Importing office supplies and furniture from China to the EU

Nowadays, there is a growing number of new companies and businesses, increasing the demand for office supplies and equipment. Such goods are not only used in offices but also other workplaces. Some of them are also essential items for students. The versatility of office supplies puts them in high demand. Chinese manufacturers offer a wide range of goods with various applications and characteristics. This article discusses importing office supplies and furniture from China to the European Union.

Importing office supplies and furniture from China to the EU

In the Chinese market, you can find items in the category of office equipment, such as printers and copiers, furniture, and stationery. The immense variety of Chinese products allows importers to find the most interesting goods at favorable prices. It is worth exploring the extensive range of products Chinese manufacturers provide and the requirements that office supplies imported from China must meet.

Where are office supplies produced in China?

  • Cities like Ningbo (Zhejiang) and Guangzhou (Guangdong) take the forefront in manufacturing stationery items such as pens, pencils, notebooks, and folders. The Hebei province also plays a significant role in producing these goods.
  • In the realm of office equipment, Foshan (Guangdong) stands out as the home to the largest furniture manufacturers.
  • Wenzhou (Zhejiang) is the unquestioned leader in the production of printers and copiers.
office suppliers and furniture manufacturers in China

What standards should office equipment meet in the European Union?

Businesses planning to import products from China must initially verify that the intended goods comply with all necessary standards and come with current documentation. Failing to address this critical aspect could impede the distribution of imported products in the European market for a company.

Numerous products are expected to adhere to the regulations set forth by the European Union, referred to as the New Approach Directives. Consequently, before deciding to import goods from China, it is advisable to confirm whether these products are obligated to bear a CE marking. The process of affixing such a marking entails conducting product testing to ensure that it complies with both safety and quality criteria.

In the case of office supplies, compliance with the New Approach Directives will be required for all electrical and electronic equipment. Therefore, it is essential to check whether the printers, copiers, computers, and similar devices imported have the necessary certification and CE marking. Such marking should be applied by the manufacturer. Items such as furniture and stationery are not subject to this requirement.

What are the customs duties on office supplies from China?

Before deciding to import goods from China to the European Union, you must check the current customs duties on the products you are interested in. You can find the duty rates in the TARIC system, which can help you search for customs duties on any product.

Here is a compilation of office supplies as examples, along with the prevailing customs duty rates for each item. From our list, you can see that customs duty rates on office supplies range from 0% to 3.7%. Such low rates make importing these products from China very cost-effective, which is why they are in high demand.

Customs duties on office supplies from China:

  • 4819600000 – box files, letter trays, storage boxes, and similar articles of a kind used in offices, shops, or the like, 0%
  • 4819200000 – folding cartons, boxes, and cases of non-corrugated paper or paperboard, 0%
  • 9608101000 – ballpoint pens, fountain pens, and automatic pencils, 3.7%
  • 4820300000 – covers (other than for books), folders, covers for documents, 0%
  • 4820103000 – registers, account books, notebooks, order books, receipt books, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries, and similar articles, 0%
  • 4820105000 – diaries, 0%
  • 8472300000 – devices for sharpening pencils, hole punches, or staplers, 2.2%
  • 8305200000 – fittings for loose-leaf binders or files, letter clips, letter corners, paper clips, indexing tags, and similar office articles of base metal; staples in strips (for example, for offices, upholstery, packaging) of base metal, 2.7%
  • 8304000000 – filing cabinets, card-index cabinets, paper trays, writing instruments holders, stamp stands, and similar office or desk equipment of base metal, 2.7%
  • 9403309100 – wooden furniture with doors, flaps, or shutters; card-index cabinets and other cabinets with drawers exceeding 80 cm in height, 0%
  • 9403109100 – metal furniture with doors, flaps, or shutters; card-index cabinets and other cabinets with drawers exceeding 80 cm in height, 0%
  • 9403301100 – wooden desks, not exceeding 80 cm in height, 0%
  • 9403105100 – metal desks, not exceeding 80 cm in height, 0%
  • 8443310000 – printers, copying machines, and facsimile machines, 0%

Office equipment trade shows in China

A great opportunity to explore the offerings of Chinese manufacturers is by attending trade shows in China. The variety of these events allows visitors to find products that best suit their needs regarding purpose, quality, and appearance.

Below is a list of trade shows that interest those looking to import office supplies from China:

RemaxWorld Expo in Zhuhai

  • The largest trade fair offering office supplies and equipment, held every autumn since 2007.
  • RemaxWorld Expo is highly popular, attracting up to 200,000 visitors interested in the offerings of over 500 exhibitors.

Venue: Zhuhai International Convention and Exhibition Center

Official website:

Paperworld China in Shanghai

  • Trade fair providing a wide range of office, stationery, and writing supplies.
  • Held annually during the fall and winter seasons, it is attended by over 26,000 visitors and features around 400 exhibitors.

Venue: National Convention & Exhibition Center

Official website:

China Stationery Fair in Shanghai

China Stationery Fair hosts approximately 41,000 visitors and over 900 exhibitors showcasing office supplies, stationery, and cultural products.

Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)

Official website:

China International Furniture Fair in Shanghai

  • Trade show focusing on interior decoration and storage, presenting a diverse selection of furniture for both domestic and office environments.
  • The fair attracts about 90,000 visitors and features 2,000 exhibitors.

Venue: JI Hotel Shanghai Hongqiao National Convention and Exhibition Center Xujing

Official website:

China International Furniture Expo in Shanghai

  • Trade fair hosting 3,500 exhibitors and up to 160,000 visitors from various parts of the world.
  • Showcasing a wide range of furniture and innovative solutions useful for interior design and planning.

Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)

Official website:

Summary of importing office supplies and furniture from China

The Chinese market offers consumers a wide range of office equipment products, making the import of such articles from China highly sought after. However, it is essential to remember that importing products involves some risks, so it is crucial to familiarize oneself with all the requirements the imported goods should meet. Always ensure that the products are safe and of good quality and that the supplier is reliable.