EU member states vote for 18-month extension to anti-dumping measures

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A meeting between the EU Commission and member states took place on Friday regarding the proposal. pv magazine has heard that the anti-dumping measures against Chinese PV manufacturers have been prolonged for 18 months. The exact result of the meeting is not yet known.

The appeal committee had to step in between the EU Commission and member states after a two-year extension of the anti-dumping measures was rejected at the end of January. A two-year extension of anti subsidy measures was approved by member states.

The Commission will discuss the outcome again at its meeting on Wednesday. “In view of the fact that the Committee of Appeals has expressed no clear opinion, the Commission will draw its final conclusion in the coming days,” the EU Commission told pv magazine. Results will be confirmed by publication in the EU Official Journal in the coming days, according to the Commission the deadline for publication is 4th March.

The Commission also announced that there would be a gradual phase-out of the anti dumping and anti subsidy measures, in addition to the extensions. Details of these plans, however, have not yet been disclosed.

“The extension of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures comes at a time when solar manufacturers again are subject to severe dumping by Chinese state subsidized companies,” said EU Prosun president Milan Nitzschke. “For EU manufacturers it is an existential question as to whether measures remain in place and enforcement is improved.” In December 2015, the association of European PV manufacturers petitioned against the scheduled expiry of existing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures, which had been in force since December 2013.

Since early 2015, Solarpower Europe has campaigned for phasing out of the measures. “Obviously, this is a small victory to have the measures reduced,” says Solarpower Europe CEO James Watson. “We look forward to the removal of these deeply unpopular measures in 18 months time.”

The EU Commission also voted on Friday on an alternative solution, which proposed a 12-month extension of the anti-dumping measures. Given the low level of support for this, a compromise was reached in the 18-month extension. “We are happy about the member states vote,” continued EU Prosun’s Nitzschke. “They rejected the Commissions attempt to please the Chinese Government by reducing the extension even further to 12 months. In these times of Trump, Europe may not appear as a betrayed and confused bride desperately looking for the next pair of strong arms to fall into.”