- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Angola Guide (PDF)
While it is certainly possible for expats to ship their belongings to Angola, it isn't entirely recommended, particularly by sea. Shipping to Angola by air is much more efficient, albeit expensive.
Shipping by sea in Angola
While sending items to Angola by sea is much cheaper than air freight, it takes longer and expats will have to contend with port inefficiencies. As a country that relies heavily on the import of goods, problems such as congestion, constraints caused by processing and paperwork, and delays in clearance plague Angola's port terminal management.
Oftentimes, container ships will have arrived but are not given permission to dock for weeks on end. And, once goods are offloaded, expats may find there are long delays before items are cleared for release – during which huge storage costs can amount and damage may occur.
Customs and insurance in Angola
Expats should also note that customs clearance in Angola is complicated and if shipping a large number of goods to Angola it's best to hire an international clearing agent. Goods should also be comprehensively insured, though it's best to go with an external insurance company rather than any in-house insurance that may be offered by the shipping company.
Furnishings in Angola
Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation can be found in Luanda, the city where most expats tend to be based. For expats in the country only for the short term, it makes sense to rent furnished accommodation rather than bear the cost of shipping their things to Angola and back home again. New arrivals who do wish to buy some furniture can find some great bargains from fellow expats selling off their own furnishings in Angola before leaving the country at the end of their assignment.