International Freight Forwarding Companies:
If you are moving personal effects to Gambia from the UK, USA
or the EU, there are a number of overseas freight forwarding companies
who specialise in shipping household goods to Banjul by sea and
Among these specialised, worldwide relocation firms are AGS Frasers,
Redcoat Express UK / USA, Global
Shipping Net who can handle freight services to Gambia by offering
personalised household collection, secure warehousing storage
and overseas shipment of residential items to the Port
of Banjul or door-to-door to your residential abode in Gambia.
If you are forwarding a large quantity of household personal effects
then the advise is to go for an international removals company
that can send personal household belongings by sea freight to
the port of Banjul as this would be the cheapest option. On the
other hand if you simply need excess or unaccompanied baggage
delivered then you may want to consider sending your personal
possessions by air freight service instead.
If you are moving your household goods by sea, your belongings
will be packed into large containers which might manage to fill
a full container load called FCL. They are most often made of
metal, that are usually loaded at your house. They are then transported
to a port where they are then loaded on to a container ship. Once
your personal belongings have arrived in the Gambia, the container
is unloaded and must go through Customs checks and paperwork processing.
International movers will be able to help you with the custom
forms and are responsible for clearing your goods from the Port
Please not that, if you send your furniture by ship, bear in mind
you will be without furniture if you arrive well ahead of your
Be aware that items can and do get stolen or go missing on route
to Gambia. Most of the time it is the smaller items that are stolen
when packing boxes get damaged. To reduce the risk of this happening
you should pack the walls of the box with larger items and place
the smaller ones towards the middle.
If you decide to relocate by air cargo, this is a quicker but
more expensive choice. It would be necessary to pack your personal
belongings into smaller boxes. You will still have to go through
the Customs checks at Banjul Airport.
Advice on Choosing a Freight Moving Company to Gambia:
You should find at the bare minimum 3 separate moving companies
who are experienced with international moves, and consider your
options thoughtfully. Do not just consider the price that a removals
firm quotes you, you should also consider the full range of services
they offer as well as security.
1) What type of insurance does the firm offer? What is covered
by the policy? Ask to see their insurance copy documents and read
the small print. Are you covered by the policy until your goods
are cleared from the port.
2) Ask about the companyís experience, how long have they been
in the international removals business and do they have clearing
agents in Gambia?
3) Write down the logistics of the removal. What time will the
pick up van arrive? Approximately how long will it take to complete
the loading process?
4) Does the firm have any references and can you contact their
5) Is the company a member of any of the recognised trade associations?
6) Find out where your items will be stored prior to international
shipment to Gambia and what is the security situation at their
7) Ask your removals company about all the required Customs forms.
Will they handle this for you and fill out all forms? Are they
authorised to do so?
8) Do ask about what restrictions the Gambia has. Do your own
research on this and make sure that it tallies with the information
you are provided with.
9) Does the quote inclusive of all charges, for example destination
port charges and destination customs clearances? You tend to find
that this is where a low quotation from one company might turn
out to be not so good, if these charges are excluded from the
Shipping Cars to Banjul:
Take your time and do a lot of research on this issue. Importation
taxes on vehicles, for example, can vary dramatically depending
on the year and model of the car. Here in the Gambia cars are
left-hand drive while in the UK cars are right-hand drive so you
should consider selling you vehicle and flying over to Amsterdam
over a weekend where you can buy a cheap second-hand car and pay
for shipment through Rotterdam en route to Banjul.
You may also want to consider buying a car in Gambia as this would
save you the hassle of going through customs clearance at the
How To Pack Boxes:
1) If you are using used boxes, ensure you cover over all print
on the boxes with brown adhesive tape, otherwise you can use plain
moving boxes or wooden removals crates.
2) Ensure that there is adequate padding for fragile items. Every
box should be filled to full capacity to minimise internal movement.
Avoid using newspaper to fill any gaps. Sometimes double boxing
with foam in between the voids is a good method for quite fragile
3) Do not pack any hazardous materials or restricted items such
as aerosols, alcohol, and even perfume. If you are not sure of
any item that might be restricted for shipment, please contact
your shipping agent.
4) All boxes should be closed and sealed with sturdy adhesive
5) Label each box with your full name and the shipping address
in Gambia. Be sure to number your boxes e.g. 1 of 10, 2 of 10
Note: This list is not exhaustive. These are just some of the
tips when packing crates and boxes for international removals
How to Get to Gambia?
If you are an expatriate leaving from the UK to Gambia on a charter
flight you will fly from Gatwick
airport (or possibly Manchester)
to Banjul. The flight takes about 5 hours 40 minutes. Brussels
Airlines flies to The Gambia via Brussels (you need to change
plane at Brussels Airport). Once you have cleared immigration
in The Gambia there are porters available to help you with your
luggage - using a porter will speed your passage through customs.
It is helpful to inform the Customs Inspector that you are coming
to work in Gambia. A porter will take your luggage to your waiting
vehicle in the car park and will expect a tip, $1 should suffice.
What do I need to do before I go?
You must have a full current passport. Most EU and Commonwealth
citizens can obtain a visitorís visa stamp in their passport on
arrival. This will be restricted (usually to 14 or 28 days). For
US citizens and French Nationals a visa is required before arrival
in The Gambia. Other nationalities should check with their nearest
Gambian High Commission or their travel agent.
What should I take if I intend to stay in The Gambia?
In the UK one can obtain VAT exemption for the majority of items
that are purchased for export outside the EU.
Please inform the
retailer if you are planning to export the goods to The Gambia
so that VAT exemption forms are completed at the time of purchase.