The Court of Justic of the European Union rejected the complaint of Chinese companies against anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures imposed by the EU in 2013 on imported Chinese solar modules and cells. The complaint was directed at the Commission’s procedures in the original investigation of 2012 and 2013.
Berlin, February 28, 2017. Dr. Holger Krawinkel, spokesman of the Solar Alliance for Europe (SAFE), comments on the court’s ruling:
“The court’s decision is not a surprise. Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases are complex legal proceedings with specific regulations allowing for leeway and weighting when investigating dumping and subsidy complaints. The Commission has defended its trade measure in court numerous times before.
The ruling does not change anything and more or less serves to cope with the past. Meanwhile, most of the companies that filed the complaint have left the minimum import price undertaking and hence are not affected by the ruling. Instead, they export modules and cells produced in their non-Chinese production plants.
Everyone can easily see that the trade measures have not benefitted European cell and module producers; quite different from what the European Commission had in mind when it introduced the measures. European producers’ position in the global competition is much weaker than in 2013. The reason are structural deficits of these companies and supposed dumping. From the beginning, the import duties have been a wrong means to the end of supporting part of the European solar sector to recover from setbacks. In fact, it is even worse: the whole sector has suffered from these trade measures. They are partly responsible for the demise of the European solar market and have kept prices for consumer at an artificially high level.
This interpretation is widely shared by the majority of European solar companies as has been proven by the high number of submissions from these companies for the expiry review launched by the EU in December 2015. Instead of looking back, we are now looking at how Commission will proceed with the trade measures and eagerly await their decision due this week.
You can read the official court press note here.