U. S. Commerce Decides That Novelty
Candles Are Within Scope Of Antidumping Order
On Petroleum Wax Candles

August 25, 2011

On August 2, 2011, the U. S. Department of Commerce published notice in the Federal Register that, after a lengthy deliberation, all candles except birthday, utility and figurine candles are to be included within the scope of the antidumping order on petroleum wax candles from the People’s Republic of China (Order). Commerce’s decision reversed its preliminary results published on August 13, 2009, in which Commerce preliminarily determined that it would adopt the position that all candle shapes not enumerated in the Order would be considered outside of the scope of the Order, with the exception of birthday and utility candles.

In the August 2, 2011 notice, Commerce completely abandoned this position and decided that all candles except birthday, utility, and figurine candles are within the scope. For years Commerce had excluded holiday-themed candles and candles in the shape of a definable object from the scope of the Order.

Commerce’s decision to reverse its decision resulted from its review of the record in the initial Less Than Fair Value (LTFV) investigation, which was conducted prior to the establishment of the antidumping Order. Based upon this re-examination, Commerce found that there was nothing in the record submitted by the National Candle Association (NCA) that limited the scope to only certain candle shapes.  On the contrary, according to Commerce, the language in the materials submitted by the petitioner in the LTFV investigation showed that the intent of the NCA was to include all applicable candles. Therefore, the examples provided were not meant to be exclusive. Commerce also concluded that the only candles that are excluded from the Order are birthday, utility, and figurine candles, with the term “figurine” being narrowly defined as a candle in the shape of a human, animal or deity.

In its final decision, Commerce noted that there was an extremely large number of scope determinations requested by outside parties on this issue. The dramatic reversal announced by Commerce on novelty candles should drastically reduce the number of such scope requests. 

The result of this decision will probably lead to the further exit of candle makers from China, who, up to this point, have been exporting novelty candles to the U. S. without payment of antidumping duties.

If you have any questions about these or other customs issues, please contact Steve Spraitzar at steve.spraitzar@tuttlelaw.com or (415) 288-0427.

Steve 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.

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