BRUSSELS, Sept 8 A group of European solar panel
manufacturers has asked the European Commission to extend
restrictions on imports of Chinese solar power products, a move
that could revive a politically charged tussle between Brussels
The European Commission set in place in 2013 an arrangement
allowing Chinese manufacturers to sell into the EU a limited
number of solar panels, wafers and cells at a minimum price,
following a complaint from the European group, EU ProSun.
Imports from Chinese producers not part of this undertaking
are subject to duties of up to 64.9 percent.
The duties and duty-free arrangment expire in mid-December.
EU ProSun, an association of EU producers, said it had filed
an application last Thursday to extend them.
The association did not welcome the EU settlement with
Chinese solar module producers but wants it to be renewed.
Otherwise, Chinese rivals will be able to sell into the EU free
Assuming the European Commission agrees to start at
so-called expiry review, the undertaking and anti-dumping duties
would extend for at least a year while the it is assessed.
The review is one of a number of actions EU ProSun is taking
to contend with what it says is a continued assault from Chinese
rivals even after a 2013 settlement.
That settlement warded off a mounting trade battle between
Brussels and Beijing, the latter saying that the European Union
was unfairly targeting a sector whose exports to the EU rose to
21 billion euros in 2011.
The Commission is already investigating a complaint that
Chinese solar companies are trying to evade import tariffs by
shipping their products via Taiwan and Malaysia.
The Commission has already proposed denying six Chinese
solar panel producers from the duty-free undertaking because of
alleged violations of its conditions.
They include Canadian Solar, ReneSola and
(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop, editing by William Hardy)