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EU imposes definitive measures on Chinese solar panels, confirms undertaking with Chinese solar panel exporters

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image Chinese exporters that participate in the undertaking are exempt from paying the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties.

The Council today backed the Commission’s proposals to impose definitive anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures on imports of solar panels from China.

In parallel, the Commission confirmed its Decision accepting the undertaking with Chinese solar panel exporters applied since the beginning of August.

The Council confirmed the level of the duty for those Chinese exporters of solar panels who cooperated with the investigations. The duties stay unchanged at an average of 47.7% and will apply for two years as of 6 December 2013.

The imposition of definitive measures needs to be seen in the context of the amicable solution reached with China which resulted in the undertaking. This undertaking, applied as part of the anti-dumping proceedings, is now confirmed and has been extended to the anti-subsidy proceeding. Hence, the final anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duty rates will apply only to those exports from China which do not meet the conditions set out in the undertaking. Those Chinese exporters that participate in the undertaking are exempt from paying the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties.

Background
The decisions came after a fifteen-month investigation for the anti-dumping case and thirteen month investigation for the anti-subsidy case, launched in September 2012 and November 2012 respectively. During these investigations the Commission found that Chinese companies were selling solar panels in Europe at far below their normal market prices and were receiving illegal subsidies, causing significant harm to EU solar panel producers.

On the investigations
Following complaints lodged by the industry, the European Commission conducted two parallel investigations concerning imports of solar panels from China, an anti-dumping investigation and an anti-subsidy investigation.

On 5 June 2013, the Commission imposed provisional measures in the anti-dumping case, averaging 47.7%. On 2 August 2013 the Commission accepted an undertaking offered by the majority of Chinese solar panel exporters.

The Commission reached its definitive conclusions on the solar panels anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations and, after consulting Member States, made a proposal to the Council to impose definitive anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures for a period of two years.

In parallel, the decision accepting the undertaking has been confirmed and updated, among other things to include the anti-subsidy case in the undertaking and to extend it to some additional companies. Roughly 75% of Chinese solar panel exports to the EU are now covered by the undertaking and are hence not subject to any anti-dumping or anti-subsidy duties.

The Commission took the final decision on the undertaking with a view to it entering into force on the same day as the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures, on 6 December.

On the decision
According to today's decision, the following duty rates apply to Chinese solar panel exporters that do not participate in the price undertaking:

The average duty for exporters that cooperated in the investigation is 47.7%, which is the duty rate applicable to the majority of exporters.
A duty of 67.9% will be applied to those exporters who did not cooperate in the European Commission's investigation, which are estimated to account for less than 20% of exports.

The duties are composed of an anti-dumping and an anti-subsidy duty of the following rates:

Definitive anti-dumping duties will range from 27.3% to 64.9% for cooperating parties in the investigation, with a residual anti-dumping duty of 53.4% for non-cooperating companies in the investigation.

Definitive anti-subsidy duties will range from 0% (Delsolar) and 3.5% to 11.5% for cooperating companies in the investigation, with a residual anti-subsidy duty of 11.5% for non-cooperating companies in the investigation.

The duties, combined with the undertaking, are expected to stop the downward spiral of prices on solar panels. Green sustainable development is only possible with sustainable industries. In this respect, stabilized prices are important not only for current production, but future investment decisions too.

Today’s decision should also contribute to creating a level playing field for Europe's renewable energy industry. The industry is essential to the EU’s renewable energy targets. Unfair trade in solar panels does not help the environment and is not compatible with a healthy global solar industry.


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