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How to Ship Furniture in Canada

The furniture industry is big business in the Great White North, and this means that knowing how to ship furniture in Canada is an important part of getting products to c

By

Laura Isaacs
October 3, 2019
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The furniture industry is big business in the Great White North, and this means that knowing how to ship furniture in Canada is an important part of getting products to consumers on both sides of the border. Furniture can be big and bulky, and shipping furniture long distance can come with a few challenges. 

Canada is the world’s 8th largest furniture exporter, and this means furniture manufacturers and wholesalers need to understand how to ship furniture in Canada. There are a few regulations for shipping furniture to and from Canada. When shipping wooden furniture to Canada, you’ll need to be aware of rules set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and be aware of tariff regulations set by the H.S. Tariff Classification. 

Furniture Manufacturing in CanadaFurniture Manufacturing in Canada

There are many furniture manufacturers in Canada. From pressed wood ready-to-assemble furniture to high-end designer options, you’ll find it all in Canada. In fact, Canada has thousands of furniture manufacturers. 

Some of the busiest furniture manufacturers in Canada include:

  • Dorel Industries in Montreal
  • Palliser Furniture in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Shermag in Sherbrooke, Quebec
  • South Shore Industries in Sainte-Croix, Quebec
  • Simmons Canada in Mississauga, Ontatio
  • Canadel Furniture in Louiseville, Quebec
  • Sealy Canada in Toronto

The furniture manufacturing industry in Canada dates all the way back to 1830. The first furniture factory in Canada opened for business then in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario. The factory’s founder, Jacob Hoffman, became a magnate in the furniture industry and helped the industry expand through Ontario and into Quebec.

Furniture manufacturing became more automated after World War II, and this helped the Canadian furniture industry grow and expand. In fact, annual furniture sales reached nearly $642 million by 1967, when the mid-century modern look was all the rave.

Furniture sales multiplied 20 times between the late 1960s and the early aughts, reaching $13.9 billion in 2002. By 2016, Canada was the world’s 8th largest exporter manufacturer. Today annual sales of furniture in Canada top $11.5 billion.

A large percentage of furniture manufactured in Canada stays in the country. Additionally, Canada’s largest export partner, the U.S., also sees a large amount of Canadian furniture being imported.

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How to Ship Furniture in Canada Cross Border

Many shipping companies move furniture cross border and between cities and provinces in Canada. Shipping furniture within Canada is simple. A full-service shipping company can help you determine what documents you need to move furniture within Canada.

However, things can get more complicated when you decide to move furniture across the border. Regardless of whether you’re shipping furniture north in Canada or South into the U.S., there are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

In Canada, furniture imports are managed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). They oversee importation of wood and wooden products, like furniture. In the United States, furniture imports are regulated by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), as they also oversee the importation of wood and wooden products coming into the U.S. In both countries, you’ll need a phytosanitary permit to ship furniture cross border.

When you’re shipping furniture between the United States and Canada, you’ll also need a NAFTA Certificate of Origin document. NAFTA is an agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. preferential tariff treatment on goods produced and traveling between these 3 countries. You need a NAFTA Certificate of Origin to get the preferential tariff treatment.

The Certificate of Origin states that the furniture coming into the country qualifies for preferential tariff treatment. The certificate also summarizes the country from where the goods came. If you’re sure your goods came from Canada or the U.S., it's important to have this certificate.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. You’ll find three circumstances in which you won’t need a NAFTA Certificate of Origin when sending furniture across the border. These circumstances are:

  1. The commercial shipment is valued at less than $1,000
  2. The goods being shipped into the U.S. or imported are non-commercial or have very limited value
  3. The customs director at the port of entry has waived the requirement in writing because he or she is certain the goods qualify for preferential tariff treatment

Other Documents Needed to Ship Furniture in CanadaOther Documents Needed to Ship Furniture in Canada

In addition to the permits and certificates needed to get furniture across the U.S.-Canada border, you’ll need a few other important documents. These documents include:

  • Customs bond
  • Bill of Lading
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • Arrival notice

You’ll also need to know where your furniture falls on the H.S. Tariff Classification. Furniture will likely fall into one of the following categories:

  • 4419 (Tableware and kitchenware, of wood)
  • 4420 (Decorative articles of wood)
  • 4421 (Other articles of wood)
  • 6702 (Artificial flowers, foliage and fruit and parts)
  • 9403.60 (Wooden furniture)
  • 9406.10 (Prefabricated buildings of wood)
  • 9505 (Festive articles)
  • 9703 (Original sculptures and statuary)

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When you’re importing furniture into the U.S. from Canada, it might be wise to work with a Licensed Customs Broker. A broker can guide you through the process of bringing in goods and can help you make sense of import rules and make bringing your furniture into the country simple. If you don’t know where to start with a customs broker, consider booking import consulting services for the information you need to get started.

Ship Furniture in Canada with R+L Global Logistics

When you’re ready to go beyond knowing how to ship furniture in Canada and get your products on the road, it’s time to take advantage of R+L Global Logistics’ robust service offerings. No matter whether you’re taking your furniture cross border or seeking intra-Canada shipping, we’re here to help. With more than 99% on-time delivery, we’ll make sure your furniture shipment gets there safely and efficiently. You can rest assured that your freight will be handled with the utmost care and receive outstanding customer service along the way. 

In addition to cross-border and other shipping services, R+L Global Logistics offers a host of other services in states and cities like North Dakota and Houlton, including:

  • Reverse logistics
  • Warehousing
  • Pick and pack
  • Kitting and assembly 

R+L Global Logistics knows how to ship everything from furniture to Canadian vegetables. Contact us today for a quote and let us handle the rest.

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