EU tariffs imposed on Chinese solar companies shipping via Malaysia, Taiwan

The Commission published its final decision on the anti-circumvention process and has retroactively approved tariffs on Chinese PV producers exporting via Taiwan and Malaysia. In late December the EU had submitted a preliminary report on Chinese producers circumventing solar tariffs in this fashion.

Countervailing duties of 11.5% will now be applied on EU imports from these nations produced by Chinese suppliers. In addition, anti-dumping duties of 53.4% will be applied to the cases examined in the anti-circumvention process.

The duties will be applied retroactively to goods imported from May 2015.

"Customs offices of the [EU] Member States can now retroactively levy duties for the entire period of the duties, namely from the end of May 2015," a spokesman for the EU told pv magazine.

The EU decision states: "There have been… no factors found that could be regarded as compensation for the cost of the dispatch or importation and re-exportation of photovoltaic cells or modules made of crystalline silicon, in particular regarding transport and reloading, from the PRC via Malaysia and Taiwan.”

"The European Commission has established clear rules against dumping and has responded with its current decision regarding the violations of the Chinese manufacturers," said Milan Nitzschke, President of the Association EU Prosun that initiated the Anti-Circumvention in April 2015.

"Brussels has found countless evasions in its investigations and so confirm our findings that Chinese manufacturers bypass the undertaking in force in a big way. The extension of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties is therefore only logical and welcome to finally put a stop to this action," Nitzschke said.

Domestic Taiwanese and Malaysian manufacturers have been exempted from the EU Commission by this regulation. Brussels published a list of these companies, but the exemption has not been approved for all manufacturers. There are 5 manufacturers producing in Malaysia, and 21 from Taiwan.

The level of circumvention duties was determined in 2013. At that time, the European Commission and the Chinese government agreed on the so-called Minimum Price Undertaking, which was accepted by all major Chinese PV manufacturers. The duties were initially put in place for two years, however that has been extended as the European Commission carries out an ‘expiry review,’ which was launched in December 2015.