How to Import Furniture from China – 2023 Complete Guide

How to import furniture from china ? China, the world’s largest exporter of goods, has no shortage of factories producing almost any type of furniture at competitive prices. As the demand for furniture increases, importers are willing to look for suppliers who offer quality products at relatively low prices. However, importers in the United States should pay special attention to issues such as tariffs or safety regulations.

Billions of dollars of furniture are imported into the United States each year. Most furniture imports today come from China. Furniture retailers are increasingly demanding furniture imported from China. Consumers like Chinese-made furniture for its quality and affordable prices. Learn how to import furniture to grow your business.

Furniture imported from China is typically shipped via sea freight. It is wise to ship the furniture on pallets for easy unloading. Those pallets are then wrapped in plastic and then packed into shipping containers for the journey overseas.


Importing Furniture From China – How To Import The RIGHT Way

Why Import Furniture from China?

How to Import Furniture from China
How to Import Furniture from China

China is the world’s largest furniture exporter. Furniture from China is usually handmade without nails or glue. This means that Chinese furniture can be used for a lifetime or even longer.

Many furniture sellers go to China to buy furniture at wholesale prices. There is an entire city in China dedicated to furniture manufacturers and wholesalers. Shunde City, Guangdong Province is home to a furniture wholesale center.

Shunde is known as the “Furniture City”. Shunde is well connected with Hong Kong, which makes it easy to import furniture from China.

Furniture production areas in China

warehouse staff at work
warehouse staff at work

Generally speaking, there are Fives main manufacturing areas in China: the Pearl River delta (in the south of China), the Yangtze River delta (the central coastal region of China), the West Triangle (in central China), and the Bohai Sea region (the north coastal area of China).

  1. The Pearl River Delta region in South China: it is the birthplace of modern furniture in China, and the output value of furniture accounts for more than 40% of the country;
  2. North China furniture and Northeast furniture: both are “northern furniture”, mainly distributed in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenyang, Harbin and other places;
  3. East China furniture: mainly distributed in Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Shaoxing, Yuhuan, Yiwu and other places in Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang;
  4. Southwest furniture: mainly distributed in Chengdu, Sichuan and other places.

n addition, Wuhan furniture, Fujian furniture and Shandong furniture also have great influence.

Furniture is composed of four factors: material, structure, appearance and function, among which function is the forerunner and the driving force to promote the development of furniture; structure is the backbone and the basis for realizing the function.

These four factors are interrelated and restrict each other. Since furniture is designed and produced to meet people’s certain material needs and use purposes, furniture also has factors in terms of materials and appearance.

Furniture mostly refers to large items such as wardrobes, tables, beds, and sofas.

What furniture can you import from China to the US?

You can import furniture for every room in the home from Chinese and international sources. Common furniture imports can include:

  • Sofas and couches
  • Bedroom furniture
  • Dining room furniture
  • Wood furniture
  • Metal furniture
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Wicker furniture
  • Office furniture

Outdoor furniture:

  • rattan furniture,
  • outdoor metal furniture,
  • gazebos.

The most popular furniture groups imported from China to the US in 2020 were:

  1. general furniture and furniture parts (35.9%)
  2. seats and seat parts (31.2%)
  3. mattress supports and bedding (9.4%).

Imported furniture tariffs from China

packaged goods
packaged goods

If you import furniture, you have to pay customs duties. Tariffs vary by item, but for those importing furniture into the U.S., they typically range from 0% to 5%. Your licensed customs broker can help you determine duties.

You should always check tariffs before importing any product into the United States, especially from a country with which the United States does not have a preferential trade agreement. In some cases, this can be a key factor in determining whether your business is viable. Current tariffs can be found in the Harmonized Tariff List.

Below, we present the HTS codes and exemplary duty rates on furniture imported from China:

  • 9401.53.00.00 – rattan seats – 0%
  • 9401.61.20.10 – household chairs of teak, upholstered – 0%
  • 9401.80.20.05 – stationery activity centers for children, of reinforced or laminated plastics – 0%
  • 9402.10.00.00 – dentists’, barbers’ or similar chairs and parts thereof – 0%
  • 9403.10.00.40 – metal furniture of a kind used in offices – 0%
  • 9403.20.00.40 – foldable mattress foundations with legs, having the characteristics of a bed or bed frame, of metal – 0%
  • 9403.40.40.00 – bent-wood furniture of a kind used in the kitchen – 0%
  • 9403.60.80.40 – wooden dining tables – 0%
  • 9403.82.00.01 – bamboo cribs – 0%
  • 9403.90.00.00 – furniture parts – 0%
  • 9404.10.00.00 – mattress supports – 0%
  • 9404.29.10.00 – cotton mattresses – 3%
  • 9404.29.90.00 – mattresses of materials other than cotton and cellular rubber or plastics – 6%.

