Possible extension on import duties for Chinese solar modules causing protests
Despite strong protests, the EU commission is consdering extending the import tariffs for Chinese solar modules and panels by another 18 months. Time is running out, as a final decision has to be announced by March 5.
Late last week, the European Union’s Appeal Committee suggested an extension of the current anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties for Chinese solar modules and panels. Albeit no official statement has been made yet, time is running out, and a final decision has to be announced by March 5. The proposed extension was initially for 25 months, starting from March 2017, yet this was rejected by the majority of the EU states, hence a reduction to 18 months was made.
Industry association requests sensible compromise
SolarPower Europe and other industry association like the BDEW and the Solar Alliance for Europe (Safe) are against the import tariffs, as they result in higher electricity rates. EU Prosun, however, supports the proposal.
“This case is the first to go to an Appeal Committee which shows how unpopular these measures are. The Commission has been required to reduce the application period from 24 to 18 months on both anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures. Yet, a much more sensible compromise for our industry would have been 12 months’ application period with a clearer intent of ending the measures”, James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe, explained.
SolarPower Europe looking forward to removal of tariffs
In order to gain a clear overview of the situation, the Commission will most probably look closely into the Minimum Import Price undertaking and the administrative effort of the measures. “Member States and the European solar industry will look to the future and await the removal of the duties as a boost for our sector. We look forward to working with the Commission to ensure a growing European solar sector to the benefit of European consumers, solar businesses and the European Union’s climate change objectives,” Kristina Thoring, Political Communications Advisor at SolarPower Europe, said.
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