Solarworld Wins EU Extension of China Duties to Malaysia, Taiwan

Solarworld AG won a bid to have European Union tariffs on Chinese solar panels extended to Malaysia and Taiwan after the EU found that China’s exporters used the two other countries to evade the levies.

The European Commission, the 28-nation EU’s trade authority in Brussels, said Chinese exporters of solar panels shipped them via Malaysia and Taiwan to dodge EU duties meant to counter imports that were allegedly subsidized and sold below cost -- a practice known as “dumping.”

The import levies were “circumvented by trans-shipment from Malaysia and Taiwan,” the commission said on Friday in the EU Official Journal. The decision, which is due to take effect on Saturday and exempts some Malaysian and Taiwanese producers, is the outcome of a probe that the commission opened in May 2015 as a result of a request by Bonn, Germany-based Solarworld.

The EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, which had been due to lapse in December after two years, remain in place because the commission is conducting separate investigations into whether to renew the measures. Those inquiries, opened on Dec. 5, can last as long as 15 months.

The levies are tied to 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. The accord set a minimum price and a volume limit on European imports from China of solar panels. Chinese manufacturers that opted to take part in the pact are spared the EU duties as high as 64.9 percent.

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