Accessories for interior decoration are gaining popularity among importers of goods from China. Chinese online shopping websites offer almost any type of such items, including mirrors, paintings, frames, pillows, blankets, bedsheets, curtains, and many more. The profitability of their import is due to the relatively low price and low duty rates for these products. How to import home decor from China to the US?
Production centres for home decor in China
Most home decor manufacturers in China are located in the Guangdong province, in cities such as Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Zhongshan, and Foshan. Many of them are also concentrated in Qingdao (Shandong Province), Quanzhou (Fujian), as well as Jinhua and Ningbo (Zhejiang). When looking for a supplier, it’s also worth checking the offers from the city of Baoding (Hebei).
Import home decor from China – duty rates
Before starting the import, it’s worth checking the duty rates imposed on the chosen products. You can find customs duty rates on goods imported into the United States on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule website. It lists both import tariff rates and HTS codes for any product. Just enter its name in the search bar or, if you know them, the first 4 or 6 digits of its code. The import rates on goods from China are presented in the “General” column. Below we’ve compiled for you a list of some home decor articles with their duty rates.
- Pillows, cushions and similar furnishings, of cotton (9404.90.10) – 5.3%
- Blankets and traveling rugs, of cotton (6301.30.00) – 8.4%
- Wooden furniture of a kind used in the bedroom, bent-wood furniture (9403.50.40) – 0%
- Mattress supports (9404.10.00) – 0%
- Glass mirror, framed (7009.92.10) – 7.8%
- Paintings, drawings and pastels (9701.10.00) – 0%
- Wooden frames for paintings, photographs, mirrors or similar objects (4414.00.00) – 3.9%
- Electric table, desk, bedside or floor-standing lamps (9405.20.40) – 3.7%
- Calendars of any kind, printed, including calendar blocks (4910.00.20) – 0%
- Wall clocks, electrically operated, with opto-electric display only (9105.21.40) – 3.9% on the movement and case + 5.3% on the battery
- Vases of blown glass (9902.14.82) – 0%
- Statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles, of porcelain of china (6913.10.10) – 0%
- Original sculptures and statuary, in any material (9703.00.00) – 0%
- Kitchenware of glass-ceramics, non-glazed (7013.10.10) – 6.9%
As one can see, duty rates for home decor articles imported from China to the US are relatively low, which affects their profitability. Keep in mind that when importing products to the US, paying tax is required only on orders valued at $800 or more. Therefore, if the total amount of goods doesn’t exceed $800, these goods are tax-free. However, this exemption doesn’t include alcoholic beverages, alcohol-containing perfumes, and cigars or cigarettes.
Requirements for importing to the United States
Unlike the European Union, which states its requirements for imported goods in harmonized standards or directives, there is no such standardized law in the US. However, depending on the product, compliance with specific mandatory regulations will be obligatory. CBP (Customs and Border Protection) can examine any shipment into the US to check if the goods are safe to cross the border. Therefore, it’s recommended to get familiar with its policies and ensure that the products meet relevant requirements.
Different agencies regulate the requirements for importing goods to the US, depending on their type. For example, the US Department of Energy, among others, is responsible for household appliances. When importing to the US, it’s also worth getting acquainted with the CPSC organization, which cooperates with CBP on the security of imports. Products under the jurisdiction of the CPSC must be tested for compliance with the safety requirements established by the organization.
There are, however, some basic regulations concerning all the goods imported from abroad to the US. The required documentation should include:
- A commercial invoice from the exporter;
- Packing List;
- Bill of Lading (B/L, BOL) – for sea freight;
- Air Waybill (AWB) – for air freight;
- Entry Manifest (CBP Form 7533).
Importers must ensure that they have a complete set of documents that will allow their products to pass through customs clearance, which refers to every package crossing the border.
Home decor trade fairs in China
One of the best methods to find a supplier from China is attending a specialized trade fair. Such a possibility allows testing the products and talking to the suppliers personally. This is an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the many different offers and negotiate with the manufacturers.
Below is a list of fairs during which articles from the home decor category are presented.
Canton Fair (China Import and Export Fair)
- The oldest and the largest trade fair in China is divided into three phases. Most of home decor articles are presented during phase 2, such as ceramics and glassware, clocks, and others. However, phase 1 includes lighting equipment, while phase 3 focuses on home textiles, carpets, and various decorative fabrics.
- Official website: cantonfair.org.cn
China (Shenzhen) International Gifts, Handicrafts, Watches & Houseware Fair
- One of the most anticipated trade fairs in China.
- This event attracts importers interested in home decor items, such as textiles, decorative elements, and many more.
- Official website: apr.chinagiftsfair.com
Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles
- The leading home textile trade fair in China. During this event, exporters present articles that can be used both in homes and offices.
- Official website: intertextile-shanghai-hometextiles-autumn.hk.messefrankfurt.com/shanghai/en.html
China (Guzhen) International Lighting Fair
- China International Lighting Fair offers a wide selection of lighting, from standing lamps, through hanging lamps, to smaller ones – desk lamps.
- Official website: en.jiagle.com/lighting-fair
East China Fair
- A popular trade fair among importers, devoted to lighting, home textiles, consumer goods, art deco gifts, fashion, and more.
- This event has been organized for several decades.
- Official website: ecf.net.cn/en
Import home decor from China to the US – summary
Importing home decor items from China to the United States is profitable, mainly due to low product prices and low tariff rates. However, one should keep in mind that the importer must ensure that the goods comply with the requirements applicable to them and have all the mandatory documents. Before starting the import, we also recommend and highly encourage verifying your business partner.