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Commerce Raises Antidumping Duty Rate From 54.21% To 95.95% On Petroleum Wax Candles From China

March 15, 2004

The following is an update on the status of the ongoing antidumping reviews on imports of petroleum wax candles from China by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

New Antidumping Duty Rate Of 95.95% Effective March 15, 2004

On March 15, 2004, the U.S. Department of Commerce published its final determination for the 2001-02 Administrative Review period in the Federal Register, concluding that the final China-wide antidumping duty rate on candles from China will now be 95.95%. This decision substantially raises the antidumping duty rate from the current 54.21%.

This final determination by Commerce means that the deposit rate for all petroleum wax candles from China imported on or after March 15, 2004, will be 95.95%. None of the reviewed Chinese suppliers obtained a lower AD rate.

This decision will also mean that retroactive antidumping duties will be assessed at the 95.95% rate for imports made during the period of August 1, 2001–July 31, 2002 (period in issue), by all importers who imported from the 90-plus Chinese suppliers who were reviewed in the 2001-02 review. This will result in an increase of 41.74% in AD for the period in issue, plus interest. Within 15 days, Commerce will be issuing instructions to Customs to liquidate these entries at the higher rate. The quantity of petroleum wax candles imported from China into the U.S. is substantial, and thus the retroactive duties that will be assessed will be very large.

In order to contest this decision, an action must be filed in the U.S. Court of International Trade within 30 days from the date of this decision (by April 14), by an interested party. Litigation of this matter would delay liquidation of the affected entries until the litigation is finalized.

Review As To Whether Candles Are Within The Scope

Importers who are affected by the new AD rate on candles from China should also review whether all of their petroleum wax candles are within the scope of the AD order. Some candles, because of their size and configuration, may be excluded from the scope, based upon scope determinations issued by the Department of Commerce. Certain other candles are excluded because they are considered “novelty” candles. If there is doubt as to whether candles are within the scope, this should be reviewed further.

2002-03 Administrative Review Period

In our last newsletter, we reported that Commerce had terminated the Administrative Review for 21 of the 23 Chinese suppliers who were initially named in this review.

Commerce will continue with its own review of 2 of the 23 companies, because they filed their own separate requests for review of their own antidumping rates. These two companies are Fay Candle and Qingdao Kingking. It is our understanding that these companies are now in the process of responding to an antidumping questionnaire.

August 2004 Is Next Opportunity To Request An Administrative Review

Each antidumping order has an “anniversary month”, which is the month in which the antidumping order was originally issued. For the order on petroleum wax candles from China, the anniversary month is August. This means that requests for administrative review can be filed during the period of August 1-31, 2004. It is also the month in which new shipper reviews can be filed with respect to this antidumping order.

Under the Commerce Department regulations, a “new shipper” is permitted to file a request for administrative review either during the anniversary month of the antidumping order (August for candles from China), or six months after the anniversary month (in this case, February).

A “new shipper” is a supplier that was not reviewed during the original investigation (which, for candles, was in 1986), and has not been subsequently reviewed by Commerce. Thus, the 90+ Chinese suppliers who were reviewed in the 2001-02 administrative review are not permitted to file new shipper reviews.

For this year, new shipper requests for the candle AD order must be filed with Commerce in Washington, D.C. during the period of August 1–31, 2004.

Once Commerce initiates a review, they will issue a questionnaire to the new shipper, and, typically, information for six months prior to the request will be reviewed, in contrast to twelve months’ worth of data that is reviewed in a regular administrative review. Chinese suppliers who have not been reviewed by Commerce should seriously consider the opportunities presented by filing a new shipper review.

If you have any questions on any of the issues raised in the newsletter or any other Customs-related issues, please contact Stephen Spraitzar at (415) 288-0427 or via email at sss@tuttlelaw.com, or George R. Tuttle at (415) 288-0425 or via email at grt@tuttlelaw.com.

Stephen Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco. The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

Copyright 2005 by Tuttle Law Offices.

All rights reserved. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.

 

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