Penal solar tariffs are legal

The European Court confirmed the legality of anti-dumping duties for solar modules from China by a decision of 28 February 2017. The actions for annulment brought against Council Regulation (EU) No 1238/2013 by a total of 26 companies have been rejected.

The ECJ has ruled that the anti-dumping duties were legally fixed at an average rate of 47.7%. In particular, there was no infringement of the basic anti-dumping Regulation (EC) No 1225/2009.

Anti-dumping duties on solar modules set correctly

The institutions of the Union would have a wide margin of discretion in the determination of the normal value of a product, irrespective of its origin, and would therefore not be obliged to determine the exporting country in the same way at all times in order to determine the normal value there. Solar cells and photovoltaic modules should also be treated as the only product, as they have the same function.

Furthermore, in view of the injury caused to the European solar industry by the dumped imports from China, the duties are not unreasonably high.

In fixing the amount, the Union institutions would also have included in the assessment other possible causes of the damage caused and sufficiently differentiated their effects from those of the dumped imports.

Slow expiry of punitive tariffs planned

The anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar modules have existed since 2013 and were recently extended by a further 18 months by the European Commission after a proposal to extend the existing measures by 24 months failed to obtain a majority. However, an end to the anti-dumping duties after September 2018 is likely, as at the same time as the extension of the measures a procedure for a gradual reduction of the duties was initiated.

By outsourcing production facilities of Chinese solar module manufacturers to neighbouring countries, customs duties are already partly avoided in any case, so that they lose importance in the long term.

O&W Attorneys at Law have been advising clients on anti-dumping duties on solar modules for years. Ask your questions about the anti-dumping duties or the expiry investigation to our customs lawyers.

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Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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