The European Union (EU) will start imposing heavy duties on China-made solar glass used on solar panels as a following act after the anti-dumping and countervailing probe against China. The EU claims that the solar glasses received illegal subsidies and were sold to Europe at extremely low prices, causing harm to European manufacturers.
A Reuters’ report explained that solar glass market in EU (less than 200 million euros) is only a tiny fraction of EU’s total PV imports from China, a worth of 290 billion euros in 2012. However, most of EU’s 28 members backed this duty because they believe China-made solar glass has already become a huge challenge to regional manufacturers. According to EU sources, the proposed duties range from 17.1% to 42.1%.
The EU started investigated China’s PV product imports in 2012 and agreed the anti-dumping and countervailing petition. Although the European Commission proposed heavy duties on Chinese PV products, it ended up at a certain volume at a fixed price limitation. Yet, the European Commission started imposing provisional duties on solar glass imported from China since last November. To extend the duration of the duties to five years, it requires confirmation from EU’s members. The definite duties will be officially imposed by May.
“Chinese manufacturers’ (solar glass) capacity is twice stronger than the global demand,” complained GMB, the leader of Germany PV manufacturers. This is believed to be the main reason of why the EU decided to conduct an investigation on China-made solar glass and to impose heavy duties.