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How US solar companies can manage supply chain risk following Customs WRO on Hoshine

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In late June, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection placed a Withhold Release Order (WRO) on products containing material from China’s largest metallurgical-grade silicon (mg-Si) manufacturer. We will discuss the ramifications of this decision on the U.S. solar industry and look at the critical points from the WRO to understand how solar goals and plans could be affected.

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Discussion participants

Paul Wormser, Vice President, Technology, CEA
Paul van Brenkelen, Director, ESG and Traceability, CEA
Elise Shibles, Customs and International Trade Attorney at Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, PA

Moderators

Becky Beetz, Head of Content, pv magazine

How US solar companies can manage supply chain risk following Customs WRO on Hoshine

In late June, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection placed a Withhold Release Order (WRO) on products containing material from China’s largest metallurgical-grade silicon (mg-Si) manufacturer and the main provider of all major polysilicon producers based in the region: Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. The WRO means any importer that cannot prove to Customs their solar panels do not contain mg-Si from Hoshine can have their shipment excluded from entry into the U.S. Due to the tangled and blended nature of solar supply chains, almost no supplier today is equipped to prove this level of provenance.

In this pv magazine Webinar, Paul Wormser, Vice President, Technology, and Paul van Brenkelen, Director, ESG and Traceability at Clean Energy Associates (CEA’s), and Customs and International Trade Attorney Elise Shibles will discuss the ramifications of this decision on the U.S. solar industry. They will look at the critical points from the WRO to understand how solar goals and plans could be affected.

Regarding the broader picture, they will also focus on supply chain traceability and how it could help businesses navigate the regulatory uncertainty. The tangible steps one can take to begin securing supply chains and mitigating risk will be further addressed.

pv magazine Webinar content

  • Background and overview of the global solar supply chain, the importance of mg-Si and polysilicon, and what options solar manufacturers have for sourcing these critical raw materials.
  • Background on the history of WRO’s issued by CBP against China and others, and the potential impact this recent WRO may have on the U.S. solar industry
  • Background, complications, and importance of traceability for mitigating regulatory and supply chain risk
  • Practical steps for solar buyers to take to mitigate and manage risk
  • Q&A

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar through a chat window. Becky Beetz, Head of Content at pv magazine, will be the moderator of this webinar.

Registration for this pv magazine Webinar is free of charge.

Speakers

Paul Wormser, Vice President, Technology, CEA

Based in San Diego, CA, Mr. Wormser has over 40 years of solar and storage industry experience including roles in engineering, sales, marketing, product development, strategic planning, and senior management. Mr. Wormser has worked as an executive for Clean Energy Associates (CEA) since 2017 and oversees all aspects of client projects and Supply Chain Management. Prior to joining CEA, Mr. Wormser served as the Senior Director of Marketing and Solar Materials at SunEdison, one of the largest global renewable energy development companies. He joined SunEdison in 2013 as Director of Special Projects in the Solar Platform group. He led the deployment of fixed tilt and tracking systems, and the creation of their Silvantis™ module line. Prior to SunEdison, Mr. Wormser held VP roles at First Solar and the Solar Division of SHARP Electronics’.  Mr. Wormser holds an MBA from Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Business, a BS in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University, and a BA in Spanish from SUNY Albany. 

Paul van Brenkelen, Director, ESG and Traceability, CEA

Mr. van Brenkelen is a business professional with 27 years of experience in quality assurance, supply chain, sustainability, and innovation, having worked for various TIC companies. Since 2010 involved in renewable energy-related third-party services (wind/solar). Before joining CEA, Mr. van Brenkelen worked in various senior leadership positions with SGS, Bureau Veritas, TUV NORD, and the startup and incubation scene related to ESG aspects. Innovation, product development, sustainability, change management, and KAM have been main drivers for various new global businesses managed by him. Including the roll-out of renewable energy-related services in the Far East. Sustainability and board involvement drives the ESG agenda for firms with differences amongst jurisdictions. An area Mr. van Brenkelen further specialized in and a valuable expansion of his long-term TIC/QA expertise. Mr. van Brenkelen holds a BASC in Agricultural Science, MSc in Agronomy, Post-graduates in Company Direction and Corporate Governance, and currently pursues a dual degree MABR/DBA. Mr. van Brenkelen resides in Shanghai, China.

Elise Shibles, Customs and International Trade Attorney at Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, PA

Ms. Shibles advises and counsels clients on trade agreement and preference program requirements for a variety of different types of goods under U.S. and non-U.S. trade programs. Additionally she counsels clients on compliance efforts with regard to forced labor and on traceability of resources and production in response to origin verifications. Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Shibles served for over 11 years with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, formerly the U.S. Customs Service. As a specialist in textile and apparel policy, she was part of the U.S. Government negotiating team and participated actively in the negotiations of numerous free trade agreements including those with CAFTA-DR, Korea, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Oman and Bahrain. She drafted various provisions and helped develop legislation and regulations to implement FTAs and preference programs, trained foreign industry and government representatives on rules of origin and assisted with compliance efforts such as foreign factory inspections, classification and valuation reviews and trade data analysis. Ms. Shibles holds a J.D. from the University of California at Davis and a B.S. in textile and apparel production, merchandising and design from Iowa State University. She is a member of the California Bar Association.

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