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Moving to the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is located on an island in the Caribbean that is set between the islands of Cuba and Jamaica to its west and has Puerto Rico to its east. When moving to the Dominican Republic you will find it shares the island with the country of Haiti which is to the west of the Dominican Republic. Haiti has one third of the island land area with the remaining two thirds (18,696 sq miles) being owned by the Dominican Republic.

The population of the Dominican Republic is around 10.1 million with around a third ie 2.9 million located in the metropolitan area of the capital of Greater Santo Domingo. The country is split up into 31 provinces with each of the provinces then sub divided into municipalities. The capital Santo Dominigo is located to the south of the country and was founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496, and is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas.

The main exports from the Dominican Republic are Ferronickel, Sugar, Gold, Silver, Coffee, Cocoa, Tobabbo and Meats. The Dominican Republic is also highly dependent on the tourism sector for additional revenue, and are trying to grow its tourist industry.

The climate in the Dominican Republic is tropical and has an annual average temperature of 25 degrees centegrade. Low temperatures of 0 degrees centegrade are possible in the mountains while high temperatures of 40 degrees centegrade are possible in the protected valley areas. There is a wet season along the northern coast which lasts from November through to January

There are a number of interesting locations in the Dominican Republic which are worth visiting for those moving to theDominican Republic. There are many beaches which include Bahia de las Aguilas which is known as Eagles Bay and is 8 km long on the southwestern coast. Another great beach is Bayahibe beach where Scuba Diving centres around the 3 Shipwrecks off the Atlantic Princess, St George and Coco. There are other beaches at Boca Chica and Juan Dolio.

There are three national parks worth visiting including the Jaragua National Park, the Los Haitises National Park and the Monte Cristi National Park. There are also a number of large lakes in the Dominican Republic and these include Lake Enriquillo, Los Tres Ojos and Lago de Oviedo. Care should be taken with Lake Enriquillo as it is one of only a few saltwater lakes in the world inhabited by crocodiles.

There are a number of castles and fortresses in the Dominican Republic, the most famous being The Fortaleza Ozama (in Spanish; Ozama Fortress in English) which is a sixteenth-century castle built by the Spanish at the entrance to Santo Domingo.

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

Statue outside the Catedral Primada de America Santo Domingo

Planning Your Move

When considering moving to the Dominican Republic 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 the Dominican Republic 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 the Dominican Republic.

Talk to our experts

Let Abels plan and coordinate your move to the Dominican Republic 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 the Dominican Republic. 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 the Dominican Republic 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 the Dominican Republic. 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 Dominican Republic. 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 the the Dominican Republic there are around 7 International Airports. The names of these International Airports are Maria Montez International Airport (BRX), La Romana Internatinal Airport (LRM), Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP), Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), Cibao International Airport (STI), La Isabela International Airport (JQB) and Les Americas International Airport (SDQ).

With sea transit times for shipping your possessions from the UK to the Dominican Republic taking in the order of between 6 and 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 the Dominican Republic 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 the Dominican Republic 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 the Dominican Republic, 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
A landscape of a resort area in Cap Cana surrounded by the sea in the Dominican Republic

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 Various Ports in the Dominican Republic from the UK, ie from port to port is normally around 14 to 32 days on the water. Vessels depart the UK weekly to the ports of Caucedo, Purto Plata, Rio Haina and Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic. You should allow approximately between 6 and 8 weeks door to door from your property in the UK to your property in the Dominican Republic (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 the Dominican Republic 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 the Dominican Republic. 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.

Juampa Carnival character cotui Dominican republic

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!

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