Most countries document their clearance process online in some form, and noonsite.com has good information, including recent cruiser feedback. The site wasn’t as useful for Spitfire, as their data focused on importing pets rather than keeping them on board. For clarification, we contacted the officials directly in every country we visited. Contact information often was on government department websites, but sometimes we had to work through other sources such as tourism offices for the right contact.
We bought appropriate-size 2x3-foot courtesy flags for each country we planned to visit from J&S Surplus ( www.surplusinc.com). The flags are not very durable and didn’t last more than a couple of months, but at under $15 each, were cost-effective for countries for which we’d planned only short visits. For our longer stays in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, we bought additional flags.
For sea freight, you need a freight-forwarder that accepts shipments of less than a container, but will pack them into a container for shipping. When we shipped out of Miami, we used TransCaribe. All other times we shipped through Famous Pacific. Normally you would work with a shipping company at the origin location but we usually used the target country shipper. They would touch the shipment last, so we’d work with them if we needed to retarget a shipment to a different location or make other changes. Once we needed to transfer a pallet shipped to Melbourne to the Gold Coast in Australia because the shipment had been delayed for a month by a longshoreman strike on the west coast of the United States and we’d left Melbourne before it arrived. When arranging regional transport, ensure that they are equipped with a forklift or that forklift facilities are available at the destination to remove the pallet from the truck.