The Solar Trade Association (STA) has published an EC anti-dumping factsheet to help members of the UK solar industry understand the potential impact of the ongoing investigation.

The association last week told Solar Power Portal that it would be opposing any imposition of European trade duties and Ray Noble, PV Specialist for the STA described the registration of Chinese-imported modules as “not a good news story” in the embedded interview below:

The full factsheet can be read below:

EC anti-dumping proceedings – fact sheet for the STA

What is it all about?

In September last year, the European Commission (EC) started an anti-dumping investigation into the imports from China of solar panels and their key components (wafers and cells).  In international trade, dumping is defined as charging a lower price in an export market than is charged in the home country of the producer.  It is seen as an anti-competitive strategy aimed at driving competitors in the export market out of business in an attempt to create a monopoly.

In November, the EC also commenced a parallel anti-subsidy proceeding.

Why is it a problem?

Simply put, this is a massive problem for the UK Solar PV industry.  As of 8 March, all imports in to Europe (and therefore the UK) of Chinese origin wafers, cells and modules will need to be registered.  This was requested by EU ProSun in anticipation of stockpiling of these products into the EU before the possible imposition of provisional duties.

AFASE has written an excellent Q&A document explaining why the registrations are required, who is affected and the possible outcomes.  The STA has made it clear that it opposes any form of duties as a result of the on-going EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations.  Please read our exclusive in Solar Power Portal here.  Ray Noble, our STA PV specialist, also gave his views here.

How will it affect the UK PV industry?

Our greatest overall concern for the UK is the loss in confidence in an already fragile market.  The uncertainty created by these investigations is seriously damaging to the UK solar industry.  The archaic approach to pre-registration of all Chinese imports only compounds the issue as wholesale importers, under a worst case scenario, would not know what additional duties will be added until December, and these could be retroactively added from March.  As they don’t even know what (if any), the duties may be, understandably they will not be willing to shoulder the risk, and as a consequence the average installation price to the end customer will have to rise.  Note that products brought into the UK from non-Chinese origin wafers, cells and modules e.g. some US manufactures, Korean, Taiwanese etc. will NOT be subject to this investigation and will NOT require pre-registration.

What is the STA doing about this?

  • We have written to Vince Cable at BIS, DECC and No 10
  • We are liaising with DECC
  • Highlighting the AFASE website to members and signed the ‘Open Letter’ on behalf of the STA
  • Partnering with AFASE in the UK
  • Coordinating future meetings with members – this is in process
  • Providing a fact sheet to members
  • Surveying members to aggregate information

What can my company do about this?

The impact of these anti-dumping and/or countervailing measures on European employment and ‘value added’ is expressed in a management summary in the Prognos report.  If your company is going to be negatively impacted by these proceedings, we urge you to sign the open letter to the EU Commissioner for Trade on the AFASE website.  It takes 30 seconds, and they only require your name, e-mail, company, position and to tick a box to agree

The STA is also urging all members of the UK solar industry to fill out the following survey to help determine the potential impact of the EC investigation. Alternatively, responses can be sent to [email protected]