The EC, which launched an investigation this May 29 into Chinese companies shipping solar PV panels and cells to the EU via Taiwan and Malaysia, thus dodging anti-dumping duties, has found evidence supporting the claims. As such, it has set anti-circumvention duties of 53.4% and anti-subsidy duties of 11.5%. A full list of the companies not affected by the duties can be found at the end of the article.
Based on the investigation, 3% of cells and 7% of panels from Taiwan to the EU were from "non-cooperating" companies those either circumventing duties or which did not reply to the ECs questionnaire compared to 9% of panels from Malaysia.
"The request provided prima facie evidence that a significant change in the pattern of trade involving exports from the PRC, Malaysia and Taiwan to the Union occurred, which seemed to be caused by the imposition of the measures in force," wrote the EC. See table below for more details:
Rate 2012 RP
PRC to EU
Malaysia to EU
Taiwan to EU
Total imports to EU
Companies have until January 6 to comment on the ruling, a final decision on which is slated for the end of February. Duties will be applied retroactively on companies which have either been found to circumvent the duties, or which have not cooperated with the EC in its investigation, from May 30, 2015.
Speaking to pv magazine, James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe said the association does not support companies found guilty of circumventing and that they should be punished accordingly. Holger Krawinkel, spokesperson for Solar Alliance for Europe (SAFE) agreed, telling pv magazine, "These companies have failed to comply with applicable law and the consequences of the Commission are justified in this case."
He added, "However, this does not change the fundamental problem that the minimum import price and tariffs stifle the European solar industry. If the recently announced targets [at the climate talks] in Paris are to be achieved, we are also reliant on strong PV growth in Europe. This requires cheap modules in order to stimulate demand. An expansion of trade barriers is not doing this." Watson concurred, stating that removal of the MIP is necessary.
Equally predictable was the response of Milan Nitzschke, president of EU ProSun and spokesperson for SolarWorld, which filed for the investigation in April. Nitzschke said Chinese manufacturers have cheated not only the EC, but also their direct competitors who adhered to the anti-dumping measures and their customers in Europe "who are now paying the price."
He added that in the last few months, Chinese manufacturers have been looking to other places, including Thailand and India, to dodge duties. "If it turns out in the investigations, which are carried out in addition to the European Commission by national and European custom authorities, reveal [similar results], further measures have not been ruled out."
The following companies will not be affected by the ECs decision:
AUO – SunPower Sdn. Bhd
Flextronics Shah Alam SDN. Bhd
Hanwha Q CELLS Malaysia Sdn. Bhd
Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn. Bhd
TS Solartech Sdn. Bhd
ANJI Technology Co., Ltd
AU Optronics Corporation
Big Sun Energy Technology Inc.
E-TON Solar Tech. Co., Ltd
Gintech Energy Corporation
Gintung Energy Corporation
Inventec Energy Corporation
Inventec Solar Energy Corporation
LOF Solar Corp.
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