries are cold, wet and snowy weather during the winter so there may be delays. That said, being able to schedule your move and have it done for a discount, winter it is!

Safe moving!

Tips staying in touch with friends after a move

After avoiding relocation depression, you’ll want to stay close to the friends especially if you moved clear across the country or to a different country.

Fortunately, today’s technology allows us to stay in touch no matter where we are located in the world.

Here is some simple tips keeping in touch with your great friends:
• Phone – We used to have to pay a lot of money for long distance phone calls. Since practically most people own a cellphone, it’s easy to keep in touch the traditional way, set specific times of the week every week to talk to your friends.
• Letters – Yes, people still use snail mail. This is a good way to stay in touch, plus, instead of your friends finding just bills in the mail, they’ll receive a nice letter or postcard from you. Have them reciprocate and most importantly, have fun sending updated letters about the goings on in your life.
• Email – Yes, of course there is simple email and another good way to stay in touch. And the best part, it’s simple and free.
• Conference calls – Probably the best way to stay in touch. There are free teleconferencing apps such as Zoom you can use to stay in touch. If you and your friends have Apple phones, FaceTime is an awesome way to be in touch.
• Social networks – Another great way to talk to friends and family alike such as Facebook, Twitter etc. You can create your own Facebook page and invite your friends and relatives to join and post to let everyone know the latest.

Safe moving!

Tips moving autos overseas

There are some other things you need to consider before your car is revved up to be shipped overseas. As always, do your research and find out about the country or city’s public transportation system. This really varies from country-to-country and you will be able to assess how much you will need to drive your car and what kind of driving conditions you can expect.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when moving your automobiles:
• Is your automobile street legal in your new city? Remember that Japan, Britain, Australia and other countries require you to drive on the right-side of the road.
• Make sure your professional mover knows about any import tariffs. Your mover lets you know about any of these potential fees so you are not surprised by any unexpected costs.
• Drivers licenses – Most countries will allow you to drive with your existing American driver’s license but only for a specified period of time.
• Research your new country’s driving regulations and laws before your international move so you know when you need to obtain a new license.
• Purchase insurance – When you move, things can happen so make sure you buy moving insurance for your car especially if it’s a new car. This will provide you peace-of-mind if something should go wrong during the transport.

Follow these tips and ensure you hire a reputable moving company like Rainier so that your four-wheel friend is taken care of during your overseas move.

Safe moving!