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Commodity Matchbooks From India: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce


The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of commodity matchbooks from India. For information on the estimated subsidy rates, see the “Suspension of Liquidation” section of this notice.


October 22, 2009.

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Sean Carey or Dana Mermelstein, AD/CVD Operations, Office 6, Import Administration, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3964 and (202) 482-1391, respectively.

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Period of Investigation

The period for which we are measuring subsidies, i.e., the period of investigation (POI), is January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007.

Case History

The following events have occurred since the publication of the Department's preliminary determination in the Federal Register. See Commodity Matchbooks from India: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Alignment of Final Countervailing Duty Determination with Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 74 FR 15444 (April 6, 2009). The Department conducted a verification of the Government of India's (GOI) questionnaire responses regarding the administration of the Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme (EPCGS) on May 4, 2009, in New Delhi, India. See Memorandum to Dana Mermelstein, Program Manager for AD/CVD Operations, Office 6, from Sean Carey, Case Analyst, AD/CVD Operations, Office 6, “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses Submitted by the Government of India,” dated August 7, 2009. On May 5 through 8, 2009, the Department verified the information submitted by the sole respondent in this investigation, Triveni Safety Matches Pvt. Ltd. (Triveni), at its corporate headquarters in Mumbai, India. See Memorandum to Dana Mermelstein, Program Manager for AD/CVD Operations, Office 6, from Sean Carey, Case Analyst, AD/CVD Operations, Office 6, “Verification of the Questionnaire Responses Submitted by Triveni Safety Matches Pvt. Ltd.,” dated August 7, 2009. The Department released its briefing schedule on August 7, 2009, notifying all parties of the deadlines for submission of case and rebuttal briefs. No case briefs were filed by any of the interested parties. The memoranda cited above are available at the Department's Central Records Unit (Room 1117 in the HCHB Building) (hereafter referred to as “CRU”).

Scope of the Investigation

The scope of this investigation covers commodity matchbooks, also known as commodity book matches, paper matches or booklet matches.1 Commodity matchbooks typically, but do not necessarily, consist of twenty match stems which are usually made from paperboard or similar material tipped with a match head composed of any chemical formula. The match stems may be stitched, stapled or otherwise fastened into a matchbook cover of any material, on which a striking strip composed of any chemical formula has been applied to assist in the ignition process.

Commodity matchbooks included in the scope of this investigation may or may not contain printing. For example, they may have no printing other than the identification of the manufacturer or importer. Commodity matchbooks may also be printed with a generic message such as “Thank You” or a generic image such as the American Flag, with store brands (e.g., Kroger, 7-Eleven, Shurfine or Giant); product brands for national or regional advertisers such as cigarettes or alcoholic beverages; or with corporate brands for national or regional distributors (e.g., Penley Corp. or Diamond Brands). They all enter retail distribution channels. Regardless of the materials used for the stems of the matches and regardless of the way the match stems are fastened to the matchbook cover, all commodity matchbooks are included in the scope of this investigation. All matchbooks, including commodity matchbooks, typically comply with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Safety Standard for Matchbooks, codified at 16 CFR § 1202.1 et seq.

The scope of this investigation excludes promotional matchbooks, often referred to as “not for resale,” or “specialty advertising” matchbooks, as they do not enter into retail channels and are sold to businesses that provide hospitality, dining, drinking or entertainment services to their customers, and are given away by these businesses as promotional items. Such promotional matchbooks are distinguished by the physical Start Printed Page 54548characteristic of having the name and/or logo of a bar, restaurant, resort, hotel, club, café/coffee shop, grill, pub, eatery, lounge, casino, barbecue or individual establishment printed prominently on the matchbook cover. Promotional matchbook cover printing also typically includes the address and the phone number of the business or establishment being promoted.2 Also excluded are all other matches that are not fastened into a matchbook cover such as wooden matches, stick matches, box matches, kitchen matches, pocket matches, penny matches, household matches, strike-anywhere matches (aka “SAW” matches), strike-on-box matches (aka “SOB” matches), fireplace matches, barbeque/grill matches, fire starters, and wax matches.

The merchandise subject to this investigation is properly classified under subheading 3605.00.0060 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Subject merchandise may also enter under subheading 3605.00.0030 of the HTSUS. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise under investigation is dispositive.

Injury Test

Because India is a “Subsidies Agreement Country” within the meaning of section 701(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the International Trade Commission (ITC) is required to determine, pursuant to section 701(a)(2) of the Act, whether imports of the subject merchandise from India materially injure, or threaten material injury to, a United States industry. On December 19, 2008, the ITC published its preliminary determination that there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of allegedly subsidized imports from the PRC of subject merchandise. See Commodity Matchbooks from India; Determinations, 73 FR 77840 (December 19, 2008); and C ommodity Matchbooks from India (Preliminary), USITC Pub. 4054, Inv. Nos. 701-TA-459 and 731-TA 1155 (December 2008).

Analysis of Programs

A complete description and discussion of the programs that the Department investigated are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination: Commodity Matchbooks from India, from John M. Andersen, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary, dated October 15, 2009 (“Issues and Decision Memorandum”). Modifications to the calculations based on verification are also discussed in this memorandum. Parties can find this public memorandum in the Department's CRU. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at​frn/​index.html. The paper copy and electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

Suspension of Liquidation

In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i)(I) of the Act, we have calculated an individual subsidy rate for the company under investigation, Triveni, below. Section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act states that for companies not investigated, we will determine an all others rate equal to the weighted average countervailable subsidy rates established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero and de minimis countervailable subsidy rates, and any rates determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. As Triveni was the only exporter/manufacturer under investigation, the all others rate is based on Triveni's total subsidy rate calculated for this final determination.

Exporter/ManufacturerNet Subsidy Rate
Triveni Safety Matches Pvt. Limited9.88%
All Others9.88%

In accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to discontinue the suspension of liquidation for countervailing duty purposes for subject merchandise entered on or after August 4, 2009, but to continue the suspension of liquidation of entries made from April 6, 2009 through August 3, 2009.

We will issue a countervailing duty order and reinstate the suspension of liquidation under section 706(a) of the Act if the ITC issues a final affirmative injury determination, and we will require a cash deposit of estimated countervailing duties for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited or securities posted as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

ITC Notification

In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and nonproprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an Administrative Protective Order (APO), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

Return or Destruction of Proprietary Information

In the event that the ITC issues a final negative injury determination, this notice will serve as the only reminder to parties subject to an APO of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

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Dated: October 15, 2009.

Ronald K. Lorentzen,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.

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1.  Such commodity matchbooks are also referred to as “for resale” because they always enter into retail channels, meaning businesses that sell a general variety of tangible merchandise, e.g., convenience stores, supermarkets, dollar stores, drug stores and mass merchandisers.

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2.  The gross distinctions between commodity matchbooks and promotional matchbooks may be summarized as follows: (1) if it has no printing, or is printed with a generic message such as “Thank You” or a generic image such as the American Flag, or printed with national or regional store brands or corporate brands, it is commodity; (2) if it has printing, and the printing includes the name of a bar, restaurant, resort, hotel, club, café/coffee shop, grill, pub, eatery, lounge, casino, barbecue, or individual establishment prominently displayed on the matchbook cover, it is promotional.

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[FR Doc. E9-25445 Filed 10-21-09; 8:45 am]