US Pauses Circumvention Duties on Solar Panel Imports With Anti-Stockpiling Conditions
October 13, 2022
The United States has paused the imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duty on imported solar cells and modules, which have been undergoing circumvention proceedings for two years.
The U.S. government announced the ‘Final Rule’ implementing the presidential proclamation under which President Joe Biden temporarily waived any anti-dumping or countervailing duties on the entry of solar cells and modules being assembled in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Vietnam using parts and components manufactured in China.
On July 1, 2022, the Department of Commerce published the proposed rule to implement proclamation 10414 and invited public comments. A total of 16 comments were submitted, with eleven generally supportive of the rule and five generally opposed.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is conducting circumvention inquiries to determine whether imports of solar cells, whether or not assembled into modules, which are completed in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Vietnam using parts and components manufactured in China and exported to the United States are circumventing the duties orders on solar cells and modules from China.
The ‘Final Rule’ announcement comes in response to a circumvention inquiry filed by Auxin Solar in March this year.
The rule applies only to SA-completed cells (Southeast Asian-completed cells and modules) and modules utilized in the United States by the expiration date, which is 180 days after the termination date. It defines ‘utilization’ and ‘utilized’ to mean that the SA-completed cells and modules will be used or installed in the United States.
Specifically, SA-completed cells and modules are crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, which are completed in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Vietnam using certain parts and components from China and subsequently exported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, or Vietnam to the United States.
The ‘Final Rule’ provides that, in the event of an affirmative determination of circumvention, no anti-dumping duty or countervailing duty will be applied to SA-completed cells and modules that have entered into the United States or withdrawn from warehouses for consumption before the date of termination and for use by the expiration date.
This rule does not apply to solar cells and modules manufactured and exported from China and is subject to the existing anti-dumping or countervailing duty orders on solar cells and modules from China. It also does not apply to certain solar products that are manufactured and exported from Taiwan and are subject to the existing anti-dumping duty order on solar products from Taiwan.
Under the rule, cash deposits will not be collected on import of SA-completed cells and modules before the termination date and are to be used in the United States by the utilization expiration date.
The Department of Commerce said that the proclamation declares that immediate action is needed to ensure access to a sufficient supply of solar modules to meet the United States’ electricity generation needs. The waiver of duties on the specified goods will provide relief to this emergency by encouraging imports and increasing solar energy capacity.
It added that an electricity supply emergency exists in the U.S., which must rely partly on imported solar modules for the immediate future.
To address the stockpiling issue, the Department of Commerce stated that it had added a requirement that all merchandise that benefits from this rule must be utilized in the U.S. by the utilization expiration date, which is 180 days following the termination date.
In August this year, President Joe Biden signed the ‘Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,’ which the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate had passed. The Act Proposes $369.75 billion in energy security and climate change programs over the next ten years. The Act would deliver billions of dollars in taxes and other incentives to U.S. solar manufacturers.