The European Commission (EC) has announced the preliminary findings for the anti-circumvention duties, which combines 53.4% anti-dumping duty and 11.5% subsidy duty. In the General Disclosure Document, EC excludes 21 Taiwanese PV firms and five Malaysian companies from the list of companies to be charged anti-circumvention duties up to 64.9%.
EC launched a new phase of anti-dumping and countervailing investigation against China solar imports in this March as EU ProSun accused that some Chinese firms violated the Minimum Import Price (MIP) agreement. EU ProSun also appealed that some Taiwanese and Malaysian companies helped China circumvent the trade deals.
The EC has announced to extend the current MIP agreement by 15 month on December 5 after it excluded five Chinese companies that were found evidences of agreement violation. The EC also sent investigators and questionnaires to Taiwan and Malaysia to make sure if there were any company help China violate the trade limitations.
EC found evidence of duty dodging in some Taiwanese and five Malaysian firms, while 21 Taiwanese companies and five Malaysian ones have been defined as genuine producers so that they will be unaffected by the duties. The Malaysian firms are: AUO-SunPower Sdn. Bhd、Flextronics Shah Alam SDN, Bhd、Hanwha Q CELLS Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.、Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn. Bhd、TS Solartech Sdn. Bhd, and the Taiwanese list is as following:
Most highly visible Taiwanese companies are recognized as genuine solar PV manufacturers so that they could be unaffected by the anti-circumvention duties when they export solar products to the European market. Companies comments on the ruling will be accepted until January 6 2016, and the final ruling will be announced by February.
Reasons to be duty-applied are differentiated by company: TPVIA
EnergyTrend interviewed Taiwan PV Industry Association (TPVIA) on a call for reasons of the decision, yet we found the reasons shall be different by each firm. Some companies are to be duty applied because they didn’t fill in the questionnaires, some are applied because they are recognized as intermediary traders instead of manufacturers.
However, some companies are alleged of exporting China-made PV products through fake certificates of origin. For those that actually export Chinese PV products to EU by fake certificates of origin, it is possible for them to face investigations for anti-fraud duties, penalties, or export ban.
Among the Taiwanese companies that will be applied for the anti-circumvention duties, Mosel has already withdrawn from the PV cell manufacturing business in this June. Tainergy, on the other hand, said that it will supply the European market with capacities in Vietnam.
Tainergy has a global strategy for each solar market so the company chose to ignore the questionnaire. Currently, Tainergy allocates 300MW of PV cell production capacity in Taiwan, 200MW PV cell capacity in Vietnam, and 280MW in China. By mid-2016, Tainergy will expand its Vietnam capacity to 400MW and China capacity could be expanded by 200MW.
Soon after EC decided to expand the MIP agreement and existing anti-dumping and countervailing duties against China, Trina Solar announced to exit from the international deal and will export PV products to Europe by its overseas products to avoid the 47.7% tariffs. According to Trina Solar’s response to EC, it is foreseeable that the trade barrier will be smoothen in the future because first-tier manufacturers already have their international production lines deployed.
EnergyTrend expects approximately 7GW of demand in the European market in 2016, which is weaker than in 2015. Nonetheless, European developers need to purchase PV products from overseas manufacturers as the local capacity is not sufficient.
With global allocations, Chinese and Taiwanese PV companies can export their products to Europe from abroad facilities. Adding that Europe is not a major market to China and Taiwan, the trade barrier will not severely impact the future export. The only exception will be Taiwanese companies that helped Chinese makers to circumvent the MIP agreement by fraud methods.