EU countries have in principle agreed to begin registering PV modules imported from China, according to a press report, which may signal a broader acceptance of anti-dumping or countervailing duties among member states.
The report, which comes from
Reuters and is attributed to anonymous “diplomatic” sources, does not
indicate when such registration would begin. The registration of Chinese
panels – an idea apparently put forward by the European Commission –
would allow for the retroactive imposition of duties.
The Commission does not need
the backing of member states to impose such a registration requirement.
However, their formal consent would be taken as a blow against Chinese
suppliers, which are lobbying hard to avoid
anti-dumping and countervailing duties such as those implemented in the
US last year.
Last year the Commission
officially took up separate investigations into the anti-dumping and
illegal subsidies claims made by some European PV manufacturers, with a
final ruling expected later this year.
A report published earlier
this week claimed that as many as 242,000 jobs would be lost across the
EU if a 60% tariff was slapped on Chinese PV kit, or 115,000 jobs with a
20% tariff. The report was commissioned by
the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE), an anti-duty lobbying
group supported by Chinese suppliers and many Europe-based installers
AFASE acknowledges that some
European jobs may be created on the upstream manufacturing end if
tariffs are applied. But it argues that far more jobs would be destroyed
downstream due to more expensive solar panels,
while also slowing the pace of PV penetration across the European energy
EU ProSun, the pro-duty lobby
group spearheaded by SolarWorld, dismissed the “Chinese funded” report
as “cynical”, countering that the US industry does not seem to have
suffered from the tariffs.
ProSun Glass, which claims not to be affiliated with EU ProSun, has also filed
its own anti-dumping complaint with the Commission against Chinese solar
glass exporters. That group is led by GMB Glasmanufaktur