One of the bright spots of military moving is leaving the packing and loading of your household goods to the government-contracted commercial carriers! That’s right, as you PCS time and time again, you can choose to sit back while the professionals pack, load and unload your possessions.
All too often, though, the end of a packing results in the carrier walking the service member through a pile of prohibited PCS items that cannot be transported. As you can imagine, this leaves the military member with the responsibility of either disposing of the prohibited items or figuring out where to keep them while they move.
Prohibited PCS Items
It’s moving time! Therefore, it’s also time to get all of your affairs in order when it comes to the logistics of PCSing. At this time, you may be wondering, “What will military movers not pack?” or “What are moving companies’ restricted items?”
To ensure you aren’t left with unmovable items, it’s important for you to be aware of the prohibited items. This way, you can take the necessary steps to sell, give away, temporarily rehome or file for an exemption for that prohibited item. Before you file for an exemption, it is recommended that you research regulations surrounding the time and then meet with your unit’s transportation office for guidance.
Did you know it is illegal for a service member who will be filing for a government-arranged move or partial-DITY move to transport any items on the prohibited list? Filing for reimbursement when you have moved any of those items can be considered fraud and is punishable with fines or disciplinary action.
2023 PCS Prohibited List
- Vehicles: This includes automobiles, trucks, vans and all other vehicles such as airplanes, mobile homes, camper trailers, horse trailers and farming vehicles.
- Live animals: This includes birds, fish and reptiles.
- Cordwood and building materials: Tons of building materials are thrown away each year due to this restriction. Even small amounts of wood are included. So, if you’re someone who collects building material for craft or DIY projects, you may want to wrap those up before you begin packing.
- Household goods for resale: This includes HHG that will be disposed of or used for commercial use.
- Ammunition (Privately Owned)
- Hazardous items: This includes explosives, flammable and corrosive materials, poisons and propane gas tanks. Essentially, if it is liquid or has a flammable warning label on it, your packers will leave it out.
- Lithium Batteries: Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries greater than 100 watt-hours and lithium metal batteries containing more than 2 grams of lithium content are considered fire hazards.
Paint, cleaning supplies and auto maintenance supplies are everyday items that are on the PCS prohibited items list. Make a plan to use up what you can in advance and give away or dispose of the rest. Your final days before your PCS will be smoother if these items are taken care of ahead of time.
PCS Packing Tips
- Take inventory: The key to success with the PCS Prohibited List is using a thorough and accurate home inventory. If you are unaware of non-transportable items in the garage, how will you arrange for disposal? Knowing what you have and what is not allowed will give you time to explore your options.
- Know your weight allowance: To avoid pricey overages, know your PCS weight allowance.
- Downsize where possible: Questions to help you decide what to have movers pack:
- Can it be easily replaced when we arrive?
- Would I be devastated to lose it?
- Is it on the prohibited PCS list?
- What do I need for travel? (moving documents, passports, etc.)
- Leave out perishables: For your PCS, consider leaving out foods that come in breakable, glass jars and items that are perishable. These items may crack, leak or mold before you arrive. Non-perishables like boxed or canned items, dried fruits or spices usually transport well!
- Keep valuables close: Sentimental items are usually not replaceable. So pack them carefully, and don’t feel the need to talk yourself out of taking them with you. You’ll also want to keep important documents with you in person to protect your identity.
Military Resources with AHRN
Among the many individual documents and information, a service member is given related to their PCS, the PCS prohibited list of items may not seem that important in the beginning. However, a smooth move can hit a severe speed bump if your commercial carrier leaves you with a pile of household goods they cannot transport. Avoid a moving day crisis by being prepared to handle your prohibited items!
We want to help make sure you’re not stuck when it comes time to move! Everyone can use a little help during a military move and finding a new home can be a chore. From Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia to Vandenberg AFB in California, and everywhere in between, ARHN can match your housing profile with available listings in your new area. Through AHRN, you can enjoy the benefits of moving tools and 24/7 military resources!
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