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Taking Personal Goods for your second home in Cape Verde

Taking Personal goods - Sal (May 2009)

It's not till you get here or you get tips from someone else, do you think about the things you should have brought with you if moving to Sal for a long period of time, whether in your luggage or in the container!

There some shops that sell homeware, but they are a lot cheaper to buy in the UK. Even shipping over second hand items should be considered as you should pay less tax.

Tips- 2009

• Items from the £1 shop or 99p shop, which may have looked cheap but would have looked quite decorative here, or perhaps served some other purpose, including those reading glasses with a case.

• Those things you could have bought off the internet through a bidding website or eBay i.e. Halogen oven, that set of stainless steel saucepans which would have cost £35 new that you could have got for £15, that bike with suspension which would have been good because of the cobbled or dirt roads, the pine table and chairs that was for sale for £8.

• That light-weight woolen blanket or cotton throws (for settee) and set of stainless steel cutlery that was someone’s unwanted ‘first home’ gift that you saw at the car boot sale.

• Things that are rust proof are better due to the conditions here.

• If you can prove you are bringing in used personal goods (your own personal goods, even if they are from the car boot) you should save on import tax!

• They don't seem to sell diaries anywhere at the moment.

• Don’t forget a pocket torch; it comes in handy during power cuts when making your way home after being out for the evening, the roads and pavements where they exist can be dangerous in the daylight.

• One person has sent over a generator in his container, which will support the running of a fridge and a light during power failure (wish I had thought of that).

• What about those collapsible aluminum frame deck chairs. Ones that are in their own carry case that you can take down the beach or use outside your ground floor apartment that you can take indoors to stop them getting nicked.

• Ladies on long stay – some cotton underwear (bras as well as knickers) as nylon can sometimes cause irritation if worn all the time in this heat, Nair, panty-liners, fem-fresh wipes; you may think the last two items are over the top, but having written a list of 7 reasons why, I will vouch for them. If you’re staying in a rental apt that keeps running out of water and are always out and about in the heat, you will understand why.

• The mosquito sprays/lotions you could have got from Boots, three for the price of two, and of course the ‘Bite Pen’.

• Some quality pegs, the ones I have bought here don’t last long in the sun, they become brittle.

• Some of the small shops selling frozen meats, that don't have generators have been known to re-freeze meats, if and when the power has been off for a day or two.

• TV, DVD, Music Centre etc.(DVD players in Tesco £18) will be cheaper to buy in UK.

• Consider some oil lamps to send over, or some other alternative i.e. solar energy lamps or rechargeable lights etc. Don't forget the bulbs to go with them, they have different fitments here. Also if you have linen lamp shades they will need vaccuming to get the dust out of them, so just be aware of that.

• If traveling via Portugal, there is a store in Vasco Da Gamma shopping Centre in Lisbon that sells electrical items. You may have time to buy some items on your journey i.e. a light weight iron with European pins, or a toaster or kettle. There is also a C&A and many other types of commercial outlets.

• Surge protectors for computers left plugged in. - Vaccuum cleaner, helps remove dust.

• Tea bags: One local shop wanted 10esc for one small string tea bag or 700esc for a 100. I use two string tea bags in a mug. 'Oh, I do miss myTetley teabags!

• Tins of paint are very expensive here. You cannot bring any on the plane in luggage but you can send it in a container. Hammerite for metal security bars is a good idea.........note, think someone tried that but didn't stop his sun loungers from rusting.

• It’s best to bring coloured towels rather than cream/white ones, unless you have a washing machine in your apt.

• That electric fan (electric equipment is expensive here). They do sell them in the Chinese shop but they may be more expensive here.

• Download DVD's to bring with you. Or get an external hardrive and get someone to load films onto it.

• That Mosquito Net for the bed, don't by the naff ones, they aren't much good, try an Outdoor Activity shop.

• Perhaps some flat pack furniture! As well as all cupboards, seating, drawers, mirrors, settees, garden furniture, BBQ and cooking utensils. Kitchen utensils etc etc.

• World receiver radio. (P.S. I tried mine, its not good enough to pick up the BBC).

• Dark curtains for those apartments without shutters. 

• Draught excluder for windows and bottom of doors, stops sand and dust coming in.

