AFASE starts petition against import duties; EU ProSun responds [updated]

AFASE is seeking to stop the imposition of anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar modules with an online petition. 18 of the 27 EU governments oppose the import duties and AFASE asserts that this is a strong argument that such duties are bad for the EU as a whole. The European Commission is planning to impose anti-dumping duties of 47% on Chinese solar imports from June 6 and can override the objections of EU member states to the imposition of these provisional duties.

With June 5 set as the deadline for the decision to fall, AFASE is using this online petition as a way to somehow swing the decision towards a "no duties" situation.

EU ProSun, led by SolarWorld AG, maintain their position that "EU anti-dumping duties will have a "clear positive effect on solar jobs and growth", stating that over 15,000 people have already lost their jobs because of China’s dumping prices in Europe with many more worrying about their jobs. EU ProSun also claims that AFASE has ignored to address the U.S. solar sector growth after the imposition of anti-dumping duties on solar cells and modules from China a year ago.

It has already been reported in pv magazine that if duties are mandated then China’s module prices in the EU will increase thus spiralling demand downwards. This could in effect trigger a final shakeout in China’s solar sector, but possibly too late to save many of Europe’s equipment makers.

IHS Solar’s Stefan de Haan mentioned that not all of the 20 Chinese suppliers active in the European market will drop out, with some qualifying for tariffs lower than the maximum 68% rate. The "moving out of China" strategy may also be undertaken by Chinese suppliers and some companies are already doing this.