Three Chinese Solar Panel Groups Lose Exemption From EU Tariffs

The European Union applied tariffs on three groups of Chinese solar-panel makers that have been exempted from the levies, potentially reviving tensions in the EU’s biggest trade case of its kind.

The three producer groups, which include Canadian Solar Inc. subsidiaries, breached the terms of a price-floor accord that underpinned the exemption, the European Commission said. The ET Solar and ReneSola groups are the other two accused by the commission of violating the agreement to respect a minimum selling price in Europe.

The Brussels-based commission, the 28-nation EU’s executive arm, also said that the price pact, known as an undertaking, is too difficult to monitor in the case of the three groups.

“The findings of breaches of the undertaking and its impracticability established for Canadian Solar, ET Solar and ReneSola require the withdrawal of the acceptances of the undertaking for those three exporting producers,” the commission said on Friday in the EU’s Official Journal.

The decision, which will take effect on Saturday, exposes weaknesses in an EU-China agreement in late 2013 to curb European imports of Chinese solar panels after the commission concluded that they unfairly undercut producers in Europe such as Solarworld AG.

The accord set a minimum price and a volume limit on European imports from China of the renewable-energy technology until the end of 2015. Chinese manufacturers that opted to take part in the pact are spared EU tariffs meant to counter alleged below-cost sales, a practice known as dumping, and subsidies.

The Canadian Solar and ET groups each face an anti-dumping duty of 43.1 percent and an anti-subsidy levy of 6.4 percent. The ReneSola group faces an anti-dumping duty of 43.1 percent and an anti-subsidy levy of 4.6 percent.

Copyright 2015 Bloomberg

Lead image: Gavel. Credit: Shutterstock.


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