EU imposes provisional anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panels

The European Commission said on June 4 that it approved the introduction of provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of solar panels and cells from China. Initially, the duty will stand at 11.8 per cent until August 6 2013, rising to 47.6 per cent for the following four months, the EC said in a statement.

The decision came after a nine-month investigation, launched in September 2012, has found that Chinese companies are selling solar panels to Europe at far below their normal market value, which causes significant harm to EU solar panel producers. “The fair value of a Chinese solar panel sold to Europe should be 88 per cent higher than the price to which it is actually sold,” the Commission said.

The provisional duties are far lower than the rate at which the panels were being dumped because the EU applied the so-called ‘lesser duty rule’, imposing only enough duty needed to restore a level playing field.

The EC said it was ready “to pursue discussions with Chinese exporters and with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in order to find a solution in line with Article 8 of the Basic Anti-Dumping Regulation.”

If no solution was found, by December 5 at the latest, the EU will have to decide if definitive anti-dumping duties will be imposed for a duration of five years, the Commission said.

Speaking about the decision, European trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said: “It is a one-time offer to the Chinese side, providing a very clear incentive to negotiate. It provides a clear window of opportunity for negotiations, but the ball is now in China’s court. It is clear that if China does not provide a solution by August, then the higher tariffs will apply.”

“This is not protectionism,” he said. “Rather, it is about ensuring international trade rules also apply to Chinese companies – just like they apply to us. As you are aware, also the United States currently apply duties to Chinese exports. With today’s action the Commission takes up its role as the independent defender of European industry in the face of unfair trade practices from abroad.”

Chinese producers of solar panels had excess capacity and produced enough solar panels to satisfy 150 per cent of total world demand. “They are simply producing too much,” De Gucht said.

“In essence, the system is made stable again if Chinese companies were to agree to re-establish fair pricing which reflects the true market value of these solar panels. Let me be very clear: I want an amicable solution with our Chinese partners; that is also what Europe wants.”

(Photo: Patrick Moore/



The Sofia Globe staff

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