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    1. OnlineHound is offline

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      #1

      UK Importing furniture from China - Rules, Regulations and tax implications

      If I were to import furniture from China to the UK, would there be any rules, regulations or tax implications on that furniture?
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    2. OnlineHound is offline

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      #2
      There are standards you must follow when importing furniture to the UK from China, particularly safety regulations. Materials used in the upholstery have to pass the cigarette test, filling material needs to undergo the relevant ignitability test, loose fillings also needs to pass the relevant ignitability test and cannot contain foam in crumb form, and coverings have to pass the match test and other tests depending on the cover. You can find the details of these rules & regulations in The Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations set up by the government.

      There are also rules having to do with labels and second hand furniture, as well as what information needs to be provided when importing furniture.

      I am sure there are also regulations having to do with taxes.
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    3. OnlineHound is offline

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      #3
      Where would I find that information?

    4. Luis21 is offline

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      #4
      Whenever I need to find tax information about items I plan to import, I go straight to the HMRC website and do a simple search. Furniture would fall under the category of household goods, furniture and furnishings. Because you are importing from outside the EU, you will have to pay the normal import licensing requirements and customs tariffs. You should also know the commodity code for paying tariffs. There are 31 inclusions for the commodity - furniture. To decide which one is yours, go to: http://online.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/tariffSearch?expression=furniture&simulationDate=1 8%2F4%2F11&export=false&x=55&y=10

      For example, for the commodity wooden furniture used in offices, the duty for third countries is 0.0% and the standard VAT rate applied is 20%. To find more on the duties, prohibitions and restrictions that apply to wooden furniture used in offices, check: http://online.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/tariffFilter?export=false&key.commodityCode=940330 9100&simulationDate=18/4/11. But, for this, you should determine the commodity code first.

      To make it simple, contact the HMRC VAT Helpline at Tel 0845 010 9000.

      You would need an import licence when the products have specific standards and certificates or other documentation is necessary to prove those standards are being followed. To find out if you will need an import licence on your furniture, check with HMRC.

    5. Thank you for this post:

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      Once I know what the standards are for the furniture I am buying, how can I make sure that they are being followed? Obviously, I do not live in China and cannot verify the material in the furniture.

    7. Luis21 is offline

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      #6
      Your first option would be to go to China and meet your supplier. This is especially beneficial if it is the first time you are using this supplier. You will then be able to verify the furniture you are buying. You can also hire a third party to do this for you.

      Your second option is to use the services of FIRA, a company that safeguards the furniture industry by listing only member businesses that meet specific furniture standards. FIRA also does tests on furniture, verifying if it is safe or not.

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      #7
      It seems that after all the customs taxes, tariffs, etc. are paid, I am going to be spending a lot of money. Is there any way my supplier would help pay those fees?

    9. Luis21 is offline

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      #8
      You can always negotiate fees in the contract you draw up with your supplier; however, many suppliers will not agree to sign such a contract. Suppliers usually carry insurance on their products and do not feel it is necessary to pay for anything else, including taxes.

      If you are determined to have your supplier help pay these fees, hire a mediator who can negotiate for both sides.

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      #9
      Luis21,appreciate your information! I will consider that.

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