EC removes Chint Solar and Sunny Solar from minimum price agreement

Two more Chinese manufacturers will be removed from the MIP. The EU Commission had threatened exclusion from the MIP in September, because of supposed far-reaching violations of the undertaking by Chint Solar and Sunny Energy. Brussels has now confirmed that imports on crystalline solar PV products from these two producers will now incur duties of around 50%.

The ruling relates to both companies and any related parties in the future. Both anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties have been applied.

The EU Commission found that Chint Solar had violated its reporting obligations. In addition, the solar modules manufacturers have sold PV products in the EU that were produced by companies belonging to Chint Solar, but are not listed in the undertaking. Another reason for the exclusion was that Chint Solar sold solar products under the minimum import price that had been produced in Europe by companies owned or related to Chint. Because of this, the EU found that compensatory arrangements been made that are not permitted by the undertaking.

In the case of Sunny Energy the main reasons the EU has excluded it from the MIP is that it has sold solar modules under the minimum import price and in combination with other products, which exceeded the allowable limit. Other Chinese manufacturers have previously been found to selling modules in combination with other discounted components, and therefore effective cross subsidizing, in the past.

Chint Solar had in 2013 bought the insolvent Conergy Solar Modules GmbH & Co. KG. Since then produced the Chinese PV manufacturer, via its German subsidiary Astronergy, also solar modules produced in Frankfurt (Oder) in Germany’s east. Astronergy is not affected by the decision of the EU Commission pertaining to Chint Solar, as Managing Director Thomas Volz confirmed to pv magazine.

EU Prosun pointed out that the minimum price rules had been proposed in 2013 by the Chinese companies. “The EU and Germany in particular have accepted that [the MIP]. If the company then breach the agreement, it’s a violent breach of trust. The recent exclusion shows that the inspections by the EC are more frequent and more thorough, so that will hopefully soon send the message that fraud in the end is costly,” EU Prosun President Milan Nitzschke told pv magazine.

Since early June, the EU Commission has already removed four Chinese PV manufacturers from the MIP. This included Canadian Solar, ET Solar, Renesola and Znshine. Officially the undertaking will remain in place until December 7. The SolarWorld lead association, EU Prosun has filed a petition for a review of the scheme. In the event that the EU Commission accepts this proposal, the undertaking could continue at least for the period in which the Prosun petition is examined by the EU. The removal of the MIP is being supported by several associations including Solar Power Europe, VDMA and SAFE.

Edited by Jonathan Gifford