A shared goal in the Global Mobility industry is to create a smooth transition from home to host country. The initial experience will set the tone for the assignment. It is important to remain keenly aware of the idiom “the devil is in the details.” It is the seemingly little things that can become major obstacles to the success of an international assignment.
Compliance to local rules and regulations, required documentation, tax issues, banking, and children’s education are standard considerations in an international relocation.
It is equally important to consider the multitude of details that you have taken for granted prior to embarking on your expat experience.
Mail and package forwarding for one is an ancillary services that remain under the radar until a problem arises. The ERC recommends the consideration of mail forwarding on their Checklist for International Assignees.
An expat cannot always count on the reliability and dependability of the host country mail system. It can be a major inconvenience when you are expecting a hard copy time sensitive document. A professional mail and package forwarding company can insure secure, confidential, dependable handling of document mail.
It is never easy to plan for the unexpected. As an example, a speedy replacement credit card may be required in the event of credit card theft. Unfortunately, the incidence of credit card theft is on the rise and expats find themselves in need a replacement credit card. It is good to know that you have a private company advocating on your behalf for the speedy replacement of your card to your destination.
Working with a mail forwarding company that offers live client support is like maintaining an administrative assistant in the States. There are certain documents that may require government seals and notarization – an established reputable mail forwarding company can assist with your requests stateside.
There is also the area of merchandise shipments. When on assignment you may be homesick for certain products not available in the host country. The internet opens the door to shopping. However, many companies do not ship overseas or the fees are cost prohibitive. This is where a package forwarding company can offer discounted shipping costs and save up to 80% of shipping charges via package consolidation.
Expat prescription drug shipment to the host country is a potential necessity that may be overlooked. A professional, experienced mail and package service will complete all necessary export customs documents and adhere to individual country restrictions. Most prescriptions can be purchased as a 90-day supply and shipped quarterly.
In summary, the consideration of how the expat plans to handle their hard copy mail, packages and prescriptions should not be an afterthought. It is best to have a system to support your mail and package needs in place prior to departing for your host country.
Debra Seyler MBA, GMS,
Vice President – PMI Expatriate Mail Services