EU ProSun accuses Chinese PV manufacturers of 'massive violation of EU trade deal'

European solar industry initiative EU ProSun said on Thursday that it had submitted more than 1,000 pages of documentation to the European Commission’s directorate-general for Trade containing some 1,500 alleged proposals by Chinese solar companies offering prices below the minimum level agreed by the EU Commission and China.

EU ProSun President Milan Nitzschke said: "EU trade rules are being systematically violated by Chinese manufacturers."

Nitschke, who also serves as marketing and communications chief of SolarWorld AG, which has led the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy campaigns against Chinese PV manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic, added: "Dumped Chinese solar products continue to flood the EU market, destroying European industry and jobs. The Commission must act fast to stop these violations and implement sanctions."

The EU imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar imports last year after dozens of European solar companies folded, unable to compete with state-subsidized rivals from China.

"In order to circumvent these duties of around 50%, over 100 Chinese solar manufacturers offered the EU a contractual undertaking to only import above a minimum price of €.056 per watt,” EU ProSun said in a statement. "The European Commission and the European Council agreed to this minimum price offer. However, it is obvious that Chinese companies are neither paying duties nor observing the minimum price agreement."

Nitzschke stressed that the contract between the EU Commission and the Chinese companies clearly states: "The affected manufacturer will be barred from the minimum price agreement for even minor violations of the requirements. The duty of around 50% of the import price is then due immediately."

EU ProSun said this duty has to be paid by the European importer, even after the fact when applicable, and added that in the case of grave customs violations, criminal prosecution was also possible.

The lobby group is calling for the entire minimum price agreement between the EU and China to be reviewed.

"The minimum price agreement that the European Commission negotiated with China is unworkable," Nitzschke argued. "There is still no end in sight for Chinese dumping and the EU must impose duties across the board in the face of such illegal and flagrant trade violations."