EU Commission begins anti-subsidy probe of solar panels from China

08 November 2012 17:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Commission has begun an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese imports of solar panels and their key components, solar cells and solar wafers, it said on Thursday.

The Commission is following up on a complaint by European solar panel producers who claim that their Chinese competitors benefit from unfair government subsidies.

In 2011, China exported solar panels and components worth about €21bn ($27bn) to the EU – making this case “the most significant anti-subsidy complaint the European Commission has received so far,” it said.

The Commission said that the investigation will take 13 months. However, the Commission may impose provisional anti-subsidy duties within nine months, “provided there is sufficient prima facie evidence of subsidisation,” it added.

In September, the Commission already began an anti-dumping investigation into solar panels, cells and wafers imported from China.

European solar panel producers association EU ProSun welcomed the Commission’s move to begin the anti-subsidy investigation as a “landmark decision.”

“Chinese solar companies are making enormous losses, but are not bankrupt because they are bankrolled by the state,” the association's president, Milan Nitzschke, said.

“Following the mountain of evidence from the US investigation that China is guilty of granting massive illegal subsidies, we are confident that the EU will quickly impose substantial countervailing duties of its own,” Nitzschke added.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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