The European Commission has decided to maintain anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties, first introduced in May 2014, on solar glass imported from China.
The new measures went into force on July 23. In May 2019, the European Commission initiated a review of the duties. The review was set to cover the period from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2018.
The EU experts have looked at whether subsidies given to Chinese glass manufacturers have damaged the European PV industry. They analyzed two manufacturers – Saint-Gobain Glassolutions Isolierglass-Center GmbH and Germany-based GMB Glasmanufaktur Brandenburg GmbH.
“The sample consisted of two union producers accounting for more than 80% of the union production of the product under review,” the European Commission said in a document published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Total EU PV glass production throughout the investigation period has been estimated at around 12 million square meters.
The Chinese government initially participated in the first consultation phase of the review process, but later decided not to cooperate, the European Commission said. Chinese glass manufacturers also failed to come forward within the time limit established for the review.
“The commission concluded that there is sufficient evidence that subsidization of the solar glass industry in (China) continued during the review investigation period and is likely to continue in the future,” the commission said. “The union industry would be likely to experience a serious deterioration of its situation in case the countervailing measures were allowed to lapse.”
After completing the review, the commission concluded that there are “no compelling reasons against the maintenance of the definitive countervailing measures on imports of solar glass originating in (China).”
The European Union has also said that several European PV panel manufacturers have expressed opposition to the measures. “The arguments of the users related to increased production costs, ability of the solar glass producers to meet the demand, the planned investment into solar panels production and the environmental aspects,” the commission explained. “Similarly, following disclosure, the union solar industry association ESMC submitted that maintaining import duties on solar glass would be difficult for current union solar module manufacturers as it increases their costs for glass, while modules imported into the union are not subject to such tariffs, even where Chinese glass is used.”
The commission concluded that the impact of the duties on the cost structure of European PV module makers is currently not out of proportion. In addition, their supply security is not threatened, it said.
Hong Kong-listed Xinyi Solar was applied the lowest duty at 3.2%, while Zhejiang Hehe Photovoltaic Glass Technology will have to pay the highest duty of 17.1%. A 12.8% tariff was imposed on Zhejiang Jiafu Glass, Flat Solar Glass Group, and Shanghai Flat Glass, while Henan Yuhua New Material will have to pay an anti-subsidy duty of 16.7%.
Other manufacturers face a percentage of 12.4%. They include Avic Sanxin Sol-Glass, Avic (Hainan) Special Glass Material, Wuxi Haida Safety Glass, Dongguan CSG Solar Glass, Pilkington Solar Taicang, and Novatech Glass.
Antidumping duties currently range from 17.5% to 75.4%. Xinyi Solar was applied the highest tariff, while Henan Yuhua New Material will have to pay the lowest duty. Zhejiang Jiafu Glass Co., Ltd, Flat Solar Glass Group Co., Ltd and Shanghai Flat Glass Co., Ltd will have to pay an anti-dumping duty of 71.4%. Five different manufacturers including Wuxi Haida Safety Glass Co., Ltd, Avic Sanxin Sol-Glass Co. Ltd, Avic (Hainan) Special Glass Material Co., Ltd, Dongguan CSG Solar Glass Co., Ltd, Novatech Glass Co., Ltd and Pilkington Solar Taicang, Limited were applied a tariff of 60.6%.Furthermore, Zibo Jinxing Glass Co., Ltd, Henan Ancai Hi-Tech Co., Ltd and Henan Succeed Photovoltaic Materials Corporation will be applied a duty 55.9%.
Furthermore, Zhejiang Hehe Photovoltaic Glass Technology Co., Ltd was applied a percentage 35.3%, while other unspecified glass producers will have to pay an anti-dumping duty of 67,1 %.
*the article was amended on July 29 to add information about the anti-dumping duties that were also confirmed by the European Commission and was not included in the previous version of the article.
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