The European Union had imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on solar modules in 2013. These measures would have expired this week. Now, at ProSun’s request, the Commission has opened an investigation because there is a risk that the abolition of punitive tariffs would restore dumping. This means that the anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar modules will remain in force until March 2017.
At the same time, it is also being examined whether photovoltaic cells can be exempted from anti-dumping and countervailing duties in future.
Penal duties on Chinese solar modules since 2013
Since 2013 there have been punitive tariffs on solar modules and key components thereof. The measures currently in force are a definitive anti-dumping duty imposed by Council Regulation (EU) No 1238/2013 and a definitive countervailing duty imposed by Council Regulation (EU) No 1239/2013.
The goods are crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules or panels and cells of the type used in crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules or panels (the thickness of the cells does not exceed 400 micrometres) currently falling within CN code ex 8501 31 00, ex 8501 32 00, ex 8501 33 00, ex 8501 34 00, ex 8501 61 20, ex 8501 61 80, ex 8501 62 00, ex 8501 63 00, ex 8501 64 00 and ex 8541 40 90, originating in or consigned from the People³s Republic of China, with the exception of transit goods within the meaning of Article V GATT.
These measures should now expire. However, ProSun had applied for an extension of these measures. The reason for the request was that, if the measures were to expire, dumping would continue and the injury suffered by the Union industry would recur.
In its expiry review decision, the Commission stated that the evidence provided by ProSun showed that the recurrence of the injury was likely. Evidence suggested that, should the measures be repealed, imports of the products into the Union would increase because the People’s Republic of China still has unused production capacity, the Union market is still attractive in terms of volumes and other third countries have taken trade defence measures against the product under investigation.
The phasing-out review will now examine whether dumping is likely to continue or recur and whether it is likely to continue to harm the Union industry. The review carried out by the Commission must be completed by March 2017.
Repeal of measures for photovoltaic cells?
At the same time, the EU Commission has also launched a partial interim review to examine the need to maintain the current anti-dumping and countervailing duty measures on photovoltaic cells.
According to the Commission, there is prima facie evidence that the circumstances which were decisive for the introduction of the measures in force have changed permanently. In particular, many cell manufacturers in the Union would have stopped their production in the meantime. As a result, EU companies only sell very limited quantities of cells. In this respect, the Commission has initiated a partial interim review.