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A Comprehensive Guide to Importing Furniture from China to the USA

Shipping and furniture imports from China
Furniture Imported from China to USA

Importing furniture from China to the USA can be a lucrative opportunity for businesses and individuals alike. However, the process involves various steps and considerations that must be carefully navigated to ensure a smooth transaction. This guide will walk you through the pros and cons of importing from China, the available shipping options, and the specific products or materials that may have additional restrictions or duties.

At the conclusion of each section, we will provide you with a detailed overview of how Burnt Oringe International can assist you in managing your imports.

Pros and Cons of Importing Furniture from China


1. Cost Savings

  • Lower Production Costs: Manufacturing costs in China are generally lower compared to the USA, resulting in more affordable products.

  • Bulk Discounts: Meeting or exceeding the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) can lead to significant savings, with manufacturers often offering discounts for larger orders.

2. Wide Range of Products

  • Variety: Chinese manufacturers offer a vast array of furniture styles, materials, and designs, catering to diverse tastes and preferences.

  • Customisation: Many manufacturers provide customisation options, allowing you to tailor products to specific needs or market demands.

3. Advanced Manufacturing

  • Technology and Expertise: China boasts advanced manufacturing capabilities and expertise, ensuring high-quality production standards.

Importing from China presents significant opportunities. With cutting-edge technology and a vast array of products available, you can stay ahead of the latest trends. By customising your products to suit your market, you will gain a competitive edge.


1. Quality Control

  • Inconsistent Quality: While many manufacturers produce high-quality goods, there can be inconsistencies. It's crucial to vet suppliers and conduct thorough quality checks.

  • Counterfeit Products: The risk of counterfeit or substandard products exists, making due diligence essential.

2. Communication Barriers

  • Language Differences: Communication can be challenging due to language barriers, potentially leading to misunderstandings or delays.

  • Cultural Differences: Different business practices and cultural norms can complicate negotiations and agreements.

3. Logistics and Shipping

  • Complex Logistics: Coordinating international shipping involves multiple steps and parties, which can be time-consuming and complex.

  • Shipping Costs and Times: While production costs are lower, shipping costs and times can add up, especially for large or bulky items.

Our commitment to complete transparency spans from design development through production and logistics. We thoroughly assess factories on your behalf, acting as your on-site representatives to oversee quality control and guarantee that each product meets your specifications. As a Western-owned company based in Hong Kong, we are well-versed in cultural and language nuances, and finally, we will take care of all your logistics needs, all you have to do is let us know where you would like them delivered.

Shipping Options

When importing furniture from China to the USA, you have several shipping options, each with its own implications for cost, speed, and reliability.

1. Air Freight

  • Speed: Fastest option, usually taking 5-10 days.

  • Cost: Most expensive due to high fuel and handling costs.

  • Best For: Urgent or high-value shipments where speed is crucial.

2. Sea Freight

  • Cost: Most economical option for large and heavy shipments.

  • Speed: Slower, typically taking 20-40 days.

  • Best For: Bulk shipments where cost savings are prioritised over speed.

3. Rail Freight

  • Speed: Faster than sea freight but slower than air freight, usually taking 15-20 days.

  • Cost: Mid-range cost, more economical than air but more expensive than sea.

  • Best For: Balancing cost and speed, often used for shipping to and from inland locations.

4. Express Couriers

  • Providers: Companies like DHL, FedEx, and UPS.

  • Speed: Very fast, with door-to-door service in as little as 3-7 days.

  • Cost: High cost, similar to or more expensive than air freight.

  • Best For: Small, urgent shipments that require reliable door-to-door service.

After finishing production and quality control, we will pack your furniture and determine the exact volumetric weight of your order. With this information, we can recommend the most suitable shipping option based on your timeline and budget.

Restrictions and Duties

Certain types of furniture and materials are subject to additional restrictions or duties when imported into the USA. It's essential to be aware of these to avoid unexpected costs and delays.

Restricted Materials

1.Wood Products

  • Regulations: The Lacey Act regulates the import of wood and wood products to prevent illegal logging and promote sustainable practices.

  • Requirements: Importers must provide detailed documentation proving the legality of the wood's origin.

2. Textiles and Upholstery

  • Fire Safety Standards: Upholstered furniture must comply with fire safety standards, such as the California Technical Bulletin 117.

  • Labelling: Proper labelling is required to indicate compliance with safety standards.

Additional Duties

1. Anti-Dumping Duties

  • Purpose: Imposed to protect domestic industries from foreign companies selling goods below market value.

  • Impact: Can significantly increase the cost of certain imported furniture items.

2. Countervailing Duties

  • Purpose: Offset subsidies provided by foreign governments to their exporters.

  • Impact: Additional costs for importers if applicable to specific furniture items.

3. Tariffs

  • Trade Wars: Ongoing trade disputes can lead to the imposition of tariffs on various goods, including furniture.

  • Fluctuating Rates: Tariff rates can change based on international trade negotiations and policies.

As a part of our service, we make every effort to stay updated on tariff changes and fluctuating rates. In cases where a specific item, such as wood, is affected by Anti-Dumping Duties, we typically explore sourcing from our alternative factories in Southeast Asia (such as Vietnam, India, and Indonesia) to acquire these items. This approach allows us to avoid the duties by obtaining the product from a different jurisdiction.


Importing furniture from China to the USA offers numerous benefits, including cost savings, a wide range of products, and advanced manufacturing capabilities. However, it also comes with challenges such as quality control, communication barriers, and complex logistics. Understanding the shipping options and being aware of restrictions and duties are crucial steps to ensure a successful import process. By working with a Sourcing. Agent like Burnt Oringe International, they can help you navigate these aspects so you can maximise the benefits and minimise the risks associated with importing furniture from China or SE Asia.

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