EU imposes provisional antidumping duties on solar panels from China

04 June 2013 16:04  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The EU on Tuesday imposed provisional antidumping duties (ADDs) on imports of solar panels, cells, and wafers from China.

The European Commission said that the initial duty is set at 11.8% until 6 August 2013. After that, the duty will be set at 47.6%, “which is the level required to remove the harm caused by the dumping to the European industry”, the Commission said.

In total, the provisional duties will be in place for a maximum of six months. By 5 December, the EU will have to decide if definitive ADDs will be imposed for a duration of five years, the Commission said.

At the same time, the Commission said it remained ready to pursue discussions with Chinese exporters and with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to find a solution “so that provisional duties can be suspended and a negotiated solution achieved”.

The decision to impose the duties came after a nine-month investigation, launched in September 2012.

During the investigation, the Commission found that Chinese companies were selling solar panels to Europe at far below their normal market value, which causes significant harm to EU solar panel producers, it said.

“The fair value of a Chinese solar panel sold to Europe should be 88% higher than the price to which it is actually sold,” it said.

The provisional duties are far lower than the 88% rate at which the panels are being dumped because the EU applies the so-called “lesser duty rule”, imposing only enough duty needed to restore a level playing field, the Commission said.

The Commission said that innovative EU companies were being exposed to “immediate threats of bankruptcy because of unfair competition from Chinese exporters, who have taken over more than 80% of the EU market and whose production capacity currently amounts to 150% of global consumption”.

In 2012, China’s excess capacity was almost double total EU demand, the Commission said. 

The Commission’s assessment indicated that imposing provisional measures will not only secure the existing 25,000 jobs in EU solar production, but also create new jobs in the sector, it said.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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