EU investigating three Chinese PV manufacturers for alleged breaches of the MIP

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At a time when the EU’s MIP and export measures for Chinese PV manufacturers are coming under close scrutiny, the European Commission has announced that it is investigating three Chinese companies for allegedly breaching the terms of the undertaking. The three accused companies are Ningbo Osda Solar, Ningbo Qixin Solar, and Shandong Linuo Photovoltaic Hi-Tech, who will be withdrawn from the MIP agreement should the EU’s suspicions be substantiated.

The MIP and import volume restrictions were agreed upon by the EU and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) in December 2013, as an anti-dumping measure, and were accepted by a large majority of Chinese PV manufacturers. Those who declined the agreement would have large duties placed upon their exports to the EU. The current MIP is set at EUR 56 cents per watt for crystalline modules.

In the document, Ningbo Osda Solar, Ningbo Qixin Solar, and Shandong Linuo Photovoltaic Hi-Tech, have been accused of violating the terms of the MIP undertaking. The European Commission listed the suspicious sales and invoices, which all took place last year, within the document.

The investigation is set to determine, based on the listed invoices, whether the three companies sold modules under the MIP, which would result in them being excluded from the MIP, as well as duties of around 50% being added to the listed transactions. All parties involved in the transactions have been invited to get in touch with the commission before the final decision is made in Brussels.

The document did also outline that monitoring of the situation by the European Commission has not so far revealed any systematic violations of the MIP undertaking by a large number of Chinese PV manufacturers, or by the CCCME.

News of the investigation comes at a sensitive time for the EU’s MIP on Chinese PV manufacturers, after 34 solar and renewable energy organizations signed a letter just last week calling on the EU to immediately remove the trade measures that exist against imports of Chinese PV modules and cells. The trade measures are due to be reviewed by March 2017, with increasing pressure for the EU to relax its stance.