Your Guide to Importing Furniture from China

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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on importing furniture from China. At Asiaction Furniture, we understand the importance of sourcing quality furniture at competitive prices. In this article, we will present all the essential information you need to effectively and successfully import furniture from China.

Why import furniture from China?

China is renowned for being the world’s largest furniture manufacturer. It offers a unique combination of skilled labor, abundant resources, and large-scale production capabilities. Importing furniture from China has many advantages, including:

  • Competitive prices: Chinese furniture is often available at very competitive prices due to affordable labor and economies of scale achieved by Chinese manufacturers.
  • Wide choice of styles and designs: China offers a vast range of furniture styles and designs, from timeless classics to modern creations. You will be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.
  • Satisfactory quality: Many Chinese manufacturers adhere to high-quality standards. However, it’s important to select reliable suppliers and conduct appropriate quality checks.
  • Customization capability: Most Chinese manufacturers offer customization services. You can request specific changes to furniture according to your needs and preferences.

Now that we have reviewed the advantages of importing furniture from China, let’s look at the essential steps to succeed in your project.

Steps to Import Furniture from China

To successfully import furniture from China, you need to follow a well-defined process.

Here are the essential steps you should consider:

1. Research and selection of suppliers

The first crucial step to import furniture from China is to find reliable and trustworthy suppliers. Conduct thorough research on potential suppliers. It is important to find suppliers who are reliable, experienced, and known for their product quality and customer service. Use online platforms, specialized forums, and recommendations from other industry professionals to find the best suppliers.

Here are some effective methods to conduct this search:

  • Trade shows: Attend furniture trade shows in China to directly meet manufacturers and evaluate their products. If you are considering importing furniture from China, you should consider attending must-see furniture fairs. You can think of the Canton Fair, the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) held in Guangzhou, the Shanghai International Furniture Machinery & Woodworking Machinery Fair (WMF), or the China International Furniture Expo (Furniture China) held in Shanghai.
  • Online research: Use reputable B2B platforms such as Alibaba, Made-in-China, and Global Sources to find and compare potential suppliers. Read customer reviews and make sure to verify their reputation.
  • Certification checks: Ensure that suppliers have necessary certifications, such as ISO 9001, to guarantee product quality.

Before placing an order, it is crucial to select the right products for your target market. Analyze market trends, identify the needs and preferences of your potential customers. Choose furniture that meets the highest quality and design standards while considering budget constraints.

2. Negotiation of prices and terms

Once you have identified some potential suppliers, it’s time to negotiate prices and sales conditions. Here are some tips to get the best possible terms:

  • Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ): Check the suppliers’ MOQ and ensure they suit your needs. Negotiate flexible MOQs if necessary.
  • Unit price: Discuss the unit price of the furniture and try to negotiate a competitive price. Don’t forget to take into account shipping costs and possible taxes and customs duties.
  • Payment terms: Determine the payment terms acceptable to you and your supplier, such as bank transfer or a letter of credit.
  • Product customization: If you have specific requirements in terms of dimensions, materials, or colors, discuss them with the suppliers and establish clear agreements.

3. Quality Control

Before your furniture is shipped from China, it is highly recommended to conduct a rigorous quality control. Hire a professional like Asiaction to inspect the furniture and ensure they match the agreed specifications. This will ensure that you receive quality products and minimize the risk of returns or replacements.

Here are the recommended steps to conduct an adequate quality inspection:

  • Initial sampling: Ask your supplier to send you furniture samples to evaluate their quality before placing a full order.
  • Factory inspection: Arrange a factory visit to inspect the production facilities and verify the quality control processes in place. Inspect the merchandise before, during, and after production to ensure it meets your requirements.
  • Pre-shipment inspection: Hire a third-party inspector to verify the products before they are shipped. This step will ensure that the furniture meets your specifications and required quality standards.

4. Transportation and logistics

Once your furniture has passed the quality control successfully, you need to organize transportation and logistics to get them to your premises. You have a choice between different modes of transport, such as sea or air transport. Carefully evaluate the costs, time frames, and specific requirements of your business to make the best decision.

Here are some common transport options:

  • Sea transport: Sea transport is generally the most cost-effective choice for importing furniture in large volumes. It is recommended to work with experienced freight forwarders to facilitate the process.
  • Air transport: If you need quick deliveries or smaller quantities, air transport may be a viable option, although it is generally more expensive.

Make sure you obtain all the necessary documents for importing the furniture, such as commercial invoices, transport documents, and customs documents.

5. Handling customs procedures and regulations

Importing furniture from China involves customs formalities and specific regulations. Learn about the necessary documents, taxes, customs duties, and regulations in your country. To avoid any problem, it is recommended to work with a customs agent or import-export broker who will guide you through these complex processes. Familiarize yourself with your country’s customs regulations and logistical requirements to avoid any delay or problem when importing the furniture.

