EU trade case: 120 companies, associations to participate in MIP expiry review

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The EU Commission provided a short registration deadline for solar PV companies and associations to participate as an interested party in the expiry review for the EU price undertaking. According to information obtained by pv magazine, over 120 European and Chinese companies and associations registered by Monday’s deadline.

This is considerably more than the number that registered two years ago, when the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy case was first brought against Chinese manufacturers, which resulted in the imposition of minimum import prices (MIPs) and import restrictions on the aforementioned manufacturers looking to ship products into the EU.

The measures are currently being checked, with the EU Commission opening an expiry review earlier this month. It could take up to 15 months to complete.

"We view it as a success, that around 80 German companies along the solar value chain have registered as interested parties – despite the tight deadline," Holger Krawinkel, spokesperson for Solar Alliance for Europe (SAFE) tells pv magazine.

The interest has also been welcomed at SolarWorld-led EU Prosun, which applied for the expiry review in Brussels. "More important than the numbers are the arguments," states Milan Nitzschke, president of the lobby group; an assessment that is shared by SAFE, despite the fact it is calling for an end to the MIP and import restrictions.

"Compared to the first survey three years ago, registrations have multiplied," says Krawinkel, "which sends an important signal to the EU that a lot of companies oppose the duties. Now it will be important to convince the commission … that the trade barriers damage the European solar industry and the climate."

Nitzschke again stressed that many of the newly registered companies have a great interest in fair competition. "There are many installers in Germany and Europe, to whom it is absolutely clear that there can be a sustainable photovoltaic market with fair competition," he states.

The registered interested parties now have the opportunity to comment on the sampling. For the expiry review, the EU Commission has named three categories: European module and cell manufacturers; EU importers; and Chinese manufacturers.

There is time until December 28 to either comment on the samples selected, or apply for an extension. Then, in January, the interested parties can give their assessments of the market situation and the EU anti-dumping measures.

The MIP undertaking will continue for Chinese manufacturers for the period of investigation, which could take up to 15 months to complete.

Translated and edited by Becky Beetz from pv magazine Deutschland