According to reports, the European Commission has reached an internal decision regarding provisional measures to impose duties on all imported Chinese solar PV modules.
The reports suggest that trade commissioner, Karl De Gucht, is ready to announce punitive tariffs ranging from 30-50% after finding evidence of alleged dumping of Chinese manufactured panels into the EU.
In reaction to the reports, the Alliance of Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE) said: “Punitive tariffs – no matter at what level – could cause irreversible damage to the entire European Photovoltaic (PV) value chain. Those levels now reported would cost the EU PV industry and the whole of the EU economy dearly.
“During a hearing organised at the European Commission on 5 April, AFASE supporters made it very clear that the current market development leaves no room for price increases and that duties as low as 15% will destroy 85% of the EU PV demand.”
Meanwhile CEO of Belgium company Cleantec Trade, Wouter Vermeersch said: “Solar companies already had to cope with continuously decreasing feed-in tariffs in the past. If prices are artificially increased by punitive tariffs, the European solar market would simply come to a standstill with disastrous effects on green jobs.”
The EC’s investigation into anti-dumping must reach a conclusion by 6th June. The Commission will then present its findings to the council, which will then cast a vote. If the majority rule opposes the measures, the council can overturn the EC’s decision. There is also the possibility of a negotiated agreement between the EU and China before any definitive duties can be imposed in December.