China is one of the largest manufacturers of furniture in the world. The demand for furniture is additionally driven by the rapidly developing real estate market and the growing purchasing power of Chinese consumers. The import of furniture from China to the EU is popular due to their low duty rates, reasonable prices, and variety. Therefore, it’s worth checking out what Chinese manufacturers have to offer. We present all you need to know about importing furniture from China.
Production areas of furniture in China
Regions rich in wood resources and with well-developed furniture industry are mainly localized in northern and north-eastern China, with a centre in Beijing. However, factories that manufacture high-quality furniture are primarily in the east, e.g., Fujian, Jiangsu, and Shandong provinces. It’s also worth paying attention to the Anji city in Zhejiang province. It specializes in bamboo furniture and bamboo materials production.
Nonetheless, the largest concentration of the furniture industry in China is located in the nearby region of the Pearl River. Among others, it covers metropolises such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai. Dayong and Zhongshan, also in the Guangdong province, manufacture furniture of redwood, while Lecong and Foshan manufacture sawn wood. The most famous production area of furniture is in the city of Foshan. The Shunde District of the town is referred to as the city of furniture and the Chinese furniture wholesale centre. There are shops owned by over three thousand international dealers of furniture on over twenty streets of Shunde.
Import of furniture from China to the EU – customs rates
Regardless of the product’s type or specification, one must always check its duty rates before importing. You can find the customs rates on goods imported into the European Union in the TARIC system. For instance, various furniture is in Chapter 94 of Section XX concerning “Miscellaneous manufactured articles.” Below we present an example of custom duty rates on furniture along with the applicable HS codes:
Wooden furniture and parts thereof (9403903090) – 2.7%
Seats with wooden frames (9401610000) – 0%
Metal cupboards with doors, shutters or flaps of a kind used in offices, exceeding 80 cm in height (9403109100) – 0%
Metal desks of a kind used in offices, not exceeding 80 cm in height (9403105100) – 0%
Wooden desks of a kind used in offices, not exceeding 80 cm in height (9403301100) – 0%
Wooden furniture of a kind used in the bedroom (9403500000) – 0%
Swivel seats with variable height adjustment (9401300000) – 0%
Dentists’, barbers’ or similar chairs and parts thereof (9402100000) – 0%
Wooden furniture of a kind used in the kitchen, hand-made (9403401010) – 2.7%
Wooden furniture of a kind used in the dining room and the living room (9403601000) – 0%
Furniture of plastics (9403700000) – 0%
Furniture of rattan, hand-made (9403830010) – 5.6%
As one can notice, the duty rates for furniture are very low. Most of them don’t exceed 6%. That’s why, its import is so popular and might be a good idea for a profitable business.
Import of furniture from China to the EU – requirements
When importing from China to the European Union, one must keep in mind that there are some requirements the products have to meet. One of the most important regulations on the EU market is CE marking, applicable to goods covered by “New Approach Directives.” Most of the furniture doesn’t require such a mark. However, in case of furniture with built-in lighting or other electrical parts, or moving parts powered by energy different from human, CE marking will be mandatory. Therefore, it’s essential to get acquainted with correct directives, like RoHS, EMC, LVD, when buying these products.
The requirement of a phytosanitary control is well-known to anyone who used wooden packages in import. Raw wood can contain parasites that may endanger the target country’s ecosystem. Usually, the already made furniture is exempt from this requirement, but it might apply to semi-finished products, wood carvings, tools, woodwork, marquetry, and parquets. Council Directive 2000/29/EC phytosanitary procedures in the European Union.
Furniture trade fairs in China
One of the most effective ways of finding a Chinese supplier is attending a specialized trade fair. Plenty of cities in China organise such events for both domestic and global visitors. They’re an excellent opportunity for importers to negotiate with manufacturers and see the products in person.
Below is a list of fairs during which goods from the furniture category are presented.
Jinan Furniture Fair
Location: Jinan International Convention & Exhibition Center
Official website: https://www.jn-ff.com/index.html
Location: Shanghai New International Expo Center
Official website: https://www.furniture-china.cn/
CIFF International Furniture Fair (Shanghai)
Location: JI Hotel Shanghai Hongqiao National Convention & Exhibition Center Xujing
Official website: https://www.ciff.furniture/
Home Furnishing Expo Shenzhen
Location: Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center
Official website: http://www.hometexexpo.com/
Famous Furniture Fair (Dongguan)
Location: Guangdong Modern International Exhibition Center
Official website: http://mar.gde3f.com/
Location: China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex
Official website: http://www.interzum-guangzhou.com/
Import of furniture from China to the EU – Summary
Importing furniture from China to the EU is particularly popular due to their low duty rates and attractive prices. Therefore, it might be a good idea for a business. However, one must keep in mind that the import often comes with the responsibility of assuring the products’ safety. That’s why it’s essential to get to know all the applicable regulations, such as e.g., CE marking for specific furniture, beforehand. Remember also to always verify your supplier before making a payment.
If you’re interested in importing furniture from China to the US, check our article about importing home décor from China to the US.