Anti-Dumping Duty Likely on Fluoro Backsheet from China Used in Solar Modules

The DGTR published its recommendations following a detailed probe


The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended the imposition of anti-dumping duty on the imports of fluoro backsheet originating in or exported from China for five years starting March 29, 2022.

DGTR had initiated an anti-dumping probe after Indian module manufacturer RenewSys India approached it to impose anti-dumping duty on importing fluoro backsheet from China. According to RenewSys, the Chinese fluoro backsheet is identical to what is manufactured in India. There are no differences in the technical specifications, quality, functions, or end-uses of the dumped imported backsheets.

The DGTR published its findings and recommendations following a detailed probe on the imported fluoro backsheets from China, initiated in March 2021. The period of investigation was from October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020.

The directorate also conducted injury analysis to understand the impact of dumping on the domestic industry. The various periods covered for this analysis were April 2017 to March 2018, April 2018 to March 2019, April 2019 to March 2020, and the actual period of investigation.

Fluoro backsheet is a polymer-based component used in the manufacturing of solar photovoltaic modules and protects the modules against dirt, dust, moisture, and degradation.

DGTR, in its investigation, found that the fluoro backsheet has been exported to India at a price below the normal value, resulting in dumping, and noted that the dumping margin is substantial. China had dumped a total of 331 metric tons of fluoro backsheet annually during the period of investigation.

DGTR noted that the imports of fluoro backsheet from China have increased in absolute terms throughout the injury investigation period. The landed value of these imports was much below the non-impacting price of the domestic industry, indicating significant price underselling in the range of 20% to 30%.

DGTR found fluoro backsheet imports are at prices below the cost of sales and are having a price suppression effect on the Indian industry. DGTR discovered the domestic industry was running into losses during the period of investigation. Even the profit before interest and tax and return on capital employed are negative during the period of investigation. The cash profits of the domestic industry also declined substantially during this period.

DGTR concluded that injury caused to the domestic industry is not on account of any other known factors. Therefore, the dumped imports from the subject country have only caused material injury to the domestic industry.

DGTR mentioned the information on record shows that the non-imposition of the anti-dumping duty will have minimal impact on the consumers or the downstream industry. Hence, the imposition of the anti-dumping duty will not be against the public interest.

The directorate, in conclusion, said that having initiated and conducted the investigation into dumping, injury, and causal link in terms of the provisions laid down under the Anti-Dumping Rules, the imposition of the anti-dumping duty is required to offset the dumping and consequent adverse impact.

Following the lesser duty rule, the authority recommended the imposition of anti-dumping duty equal to the lesser of the margin of dumping and the margin of impact to remove the impact on the domestic industry, which came up to 20%.

The DGTR has recommended anti-dumping duty of $762/MT on fluoro backsheet originating in or exported from China from producers Jollywood and Sunwatt and $908/MT for all other producers.

DGTR Anti-Dumping Duty Recommended on Imports of Fluoro Backsheet Originating in or Exported from China PR

As a procedure, the DGTR, the designated authority of the Department of Commerce recommends the anti-dumping duty, provisional or final. Later, the Revenue Department under the Ministry of Finance acts upon such recommendation within three months and imposes or disposes of such duty.

DGTR has also recommended anti-dumping duty on certain flat-rolled aluminum products imported from China to offset the injury caused due to dumping in the Indian market. Hindalco Industries had filed an application with DGTR on behalf of the domestic industry to initiate an anti-dumping investigation on the imports of flat-rolled aluminum products from China.

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