The Minimum Import Price (MIP) agreement set by EU and Chinese solar products could be extended because EU ProSun will request a review of the existing tariffs and is confident of its evidence. The current measure will be expired in December, 2015, while the extension is expected to last at least one year.
PV Tech reports that EU ProSun has confirmed that it will request a review of the existing tariffs and is confident it has sufficient evidence to compel the EU to initiate a new phase of investigation. If the EU commission does accept EU ProSun’s application and start conducting a fresh investigation, the current measure will be remained in place as the review is limited to 15 months. However, it is not yet clear whether the price agreed between CCCME and EU would remain. PV Tech explains that the original investigation was initiated in November 2012 with preliminary duties announced in June 2013. If the new investigations were conducted, current tariffs would be in place until March 2017, 15 month after December 2015.
The EU published a document last Friday, opening the process for review requests, rebuttals and other submissions. The new phase of investigation would involve in industry hearing and questionnaires, if launched.
Milan Nitzchke, president of EU ProSun and vice president of SolarWorld described the move as “the starting gun.” He told PV Tech: “A request has to be filed three months before the expiry [7 December] at the latest, the beginning of September. This is the usual procedure. It was always clear in this particular case that there would be an expiry after two years.”
Such kind of solar trade wars usually link to unfair trades because certain dumping or subsidies. The punitive tariffs and price agreements represent ways to balance the international trade situations. However, not everyone applauds the disputes.
EPIA, a European PV trade association, supports free and fair PV trade among countries. It also calls for ending the trade barriers on imported Chinese solar modules – the association looks up to a complete free trade after the expiry of MIP agreement in December 2015.
At the opening plenary session of 2015 SNEC tradeshow in Shanghai, China, Oliver Schaefer, the head of EPIA, said, “EPIA is a strong supporter of free and fair trade and we would like to see trade relations between Europe and China, on solar modules and cells, return to normal undistorted, fair trade as soon as possible, when the duties and respective price undertaking expire in 2015.”
EPIA believes that tariff-free imports from China will help solar power in Europe to grow and support the European electricity market in achieving its carbon emission reduction targets. Another PV Tech’s report says EPIA’s direction is designed to attract strong support from interested parties across the global supply chain to back its advocacy of ending the MIP instead of extending it.
Without the MIP restrictions, European customers could choose quality products with best prices, noted Oliver in his speech.
(Photo Credit: friendsofeurope via Flickr)