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Considering a Move to Antigua and Barbuda?

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Moving to Antigua and Barbuda

Are you planning on Moving to Antigua and Barbuda?

Let Abels Moving Services provide you with a removal quotation when moving to Antigua and Barbuda.

The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are located between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. West of these islands is St Kitts and Nevis, south west is Montserrat and to the south is Guadeloupe. All of these islands form the middle part of the Leeward Islands, which is part of the Lesser Antilles.

Those moving to Antigua and Barbuda will find its economy is dominated by tourism which makes up around half of the countries Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Investment banking and financial services make a further significant part of the countries economy. The countries main exports from Antigua and Barbuda consist of garments, paint, furniture and bedding.

From an administrative perspective Antigua is split into 6 parishes, these being Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter and Saint Philip. There are also two dependencies in addition with the islands of Barbuda and Redonda (although Redonda is uninhabited). The largest cities in Antigua are Saint Johns (which is the Capital), All Saints, Liberta, Bolands, Potters Village, Parham, Carlisle, Ceader Crove, and Swetes. Codrington is the largest city on the island of Barbuda.

When moving to Antigua and Barbuda you will find the islands are very small with Antigua being just 108.5 square miles and Barbuda being 61.9 square miles giving a total combined area of 170 square miles. However with a population of around 90,800 inhabitants across both islands, the population density is similar to the UK.

One of the largest events that takes place each year in Antigua is the Antigua Sailing Week. This is held at Nelson’s Dockyard in Saint Johns. This is one of the top regattas in the world and attracts between 150 to 200 yachts with around 1500 participants with 5000 spectators. There are five main races and includes the English Harbour race.

There are many locations worth visiting for those moving to Antigua and Barbuda including Nelson’s_Dockyard, Fort James, Betty’s Hope and the Indian Town National Park. The islands also have many beaches on Antigua and Barbuda, including Runaway Beach, Gally Bay Beach, Darkwood Beach and Turners Beach.

Abels Moving Services have been providing discrete export packing and shipping services for discerning families and professionals relocating and moving to Antigua and Barbuda for over 50 years.

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Planning Your Move

When considering moving to Antigua and Barbuda it is important to speak with a specialist international removal company (not your local domestic mover!) as there are pitfalls throughout the process that you will be glad of their assistance.

Before calling, consider whether you want to send all your possessions or just a select few personal effects. To speak to an advisor call our head office on +44 1842 816600 or email and you will be contacted shortly to discuss your move.

For full house moves / large volumes it is recommended that a home survey appointment is made so that an International Customer Service Manager can personally visit your home and discuss your moving requirements, allay any concerns you may have and advise upon the process, assess the items to be packed and how best to be protected these during there transit and make judgement on the access to your property to ensure that positioning a larger removal vehicle or shipping container is possible. A full list of all items to be taken will be made by our colleague at this time. A detailed door to door removal proposal will be sent to you shortly following the visit after all costs are collated (including origin, freight, destination services)

Smaller volumes when moving to Antigua and Barbuda can be discussed over the telephone, email or provided via our online service . Your volume, access, packing requirements and shipping method, will be assessed from the information you provide. A detailed door to door removal proposal will then be produced and either posted or emailed to you for consideration.

After you book with Abels you will be introduced to a Customer Liaison Move Coordinator (who will work on behalf of your Customer Service Manager) booking, organising and managing matters when moving to Antigua and Barbuda.

Talk to our experts

Let Abels plan and coordinate your move to Antigua and Barbuda or anywhere else in the world.

Export Packing

Abels Moving Services advises that Export Packing is a fundamental requirement for all your items and possessions when moving to Antigua and Barbuda. So what actually is Export Packing, and how do I get advice on what will be required?

Export Packing is a way of protecting items when in transit. It utilises either a 6 ply paper blanket that has a wax inner and a water resistant outer or tough bubble blanket that has a soft cloth inner and robust outer to ensure corners are not exposed. Certain items will need to be card covered, put into a carton or an additional layer of the above wrap to add extra protection – items such as polished furniture, antiques, delicate legs, mirror and glass fronted units.

The level of protection that is needed when moving items for example by road is less stringent but for moving your items travelling thousands of miles in either 20ft Containers or 40ft Containers on their sea journey to Antigua and Barbuda then they will need additional Export Packing protection. Please remember that the goods will be “handled” many times including wrapping, loading the container, road journey to the port, container hoist removes and stacks, container hoist moves from the stack to the loading area near the vessel, loading the vessel crane gantry, sea journey and then the same in reverse. So the protection is paramount in ensuring the contents longevity.

With Abels Moving Services the highest quality export materials are utilised. (ensure you do not use materials that are designed to stay within the UK, the contents of the container will be stacked up to 2 metres and you want the carton at the bottom to stay in shape throughout its journey and protect its contents.


Fine Art & Specialist Packing Services

Moving Fine Art needs great care and will involve Enhanced Export Packing when shipping to Antigua and Barbuda. Items such as Fine Art Paintings and valuable pieces of furniture along with delicate items such as moving a Grand Father Clock, packing and shipping Barometers, transporting chandeliers all need careful handling while being packed in a specific way. The use of special cases built especially for these items needs to be utilised to give the highest level of protection.

