About to import and sell furniture in the United States? In this article, we cover furniture regulations, labeling requirements, certification, lab testing, and other requirements in the United States.
- Bunk Beds
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) works to protect the public against risks of injuries and deaths caused by consumer products, including furniture products. CPSC acts and regulations, such as the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), limit the usage of certain substances, for example, lead and phthalates.
Notice that third-party lab testing is not always mandatory for non-children products, including furniture.
Examples of restricted substances
CPSC provides a list of accredited testing laboratories for importers to verify whether your product is safe for customers. The listed laboratories can test your furniture product and issue a certification of compliance if your product passes the test.
For adult bunk beds, importers are required to conduct testing to ensure compliance, and the testing company is not limited to CPSC-accepted laboratories.
General Certificate of Conformity (GCC)
Importers also need to provide General Certificate of Conformity (GCC) with the information below:
- Product information
- List of applicable standards
- Company information
- Production date
- Third-party testing report
Note: Children’s bunk beds are covered by CPSIA, and then must be lab-tested for compliance via a CPSC-accepted third-party laboratory. Also, in this case, importers must issue a Children Product Certificate (CPC) containing the information below:
- Importer identification
- Testing report
- Country of origin
- Product information
- List of applicable ASTM standards
Full-sized and non-full-size baby cribs are also regulated by CPSIA. Hence, importers need to issue a CPC document and conduct testing through CPSC-accepted third-party laboratory. CPSC provides some requirements for cribs such as:
- Mattress support system testing requirements
- Mechanism tests requirements
- Component spacing requirements
- Cyclic testing requirements
CPSC also provides additional requirements for crib products. For example:
1. Surface coating’s limitation of lead, phthalate and other hazardous substance;
2. Label requirements including the tracking label;
3. Product registration card attached to the product.
Note that any furniture specifically designed for children will be covered by CPSIA.
Lead in Furniture Coatings and Paints
CPSC set limits on the maximum amount of lead that can be contained for certain furniture, both for children and adults, including:
In general, there are two distinct requirements for the lead, which are:
1. The levels of lead contained in the paint or surface coating must not be higher than 0.009%;
2. The total lead content of the products must lower than 100 parts per million in any accessible parts.
California Technical Bulletin 117 (TB 117)
TB 117 is a California fire safety law that requires upholstered furniture to meet flammability performance and testing standards. The TB117 covers many furniture products including:
- Furniture cover
- Furniture filling materials
- Furniture decking
- Furniture barriers
TB 117-2013 Lab Testing
Some testing companies, such as Bureau Veritas, Intertek, and Applied Lab, provide TB-117 testing services to verify product compliance. We recommend that you book third-party testing when importing furniture products.
Note: Technical Bulletin 117-2013 replaces the previous TB 117 and is now in full effect.
Wooden Furniture Regulations
Certain wooden products, including wooden furniture, are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). Below follows an overview of the import requirements applicable to certain wooden products in the United States.
The first step for importing wooden handicraft products from China is to check the USDA APHIS list of approved wooden handicraft manufacturers.
Note that manufacturers are not considered approved until they have been added to the list. The list is maintained by the government of China as part of an agreement with the United States.
The approved manufacturers produce wooden furniture and other wood products according to requirements that have been agreed by the United States and China. This includes facility sanitation, pest control, materials quarantine, traceability, fumigation, and heat treatment requirements:
- Heat treatment and/or fumigation
- The production area is neat and clean
- Quarantine treatment to the wooden handicraft product
- Quality management such as pest control and traceability system
You may proceed to the ePermits website and apply for an import permit, once you have confirmed if the supplier is on the publicly available APHIS list,
To access ePermits, you must have a USDA eAuthentication account and it can be registered online. You will also need to provide some general information for the application of the permit.
- Product category
- The registered number of the manufacturer
- Personal contact
- Quantity of goods
It takes approximately 30 days to receive the permit when importing certain types of wood furniture and other wooden products, and you can keep track of the application status online.
The permit indicates the type of treatment the wooden furniture requires, such as fumigation or heat treatment.
Further, if the wood component comes from either natural or planted forest stands, you will also need to fill out the declarations form for information such as:
- Wood species
- Country of harvest
You can read more about facility requirements, find approved suppliers, pre-import approvals, heat treatment and fumigation requirements on the official USDA website.
