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Mon12222014

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European Commission to start solar anti-dumping investigation

European Commission to start solar anti-dumping investigation
The Commission will conduct the investigation on Chinese imports of solar panels and key components.

Following the implementation of anti-dumping duties by the U.S., the European Commission is set to conduct its own investigation against Chinese photovoltaic manufacturers after complaints from PV manufacturers led by SolarWorld.

The Commission will conduct the investigation on Chinese imports of solar panels and key components like solar cells and wafers within 15 months and release findings, and possible sanctions would be imposed by December next year.

“In terms of import value affected, this is the most significant anti-dumping complaint the European Commission has received so far,” the Commission said in a statement. “In 2011, China exported solar panels and their key components worth around €21 billion ($27 billion) to the EU.”

Along with German PV manufacturer SolarWorld are 20 other manufacturers in the European Union. They are collectively called the EU Pro Sun. They filed charges to the Commission on July 25 this year.

“The complainant has brought sufficient elements showing possible price dumping by the exporting producers on the E.U. market, injury suffered by the Union industry, and a possible causal link between the dumped imports and the injury suffered by the Union industry,” the Commission added. “[We] found that there is sufficient prima facie evidence to warrant the opening of an investigation.”

The Commission will be sending questionnaires to various interested parties asking for information regarding the exports, production, sales and imports of solar modules and their key components. Other factors that could have contributed to the claims would be added to the questionnaires, but details were not given.

Anti-dumping measures will be imposed if proven that there is dumping by the exporting producers in the country or countries concerned; material injury has been suffered by the E.U. industry concerned; there is a causal link between the dumping and injury found; and that the imposition of measures is not against the bloc’s interest.

In relation to the last item, a “Union interest test” would be issued before deciding on imposing measures, which will examine whether the potential impact of penalties on Chinese imported PV products would be more costly overall to the E.U. economy than to just benefit the complainants.

Provisional findings are expected to come out by June next year, and could result to the imposition of new provisional anti-dumping duties – usually for a 6-month period – or continue the investigation without imposing provisional duties.

Otherwise, depending on the results of the “Union interest test,” the Commission could also terminate the case in its entirety. – N.P. Arboleda



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