Not only is the Export Packing of these items important, but also how they are dismantled prior to shipping to Antigua and Barbuda. Grand Father Clocks will need their main components taken apart ensuring clearly the weights have been removed prior to casing the clock. Moving a barometer also need specialist packing services and careful handling to avoid any problem with the filled mercury, ensuring the tube is bunged to avoid spillage.

Training, training, training is the key to ensure all packing teams are fully versed in the correct handling and packing techniques. Find more information about how to move.


In Antigua and Barbuda there is just one international airport which is called the V.C.Bird International Airport (ANU). There is a second airport called Codrington Airport on the island of Barbuda but this provides mainly inter island flights to link with the main International Airport of V.C.Bird International Airport. The previous name of V.C.Bird International Airport was Coolidge International Airport.

With sea transit times for shipping your possessions from the UK to Antigua and Barbuda taking in the order of between 7 to 8 weeks, you may consider to send some of your consignment by Airfreight. Items for Airfreight will need to be Professionally Packed (due to security restrictions not permitting owner packed cartons) and are then loaded into heat treated modules of various sizes and then waterproof covered for added protection against the elements.

Please allow 2 weeks transit door to door for airfreight to allow for UK and Antigua and Barbuda Security and Customs assessments before delivery is permitted to your new home.

See More information about airfreight shipments.

Enjoy a stress-free move abroad

Get in touch with our removal experts to see how we can help with your move today.

Customs Information

The import of your personal items and household goods into Antigua and Barbuda are subject to import and export rules and regulations. 

Your Abels Move Manager will provide you with tailored information to guide you through this part of the relocation process.

For now, here is a little breakdown of what to expect to help you start planning your move abroad.  

For your items to clear customs, you will need to provide some specific documentation. Our friendly team will discuss these requirements with you ahead of your move, the documents required at customs will depend on your status and personal situation. 

Explore the FIDI Customs Guide for Antigua and Barbuda, for further guidance ahead of your move consultation with a trusted member of the Abels team.

Immigration and passport control at the airport woman border control officer puts a stamp in passport

aerial view of cargo ship with cargo container on sea

Shipping Services

Larger volumes and full house moves will be shipped within a 20ft or 40ft shipping container. If access permits we always try and load the container outside your residence. This allows you to see our removal team’s skill and care of loading and stowing safely and the sealing of the container with our uniquely numbered container bolt seals. Where access is not suitable for this size of vehicle, goods may be loaded via Abels warehouse (you are of course welcome to come and witness the loading ) or in a location close to your property utilising a small shuttle truck to ferry between your home and the container.

Shipping lines will offer some companies low cost freight yet there is a big risk to the quality of container that arrives and the transit time it then takes. Abels buy our containers through an organisation that negotiates for a supply of A1 class containers that are without fractures to the outer case, dry, clean, odour free containers on our behalf that have an almost guaranteed transit time. If goods stay within a container that has an odour this will remain on the goods when delivered, fractures in the outer will gain water ingress.

Smaller volumes can be shipped as LCL (less than container load). Your possessions will be taken to Abels warehouse for loading into heat treated wooden crates ready for shipping.

Transit times to Antigua and Barbuda from the UK, ie from port to port is normally around 27 days on the water. Vessels depart the UK weekly to the port of St Johns in Antigua and Barbuda. You should allow approximately around 7 to 8 weeks door to door from your property in the UK to your property in Antigua and Barbuda (times depend on delays due to weather, strikes, re-routing containers, vessel malfunction, customs inspections – however this guide is normally reasonably accurate)

Read more on these methods about shipping options when moving abroad.

Destination Services

Abels select our partners from those with the highest quality accreditations. These will normally hold the FIDI-faim quality award to ensure that the standards enjoyed with Abels Moving Services is continued to perform the Customs Clearance and Delivery Service. It’s too late to find that the agents selected are not of the highest standard, so we ensure we use the best on your behalf.

Our destination partners will be advised of your shipment shortly following the departure of the container from the UK. They will make contact with you near to when the container is due to arrive in Antigua and Barbuda so that they can perform the Customs clearance process on your behalf.

Following Customs clearance our partners will contact you to arrange the delivery date of your possessions. Normal service includes delivery, unpacking, set up of normal furniture (not Ikea kit furniture unless agreed) removal and disposal of waste packaging materials and return of the shipping container to wharf. Should you prefer, arrangements can be made for a put away service / maid cleaning / relocation or settling in services – should you have specific requirements, please discuss with your Abels Customs Service Manager or Customs Liaison.

Our destination agent will have the professional experience and local knowledge to handle all the details of import documents, customs clearance and delivery of your possessions for you in Antigua and Barbuda. Abels Moving Services endeavours to ensure your arrival at your new home overseas is smooth and trouble-free, to allow you to settle in as swiftly as possible.

St Johns Antigua port and skyline at twilight

Above all, we want you to think of Abels for your next move and the one after that, we don’t simply wish to buy your current move at the risk of losing your future business, goodwill and recommendations!

In conclusion if you are moving to Antigua and Barbuda you are welcome to ask Abels Moving Services to provide you with a removal quotation for your move. If you are moving to another destination other than Antigua and Barbuda we would also be glad to assist you with your move.

Abels Moving Services:
Telephone: +44 (0)1842 816600