The EC has officially ruled that Canadian Solar, ET Solar and ReneSola have breached the PV module minimum price (MIP) agreement struck between the EU and China. They will now be subject to tariffs, if they continue to export to Europe. The decision will take effect tomorrow, Saturday June 6.
The average duty on Chinese producers is approximately 47%. Bloomberg reports that the Canadian Solar and ET Solar are now facing anti-dumping duties of 43.1% and anti-subsidy levies of 6.4%. ReneSola, meanwhile, will be subject to an anti-dumping duty of 43.1% and an anti-subsidy levy of 4.6%.
In a statement issued, EU Prosun has applauded the move, saying that it was "long overdue." It added that the companies had "massively" violated the agreement that they themselves set up, thus cheating European customs out of millions.
It went on to say that the three companies are "just the tip of the iceberg" and that of eight companies under investigation, breaches have already been found at three. "Our main requirement is therefore to extend the investigation immediately. At the same time European customs already take action against customs fraud in more than one hundred cases, supported by the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF. In addition, the European Commission opened a case against Chinese customs evasion via Taiwan and Malaysia."
In a disclosure document received, pv magazine reported in March that the three companies were under investigation for a number of breaches, including the provision of additional "benefits" to customers, breaches of import volumes, use of OEMs outside of the MIP agreement and the sale of products covered by the MIP as a part of solar parks. The full list of breaches can be seen in the March report.
No systematic breaches by a major number of exporting producers or the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) were found.
Following on from the news on March 9, ReneSola said in a letter to customers that it had taken the decision to "exit from the MIP list." Meanwhile, ET Solar issued pv magazine with a statement in which it said it would work with the EC in a "clarification and reconciliation" process that it believed would rectify the matter. ET added that business in Europe "will not be negatively affected by this matter."
Canadian Solar also indicated that it would look to work with the EC to reach a favorable outcome. Responding to todays news, the Chinese solar manufacturer maintains that it "duly complied with all its terms and conditions."
"Despite the arbitrary nature of the Undertaking text that caused interpretation confusion and implementation complications, Canadian Solar believes that it has always conducted all its business in the EU in compliance with the Undertaking," it said in a statement released. "The Company strongly believes that this decision lacks merit and is arbitrary without giving due consideration to the Company’s cooperation with EU Commission. The Company is currently reviewing its legal options."
Last June, pro-duty group EU ProSun accused Chinese manufacturers of "massive violation(s)" of the MIP.
pv magazine could not reach ET Solar for comment.
The war rages
On the back of another request from SolarWorld, the EC at the end of May launched an investigation into Chinese solar suppliers to the EU, this time from those suppliers exporting crystalline silicon PV cells and modules from Malaysia and Taiwan.
Reportedly, it has been noted that "a significant change in the pattern of trade involving exports from the Peoples Republic of China, Malaysia and Taiwan to the Union has taken place following the imposition of the [countervailing duty] measures, without sufficient due cause or economic justification for such a change other than the imposition of the duty."