• International travel plugs

•Mobile phones - they are expensive to buy on the islands (get them unlocked before you come over) don't forget the leads for charging them etc. Bring a spare unlocked phone.

• A moped or motorbike with safety gear and spare parts (check import taxes for old vehicles, they are quite high).

• If you bring your laptop: bring headphones, speakers, USB sticks, dvd´s, cd´s etc.

• Tv's, microwaves, washing machnes and fridges have longer guarantees if bought in Uk and you will know that if you have bought them from a main dealer they won't be seconds or bankrupt stock, they will be cheaper in the UK. However new machines or goods unless for personal use may have some import costs. It's best you can prove it is an used item.

• Good set of saucepans with lids.)

• Good razor blades for shaving, hair removal creams.

• Books can be obtained from some hotels, you can leave the ones you have brought with you or ask if you can do a swop.

• If you have spare books and you have spare capacity to bring them and leave them, for us.

• Hair colourant, need some light to fair colourants, they only have dark colours here.

• Some two pin plugs purchased in UK have pins which are slightly too big for the sockets.

• Some 2 sided Velcro may come in useful.

• Enough linen, towels and a shower curtain check your shower curtain is long enough if a stand alone shower (no bath). Same for bed linen if they are Italian size beds which are different sizes to other European beds, UK linen may not fit. You can buy linen and shower screens here too, but they will be more expensive.

• Portuguese language, tapes, programmes, dictionary. Don´t know if there are any for Creole.

• Your own DIY equipment.

• Outdoor plant pots. Seeds if your allowed to bring them.

• Some makes of TV´s did not work on analogue channels, not sure whether they work on Digital. All electric goods are expensive and are limited to a few makes.

• A sewing machine maybe.

• A flask maybe, to keep cold or hot drinks in.

• A heat/freeze pad, one that you can freeze or heat up in a pan of water if you have an injury.

• A calculator is of great use, I would advise you take one, and maybe a cash converter.

• A tape measure and an architects ruler, will also help you measure and check the plans, especially when the measurements aren’t clear on any drawings you are given.

• Take a mini washing line pegs, hang washed clothes inside out your balcony (don't leave out on ground floor).

• Cup and food covers to keep the flies off.

• Maybe a combi microwave with cooking facility and a grill.

• Mini vac, for sucking up the sand that is on windows etc.

• A chiller perhaps

• Toaster & Iron

• Pressure cooker

• Nail Gun and Stapler

• Paper shredder

• Cushions, pillows and covers

• Christmas decorations

• Postage stamps and birthday/Xmas cards etc. (Some people will post them for you when they return to UK).

• Some colour dyes maybe for clothes, curtain or fabric that have faded.

• Decorations for the home.

• Binoculars, good for whale or dolphin spotting and for looking up/down mountains i.e. Santo Antao!

• If you have room in your container, please bring out some children's games/books/toys/puzzles/sports shoes/sports equipment which can be donated to the local council to distribute to schools and other societies, instead of throwing them away! I can give you a contact on arrival. Thank you.

Most things are much more expensive here due to the import taxes. So bring most things and more! It will take a number of years before things get cheaper.

Furniture package deals are available from some developers on the island and vary in price. Other larger developments will have all equipment and furniture included in the sale, others will charge you extra.

Take a look around your house in the UK, things that you think you may not need here, you can be sure that if you don’t think you need them you still might, or even if you don´t want them, someone else will. So if there is room in your container, bring them. You can either sell them to other ex-pats or give them away. There are many local needy people on the island.

Food items (if you are allowed to send them in container?):

Not sure of the customs charges. If you really like a particular food item such as HP Baked Beans, they do have them in one shop on Sal but a tin would cost around 4euros. Brand names of: mint sauce, brown sauce, salad cream, baked beans, packet soups/powders, gravy granules, branston pickle (large jar in one shop 7euros), some spices or herbs (there are only certain types available). There is one Indian/Chinese Restaurant on Sal. Not all spices are available in the shops for home cooking, but it is getting better.

You can also find related information on Importation to Cape Verde, Sending goods by Airfreight or by Container Ship, Importing Goods by Ship, Business Incentives, Setting up a Business, Sending Goods to Cape Verde, Overseas relocation to Cape Verde, Taking personal goods to Cape Verde, Shipping goods between the Cape Verde Islands, Dispatcher and Clearance Agent for Importing Goods to Cape Verde.


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