License Classifications and Registry Number Information - Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation
(Authority: California Business & Professions Code § 19061.5)
What is a Registry Number?
Registry numbers are issued to identify the location where a product was manufactured. The number identifies the state issuing the registry number, the unique number, and the country or state where the manufacturer is located. Every manufacturing plant must obtain a registry number before a product is sold or distributed to California consumers. Registry numbers are for the exclusive use of the company they are issued to and cannot be used by any other company. Improper use of registry numbers is a violation of the law and is subject to disciplinary action.
California retailers and wholesalers are responsible for selling products that are properly labeled from licensed bedding and furniture manufacturers. Products that are not properly labeled or have been manufactured by an unlicensed factory or with an invalid registry number are subject to being withheld from sale. You can check to see if a manufacturer is licensed at the Bureau's website at http://www.bearhfti.ca.gov
Classifications of Licenses and Use of Registry Number
Importer – IMP (Business & Professions Code § 19053.1)
There are two distinct types of businesses that are issued Importer licenses.
1. Manufacturers located outside of the United States are issued an Importers license. These companies are issued a registry number from California, or are granted permission to use a valid registry number from another state on the labels identifying the plant and the country where it is manufactured.
2. Companies located in the United States who import products from overseas manufacturers for the purpose of then wholesaling the product, are issued an Importer license. These companies are not issued or approved to use a registry number; they are responsible for procuring products that are from a properly licensed manufacturer (domestic or overseas). The only circumstance where a U.S. Importer would be issued a registry number is when they also manufacture product at the same location. The registry number is for the sole use of the products they manufacture at that location – it cannot be used on products manufactured anywhere else. Each plant must have a separate and distinct registry number.
Furniture and Bedding Manufacturer (within the U.S.) - MFG (Business & Professions Code §19054)
These licenses are issued to manufacturers with plants in the U.S. that produce furniture and bedding products. Like the Importer, registry numbers are issued to identify the specific plant where the product was made, and the manufacturer may use an approved registry number from another state or a California-issued registry number.
Furniture and Bedding Wholesaler (within the U.S.) – WHL (Business & Professions Code §19010.5 and 19053)
"Wholesaler" means a person who, on his or her own account, sells any article of upholstered furniture or bedding or filling materials to another for the purpose of resale, but shall not include an affiliate or a subsidiary where the ownership and name are identical, and that is the exclusive sales outlet of a manufacturer.
These licenses are issued to companies in the U.S. who sell product to retailers in a commercial relationship. It is the responsibility of the Wholesaler to ensure the product they are distributing is from properly licensed Manufacturers and Importers and labeled appropriately. Wholesalers are not issued a registry number.
Furniture, Bedding, and Furniture and Bedding Retailers – A, H, M (Business & Professions Code Section 19051.6, 19055)
These licenses are issued to companies who sell products directly to consumers. Companies who only sell furniture products are issued an "A" license, those who sell only bedding products are issued a "H" license, and those who sell both furniture and bedding are issued a combination "M" license. Retailers are only issued a registry number for used bedding products they sanitize.
Custom Upholsterer Businesses – B (Business & Professions Code Section 19052)
These licenses are issued to companies who re-upholster, repair, re-cover, renew or restore upholstered furniture. Custom Upholsterers are issued registry numbers for the products they work on.
Sanitizers – L (Business & Professions Code Section 19059.5)
These licenses are issued to companies who sanitize used bedding. All used mattresses offered for sale in California must be sanitized and labeled in accordance with state regulation. Sanitizers are issued a registry number to identify the location where the sanitization was performed. Other license types may sanitize (IMP, MFG, H, M, and B licenses), but this must be disclosed on the application along with the method of sanitization and a registry number will be issued for those sanitization activities only.
Definitions from the Law and Regulations
Business & Professions Code - Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Act 19011.1 "Importer" means a person who manufactures or wholesales, through employees or agents, any article of upholstered furniture, bedding, or filling material manufactured outside of the United States for the purpose of sale or resale in California.
Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation Regulations
Title 4, Section 1109 (a) Registry Numbers - The location of every manufacturer, custom upholsterer, sanitizer, supply dealer or importer who manufactures shall bear a separate registry number. The registry number uniquely identifies each location (branch) of a licensed manufacturer, custom upholsterer, sanitizer, supply dealer, or importer.
Title 4, Section 1109 (d) Exclusive Registry - Every registry number issued by the Bureau shall be exclusively for the person to whom it is issued and the number shall not hereafter be reissued to, or used by, any other person.