Retroactive extension: punitive tariffs on solar modules

The European Commission has now significantly extended the anti-dumping and countervailing duties on solar modules. While the additional charges were previously only levied on Chinese solar modules, they now also apply to all imports of photovoltaic modules shipped from Malaysia or Taiwan. This also applies to the solar cells sent from there. Companies are now even threatening retroactive back payments for the period up to May 2015.

Do you have questions about the extension of anti-dumping duties on solar modules from Taiwan and Malaysia? Are you possibly even seeking to recover customs duties on past imports from these countries? Then contact us, we will be happy to help you. You can also reach us by phone on 040 /369615-0

Investigation showed circumvention of anti-dumping law

We had already reported that the European Commission had initiated an investigation procedure because it was suspected that anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties for Chinese solar modules would be circumvented by shipment through third countries. In addition, certificates of origin from neighbouring countries have been questioned as incorrect in the past.

The Commission subsequently initiated an official circumvention investigation (see Official Journal L 132/15 of 29.05.2015) and imports from Malaysia and Taiwan have been subject to special customs registration since May 2015.

Extension of punitive tariffs to solar modules

The decision has now been taken to extend the punitive tariffs on solar modules to imports from Taiwan and Malaysia. This has been laid down by the Commission in two Regulations

  • Implementing Regulation 2016/185 (anti-dumping duties)
  • Implementing Regulation 2016/184 (countervailing duties)

held down.

The current investigation covered the period from 1 January 2012 to 31 March 2015, when the Commission found that imports of solar modules from the PRC into the Union decreased significantly by 66%, while imports from China decreased, total imports of the product under investigation from Malaysia increased by 245%. Similar changes have been observed for Taiwan.

Accordingly, the Commission considers that anti-dumping duties have been systematically circumvented for some time.

Product affected by the extension

The new Regulation applies to crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules and cells thereof, currently covered by CN codes

  • 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

and applies to all solar modules and cells shipped from Taiwan or Malaysia – regardless of the origin of the goods.

Exemption for certain companies

The Commission carried out visits to the premises of 23 companies. It granted an exemption to certain companies for the imposition of circumvention anti-dumping duties, in particular at present:

  • AUO – SunPower Sdn. Bhd.
  • Flextronics Shah Alam Sdn. Bhd.
  • Hanwha Q CELLS Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.
  • Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.
  • TS Solartech Sdn. Bhd.
  • ANJI Technology Co., Ltd.
  • AU Optronics Corporation
  • Big Sun Energy Technology Inc.
  • EEPV Corp.
  • E-TON Solar Tech. Co., Ltd.
  • Gintech Energy Corporation
  • Gintung Energy Corporation
  • Inventec Energy Corporation
  • Inventec Solar Energy Corporation
  • LOF Solar Corp.
  • Ming Hwei Energy Co., Ltd.
  • Motech Industries, Inc.
  • Neo Solar Power Corporation
  • Perfect Source Technology Corp.
  • Ritek Corporation
  • Sino-American Silicon Products Inc.
  • Solartech Energy Corp.
  • Sunengine Corporation Ltd.
  • Topcell Solar International Co, Ltd.
  • TSEC Corporation
  • Win Precision Technology Co, Ltd.

Retroactive imposition of anti-dumping duties

The Commission already ordered customs authorities in 2015 to register imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules or panels and cells thereof shipped from Malaysia and Taiwan. On 13 July 2015, an application for cessation of registration was submitted. However, this was discussed and rejected at the hearing by the EU Hearing Officer on 1 October 2015.

Accordingly, companies are expected to have to pay anti-dumping and countervailing duties for solar modules already imported for the last 9 months.

Do you have questions about the extension of anti-dumping duties on solar modules from Taiwan and Malaysia? Are you possibly even seeking to recover customs duties on past imports from these countries? Then contact us, we will be happy to help you. You can also reach us by phone on 040 /369615-0

 

Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

Your consultant

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20354 Hamburg
T +49 (0) 40 / 36 96 15 0
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