Children’s Furniture: CPSIA
Furniture designed for children of 12 years of younger is defined by the CPSC as children’s products, meaning that the CPSIA compliance is required.
Third-party lab testing is mandatory when importing and selling children’s furniture, regardless of the material, in the United States. Notice that you can only book lab testing from a CPSC approved testing company. Otherwise, the test report is not valid.
Further, the test report must be valid for the exact same product as you are importing. This means that the third-party tested sample must be collected from the production run you intend to place on the market. You cannot use supplier test reports valid for similar children’s furniture designs or materials.
Also, note that CPSC testing companies can help you assess applicable ASTM and CPSC standards. This is normally provided without cost when you request a quotation from a testing company.
List CPSC approved testing companies
- Bureau Veritas
Click here for more CPSC approved testing companies.
CPSIA Testing Costs
CPSIA lab testing starts from around $300 per product. However, the cost ultimately depends on the number of furniture styles, applicable standards, materials, coatings, and colors.
You can read more about CPSIA and ASTM lab testing in this guide.
Children’s Product Certificate (CPC)
Children’s furniture importers and manufacturers must also issue a Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) for each SKU. This document is a self-issued document with information about the furniture, your company, supplier location, applicable standards, and the CPSC approved testing company.
1. Product name and description
2. List of applied and mandatory ASTM and CPSC standards (e.g ASTM F963)
3. Importer information (name, address, e-mail, phone)
4. Contact information of the person with access to the test report (name, address, e-mail, phone)
5. Manufacturing location (city, province, country) and date (month, year)
6. Testing date (month, year) and location (city, province, country)
7. CPSC accepted third-party lab testing company (company, contact person, address, phone, e-mail)
This guide explains how to create a CPC when importing children’s furniture and other children’s products.
CPSIA Tracking Label
Your children’s furniture must display a permanent CPSIA tracking label. Here is an overview of the information it must include:
- Importer company name
- Production location
- Production date
- Batch number
- The Baby Furniture Store LLC
- Production Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Production Date: March 2020
- Batch Number: ABC01-062020-HCMC1-VN
Don’t expect your supplier to create a tracking label for you. Instead, you need to create a ‘ready to print’ tracking label complete with all the required information. In addition, you must also provide the following information:
- Print position
- Print type
Furniture importers and manufacturers must also ensure that the packaging materials are compliant. Below follows a brief summary of US packaging requirements.
Heavy Metals Restrictions
Many US states restrict lead, cadmium, mercury, and other heavy metals in packaging materials, printing inks, and dyes. Third-party lab testing is the only available method to verify if your packaging materials are compliant.
Intertek, SGS, TUV, QIMA and other product testing companies offer packaging materials testing services.
1. Product labeling requirements, such as country of origin and compliance marks, may also need to be printed on the product packaging.
2. Material content labeling is required when selling filled beddings, pillows or upholstered furniture (Read more).
Country of Origin Label
Country of origin marking is mandatory for most products imported and sold in the United States, including furniture. The product and the packaging must have a permanently affixed country of origin label. As such, a sticker is not enough.
- Made in the USA
- Made in China
- Made in Vietnam
- Made in India
You must create a country of origin file and submit it to your manufacturer before starting mass production. We recommend that you provide a country of origin label file in .ai or .eps formats.
California Proposition 65
California Proposition 65 publishes a list of substances known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. It also set limits to those chemicals in all consumer products imported and sold in California, including furniture, fabric covers, leather and other materials in direct contact with consumers.
As such, importers cannot sell furniture that contains an excessive amount of restricted chemicals in California.
Examples of restricted substances
- Leather dust
- Wood dust
California Proposition 65 requires the importer to add a warning label on the product or the packaging if it contains any restricted substances. You can also assess product compliance through third-party testing.
California Proposition 65 Lab testing
Most furniture manufacturers in Asia cannot provide California Proposition 65 testing reports. Third-party lab testing can help you verify whether your materials (e.g. furniture fabric cover) is compliant. Therefore, we recommend that you book a lab testing before selling furniture or other home products in California.
California Proposition 65 third-party lab testing starts at around $200, and it can cost more depending on the number of furniture styles, materials, and colors.
Click here for a list of California Proposition 65 lab testing companies.