EU hammers Chinese solar panels with new tariffs

The European Union has confirmed that it will be imposing duties on Chinese solar panels that will apply for two years starting 6 December 2013.

The Commission also confirmed its decision to accept the undertaking with Chinese solar panel exporters applied at the beginning of March.

The Commission said in a press release:

The imposition of definitive measures needs to be seen in the context of the amicable solution reached with China which resulted in the undertaking. This undertaking, applied as part of the anti-dumping proceedings, is now confirmed and has been extended to the anti-subsidy proceeding. Hence, the final anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duty rates will apply only to those exports from China which do not meet the conditions set out in the undertaking.

The Commission believes that the duties combined with the undertaking will stop the downward trajectory of solar panel prices. The Commission asserted that "stabilised prices are important not only for current production, but future investment decisions too."

The decision is an attempt to combat what is believed to be unfair trade and protect the European renewable energy sector.

Threats of tariffs between China and the EU have become increasingly familiar, with China announcing in June that it would conduct an anti-subsidy probe against wine imported from the EU. Chinese officials warned that they would take "necessary steps" if the EU continued to protect its solar industry.