There are many accreditations and memberships that international removal companies can attain. In fact, some of them mean more than others and like any accreditation, some of them are more formal than others. Of course, when you are choosing a removal company it is good to know that they have certain standards and that you have that added peace of mind – especially when moving home is one of the most stressful and momentous things you can do.
So what does it all mean and what are all these acronyms? Do they mean that by choosing a member of one of these regulatory bodies, that you are picking someone reliable, trustworthy and reputable? We have taken the more generic international/European ones and explained them in a little more detail to help you when choosing your international moving company.
FEDEMAC was established in 1959 by 4 countries – France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. It was initially founded to deal with any issues or problems arising from the founding of the European Community in 1957. Since then, as the EU and EC have evolved and developed, the organisation has gone from strength to strength now with 26 members including non-EU countries Switzerland and Norway. The FEDEMAC represents 3,000 removal companies from these 26 countries and is known as the Voice of European Movers. Like most trade bodies you must fulfil a certain number of criteria to allow you to become a member. This is to protect the members and the overall reputation of the industry and to stop the bad practices of the few that don’t offer a good, reliable and honest service.
Where FEDEMAC is known as the Voice of European Movers, FIDI is known as the Voice of International Movers. In much the same way as FEDEMAC works, FIDI represents companies from over 100 countries but with fewer members. FIDI represent 600 international removal companies. This association ensures that they only offer the best to people and have a rigorous set of membership rules. It is not a requirement to have a FIDI membership – these organisations are as much for the rights of the removal company as they are for the protection of the customers that they serve. Like FEDEMAC it is to stop the bad practices of the few that give the industry a bad name, to protect the reputation of its members and to offer only the best to the consumer.
SSA is a UK-based accreditation with FEDESSA being the European version encompassing 14 trade associations across Europe including the SSA. These associations represent Self Storage companies across Europe and act as the voice of the industry. Like any industry having trade and regulatory bodies stops any bad practice and allows those that are operating reliably and professionally to protect their reputations. FEDESSA is keen to extend its membership to other European countries like FEDEMAC to ensure that they are representing the whole of the market but with self-storage across Europe being a relatively new service in comparison to removal companies, the industry is yet to catch up.
AIM is a UK body that is designed to ensure that the consumer is well informed when choosing their removal company whether for a local move or an international one. There is a specific code of practise and list of requirements that all members must adhere to including the need to be legally compliant and to ensure that the customer gets the best possible service. Any reviews that you see on the AIM site relating to any of its members have to be genuine and submitted with the customer’s name and details for example. Each member is subjected to annual, random check-ups to ensure that they continue to provide the best quality service and best practice.
If you are not sure what to look for when choosing your removal company then it is best to look for the logos of each of the organisations. As part of their membership often members are required to display the logo to let people know that they are members. If they don’t display the logo for any reason then you can always ask what memberships and accreditations they have. If they are a genuine, professional outfit then they won’t have any problems with providing you with these details. For those removal companies that display the logo and aren’t actually members, you can always check the association’s website to check their list of members as this will be up to date and accurate. Whilst accreditations and memberships may not be part of your search criteria it is always useful to bear in mind if you are making a decision between 2-3 companies.