China is among the biggest furniture markets in the world, the demand for furniture is ignited by the rising housing market and increasing purchasing power of Chinese consumers. Due to the deforestation, Chinese manufacturers usually process wood imported from other Asian countries or eastern parts of Russia. In this high-competitive market, where dozens of small and medium-sized producers are struggling to get a better share, several companies oriented for export emerged.
Chinese furniture comes in all possible shapes, colors and types. There are several regional production bases in China, most of them located in the Pearl River Delta region. Dayong and Zhongshan in Guangdong Province provide redwood furniture; Lecong and Foshan process furniture materials. Anji County in Zhejiang is the capital of bamboo furniture and bamboo raw materials. Wood often comes from Northeastern China, which also hosts a number of furniture companies.
Below we present duty rates for the most common products:
|Commodity name||EU duty rate||US duty rate|
|Handmade rattan furniture||5.6%||0%|
|Fitted kitchen units||2.7%||0%|
|Furniture made of plastics||0%||0%|
|Swivel seats with variable height adjustment||0%||0%|
|Fittings for furniture: ornaments||6.5%||3.4%|
|Metal furniture: Cupboards with doors||0%||0%|
|Wooden furniture parts||2.7%||0%|
|Dentists’, barbers’ or similar chairs and parts thereof||0%||0%|
US duty rates seems to be considerably lower than EU duty rates. But still, many categories of products are exempted from duty, which is undoubtedly a certain opportunity for potential importers.
The requirement of phytosanitary certificate is known for everyone, who used wood packaging in import: raw wood was known to contain dangerous pests, which may negatively influence the local ecosystem. Usually, finished furniture is not subjected to this requirement, it may be required though for carved wood, semi-processed furniture, tools, joinery, marquetry and parquet. In EU, Council Directive 2000/29/EC of 8 May 2000 describes protective measures against the introduction of harmful organisms.
In case of upholstered furniture and mattresses imported from China, fire safety requirements should be met, the furniture may be accompanied with the documented proof of compliance. EU member states regulations may vary.
Furniture designed for children, for example bunk beds (duty rate 0%, have to meet specific safety requirements, detailed information can be found here.