  • Necessary documents: The required documents can vary by country, but in general, you will need a commercial invoice, a bill of lading (or an airway bill if you are shipping by air), a packing list, and possibly a certificate of origin. Sometimes additional documents such as inspection certificates or import licenses may be necessary.
  • Taxes and customs duties: Taxes and customs duties depend on your country’s customs classification system. Each type of product has its own classification code (HS code) which determines the applicable duty rate. Rates also vary depending on the country of origin.

Find the HS code for Europe here:

Find the HS code for the US here:

  • Specific regulations: Some countries have specific regulations regarding the importation of furniture. For example, imported furniture often has to meet certain safety and quality standards. There may also be rules about labeling, for example, to indicate the country of origin or care instructions.
  • Necessary certifications: For certain types of furniture, certifications may be necessary. For example, furniture intended for children’s use or electric furniture may require safety certifications.

What Types of Furniture to Import from China?

China is one of the largest furniture producers in the world. You can import various types of furniture from China, depending on your target market. Here are some types of furniture you might consider importing:

  • Office Furniture: Ergonomic office chairs, modular desks, storage lockers, conference tables.
  • Outdoor Furniture: Garden furniture, outdoor benches, hammocks, patio sets, folding lounge chairs, wooden tables, parasols, etc.
  • Kitchen Furniture: Modular kitchen cabinets, kitchen islands with integrated storage, bar chairs for the kitchen counter, etc.
  • Bar Furniture: Swivel bar stools, high stainless steel tables, sectional sofas for lounge corners, etc.
  • Restaurant Furniture: Restaurant tables, stackable chairs, padded banquettes, etc.
  • Hotel Furniture: Furniture for hotel rooms, lobbies, conference rooms, minibar furniture, etc.
  • Beauty Salon Furniture: Barber chairs, manicure stations, massage tables, etc.
  • School Furniture: School tables and chairs, teacher desks, libraries, lockers, etc.
  • Gym Furniture: Lockers, benches, equipment racks, etc.
  • Hospital Furniture: Hospital beds, waiting room chairs, desks, etc.
  • Exhibition Furniture: Product displays, kiosks, shelves, counters, etc.
  • Store Furniture: Retail displays, shelves, cash counters, etc.
  • Industrial Furniture: Storage shelves, work tables, lockers, etc.


Importing furniture from China can be a lucrative opportunity for businesses looking to offer quality products at competitive prices. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you will be well-prepared to successfully import furniture from China. Remember to conduct thorough research, negotiate the best terms, and conduct rigorous quality controls. At Asiaction Furniture, we are here to assist you at every step of the import process.

FAQ on Importing Furniture from China

What are the advantages of importing furniture from China?

Importing furniture from China offers several advantages. Firstly, you can access a wide range of high-quality products at competitive prices. China is renowned for its ability to produce furniture on a large scale and at affordable costs. Additionally, it allows you to expand your product offering and provide diverse options to your customers.

How can I find reliable suppliers in China?

To find reliable suppliers in China, you can use online platforms such as Alibaba, Global Sources, or Made-in-China. Conduct thorough research, check customer ratings and reviews, and verify the suppliers’ certifications and licenses. You can also participate in trade shows or contact specialized agencies in furniture importation.

What are the key steps to importing furniture from China with peace of mind?

The 5 key steps to importing furniture from China with peace of mind include:

  • Thorough research and supplier selection
  • Negotiating purchase and delivery terms
  • Conducting rigorous quality control before shipment
  • Organizing transportation and logistics
  • Handling customs formalities and regulations

What are the risks associated with importing furniture from China?

The main risks associated with importing furniture from China include product quality issues, delivery delays, communication problems, customs fees, and specific regulations in your country. That’s why it’s crucial to conduct thorough research, work with reputable suppliers, and follow strict quality control procedures.

What are the quality standards for furniture in China?

The quality standards for furniture in China are established by various national and international standards. These standards cover multiple aspects of furniture, such as wear resistance, durability, flame resistance, environmental requirements, among others.

One frequently cited standard is GB/T 3325, which specifies general requirements for furniture safety. Other important standards include GB/T 28001 for occupational health and safety management systems and GB/T 24001 for environmental management systems.

It is also important to note that certain furniture may require a CCC (China Compulsory Certificate) certification to be sold in China. This is proof of compliance with Chinese national safety and quality standards.

Are there taxes to be paid when importing furniture from China?

Yes, there are typically customs duties and taxes to be paid when importing furniture from China. The exact amounts vary depending on the importing country, the type of furniture, and the value of the products.

The fees may include customs duties, VAT (Value Added Tax), and other import-related charges.

What are the most popular furniture styles to import from China?

China is a highly diverse country in terms of furniture styles, and the popularity of different styles generally depends on market trends and consumer preferences in the importing country.

That being said, some styles are commonly imported from China. For example, modern and contemporary styles are very popular, especially those with clean and minimalist lines. Industrial-style furniture, with its robust materials and rustic finishes, is also in high demand.

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