The National Candle Association acts as a national spokesperson for the candle industry on issues of vital importance. The staff of its Washington, DC headquarters provides an information network for candle manufacturers and suppliers, and offers liaison with other national and international organizations with related interests.
In addition, NCA actively represents the industry regarding trade, fire safety, technical-scientific, regulatory and international matters impacting candle-making and sales. Members meet annually to discuss these and other issues, review technical findings and research, and conduct Association-related business.
In 1985, when the U.S. candle industry was first threatened with a flood of inexpensive imports from the People’s Republic of China, the NCA hired trade experts and filed an antidumping petition with the International Trade Commission.
Almost a year later, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued an order directing the U.S. Customs Service to assess an antidumping duty of 54.21% on petroleum wax candles from China. Fair and reasonable competitive balance was restored until the late 1990s, when the dumping of candles began to distort the marketplace again and unfairly injure the U.S. candle industry.
In 2004, the Commerce Department doubled the anti-dumping duty to 108.3% on the basis of continued and escalating dumping of cheap Chinese candle imports. The NCA also filed a petition in 2004 seeking a ruling on whether candles from China containing a mix of paraffin and vegetable waxes were circumventing the anti-dumping order. (Vegetable-based waxes were not commercial used when the original anti-dumping order was issued.)
In November of 2006, the Commerce Department agreed and ruled that candles containing any amount of petroleum wax, including candles containing 50 percent or more vegetable/based wax, were subject to the 108.3% duty.
In August of 2011, the Department of Commerce further clarified the scope of the antidumping duty order, making it clear that the duty applied to all shapes, sizes, styles and types of candles imported from China containing any amount of petroleum wax, with three very narrowly-defined exclusions: birthday candles, utility candles and figurine candles.The NCA continues to monitor efforts to circumvent the anti-dumping duty and remains actively involved in seeking a fair and competitive trade arena for candles.
As the popularity of candles rose dramatically from the mid- to late-1990s, so did the number of residential fires involving candles. In 1997, the NCA began to work with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the ASTM International standards organization to develop industry standards that might reduce the number of accidental candle fires.
The first industry-wide standard, effective in 2000, called for the labeling of all candles with fire-safety precautions. Additional industry standards to enhance the fire-safety design of candles, glass containers, candle holders and candle accessories also have been established. NCA continues to spearhead the development of performance and design standards to reduce the potential for candle fires.
Because a reported 85 percent of all candle fires are caused by consumer inattention to candles or misuse of candles, the NCA also embarked in the late 1990s on an aggressive campaign to educate consumers about the need for caution when burning candles. This important safety education program includes a broad range of informational, media and consumer outreach efforts, as well as cooperative endeavors with fire and safety organizations.
Technical & Scientific Expertise
The NCA is the recognized technical authority on candle-making, formulation, testing and standards. Its member companies, which include the leading candle manufacturers and suppliers, regularly contribute to NCA the advanced findings of their research, development departments and testing laboratories.
The candle industry is home to hundreds of chemists, engineers and researchers, and these individuals regularly develop technical papers on candle-making and candle-related subjects for presentation during the Association’s annual spring meeting.
NCA-member scientists and specialists continually endeavor to explore the technical issues impacting the industry, to study related scientific advancements and academic research in areas impacting candle-making, and to share its findings with the NCA membership.
Summaries of technical presentations given at NCA meetings, along with research papers and studies on candle performance and related subjects, are archived and maintained for member reference.
NCA is frequently at the forefront of regulatory trends. Forty years ago, NCA members voluntarily agreed not to use lead wicks, placing the Association in the vanguard of the lead-free movement. In 2000, NCA went further and asked all U.S. candle manufacturers to join its members in signing a formal pledge not to use lead wicks. In 2003, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned lead wicks from the U.S. marketplace, an action long supported by the NCA.
NCA also monitors federal and state regulatory issues of concern to its members, and works diligently to develop unified industry responses whenever needed. In 1998, after learning that a plaintiff attorney had filed suit under California's "Proposition 65" naming candle manufacturer members and their retailers, the Association immediately enlisted highly-regarded counsel to advise and represent industry members, and was instrumental in successfully forming a joint defense group to defend against the unfounded accusations.
NCA frequently interacts with candle organizations, governmental authorities, and standards bodies around the world to gain harmonization of standards and regulations impacting candle manufacturing, and to share technical information and research regarding candles.
Every spring, NCA members officially meet to explore and review the latest issues impacting the industry, conduct committee meetings, attend technical presentations and business workshops, and to discuss advancements and new product developments in candle-making.In addition, an international trade show is held in conjunction with the annual meeting. Candle manufacturing suppliers from around the world regularly attend this NCA-sponsored trade show, which is the largest of its kind and widely regarded as the primary venue for introducing new candle and candle-related product developments.
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