Can I Import Wood Furniture?

When importing wood furniture, there are a few details that you need to consider. These rules help prevent illegal logging and protect the United States from invasive insect species.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the import of lumber and lumber products. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) requires inspection of all lumber entering the country. Imported wood must also go through a disinfection process. The wood disinfection process prevents exotic pests from entering the country.

APHIS recommends thermal or chemical treatment of wood. In heat treatment, wood is treated in a kiln or energy dryer. Chemical treatments include treating wood with surface insecticides.

Is your furniture made of endangered wood? In this case, you must comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The CITES rules require the following:

  • You have a permit issued by the USDA.
  • You have a certificate that indicates the country where the wood was harvested and that no laws were broken during harvest.
  • The certificate was issued by a CITES representative.
  • The shipment of imported furniture must arrive at a U.S. port approved to handle CITES-listed species.

What else should you pay attention to when importing furniture from China?

To successfully import furniture from China to the United States, you should also ensure that your products meet the requirements of your customers. Importing from China is fundamental. Once a shipment reaches a U.S. port of destination, it cannot be easily returned. Quality control at different stages of production/shipping is a great way to ensure that such unpleasant surprises don’t happen.

If you need to guarantee that your product is satisfactory in load, stability, structure, size, etc., quality testing may be the only way. After all, ordering furniture samples is rather complicated.

It is recommended to look for manufacturers in China rather than furniture wholesalers. The reason is that wholesalers can rarely guarantee compliance with all safety standards. Of course, manufacturers may have higher MOQ (minimum order quantity) requirements. Furniture MOQs typically range from one or more pieces of larger furniture such as sofa covers or beds to up to 500 pieces for small pieces of furniture such as folding chairs.

Furniture trade shows in China

Jinan Furniture Fair

Venue: Jinan International Convention & Exhibition Center


International Design and Furniture Fair Hong Kong

Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre


Furniture China

Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Center


Global Sources Gifts & Home

Venue: Asia World-Expo, Hong Kong


CIFF China International Furniture Fair (Shanghai)

Venue: National Exhibition & Convention Centre


CIFF China International Furniture Fair (Guangzhou)

Venue: China Import and Export Fair Complex


Home Furnishing Expo Shenzhen

Venue: Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center


Canton Fair Phase 2 (Guangzhou)

Venue: China Import and Export Fair Complex


Famous Furniture Fair (Dongguan)

Venue: Guangdong Modern International Exhibition Center


Interzum Guangzhou

Venue: China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex


How is Furniture Shipped?

Since the furniture is heavy and sometimes takes up a lot of space in the container, sea freight seems to be the only sensible way to get furniture from China to the US. If you need to import one or more pieces of furniture immediately, air freight is of course much faster.

For ocean freight, you can choose between full container shipment (FCL) or less than container shipment (LCL). The quality of the packaging is crucial here as furniture can easily crush it. It should always be loaded on an ISPM 15 pallet. Shipping from China to the US takes around 14 to 50 days, depending on the route. However, due to unforeseen delays, the entire process may take up to 2 or even 3 months.

They may fit furniture throughout the house, and some come in a 40-foot shipping container. A full container load is approximately 800 square feet or 2400 cubic feet. The 40-foot container has a payload of 61,200 lbs.

If your furniture load is at least five pallets, a full truck load (FCL) is a good option. If your cargo is small in size, the ideal option is a bulk cargo (LCL). This means your cargo shares container space with other cargo. You can share hold with other dry goods.

Many international shipping lines have limited liability for cargo damage. This is usually $500 per container. Since your imported furniture is likely to be of a higher value, you should probably purchase cargo insurance. Your health insurance company can help you with this.

After your imported furniture reaches the seaport, it may be transported by rail to a location near you. From there it can be delivered by truck.

These processes we recommend a Chinese freight forwarder to assist you

Ready to Get Started?

Are you still confused about how to import furniture? We can provide transportation services from China to the United States, including air transportation, sea transportation, DDP delivery to the door, etc.

Our value-added customs brokerage services work seamlessly to provide you with a stress-free customs bond importing process.

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