US lowers anti-dumping tariffs on Taiwanese solar cells, modules

20. August 2014 | Financial & Legal Affairs, Investor news, Markets & Trends, Top News | By:  Christian Roselund

Citing a “ministerial error”, the U.S. Department of Commerce has cut in half duty levels for solar products made in Taiwan by Motech, and has reduced tariff levels for most other Taiwanese solar PV makers as well.

Motech will have the largest reduction in its anti-dumping duty rates, which will fall to 20.86%.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued a “correction” to preliminary anti-dumping tariff levels on PV cells and modules produced in Taiwan by Motech Industries, citing an error in its calculations.

According to a document obtained by PV Magazine, upon publication in the federal register anti-dumping duty levels for Motech will be reduced from 44.18% to 20.86%. Gintech's tariff rate will remain the same at 27.59%, but all other Taiwanese PV makers including market leader Neo Solar Power will see duty rates fall from 35.89% to 24.23%.

GTM Research Lead Upstream Analyst Shyam Mehta says that while this change will make it easier for Motech to use its own cells in modules manufactured in third-party nations and shipped to the United States, he does not expect a return to Taiwan shipping cells to China for use in U.S.-bound modules.

“Most Chinese manufacturers have pretty much shifted to the strategy of using all Chinese product, and then paying the 2012 cell tariff, which was round 31%,” notes Mehta. “That still results in a lower cost for the Chinese and makes a lower price point feasible.”

The document mentions that filings alleging ministerial errors were submitted by Motech, SolarWorld and Chinese PV maker tenKsolar, which led to the change in tariff levels. Motech says that the process of settling on anti-dumping duty levels is far from over.

“This is still very much a fluid conversation, and we are in the middle of it,” says Motech Americas Senior Sales Manager Dave Holleran.

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