EU to register Chinese solar panels in move toward duties: sources

BRUSSELS Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:12am IST

A solar power plant is seen near a thermal power plant in Aksu, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region May 18, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

A solar power plant is seen near a thermal power plant in Aksu, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region May 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Stocks

   

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU member states have approved a European Commission plan to register solar panels from China, EU diplomats said, as the latest step toward duties on the 21 billion euro ($28.08 billion) import market.

The solar panel import market is one of the biggest trade areas the Commission has ever tackled. Politicians have warned the tensions between the EU and China, its second largest trading partner, could erupt into a trade war.

On Wednesday, a regular meeting of representatives of EU member states approved the proposal to register panels, the sources said.

It would allow duties to be placed retroactively on China and its companies if they were found to have sold panels at less than the cost of making them.

The diplomatic sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not say when the registration would begin.

The Commission launched a probe into the dumping of Chinese solar panels onto the EU market last September, and another in November into illegal subsidies made to Chinese panel makers.

Both cases stem from a complaint by European solar companies, led by Germany's SolarWorld SWVG.DE, which claim to have suffered financial harm due to cheap Chinese-manufactured panels.

Chinese companies sold about 21 billion euros worth of solar panels and components to the EU in 2011 - about 60 percent of all Chinese exports of the product and some 7 percent of all Chinese exports to the EU, according to Commission figures.

On Tuesday, European solar installers said that 60 percent duties on Chinese panels could cost up to 242,000 jobs over three years.

Although the European Commission does not legally need member state approval to order the registration of products under trade investigations, their backing is a gauge of whether there is support for any eventual duties.

($1 = 0.7479 euros)

(editing by Jim Marshall)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Adani Project

Adani Project

Australia approves Adani's $16 bln Carmichael coal project  Full Article 

India-U.S. Talks

India-U.S. Talks

Kerry to woo Modi's India, but quick progress unlikely  Full Article 

Paring Debt

Paring Debt

Jaiprakash to sell hydro plants to Reliance Power  Full Article 

Nifty Falls

Nifty Falls

The broader index hits lowest in nearly a week on profit taking  Full Article 

Mideast Conflict

Mideast Conflict

U.N. Security Council calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

Foreign investors prefer Indian cyclicals, utilities - Macquarie  Full Article 

Debt Investment

Debt Investment

India's FII debt limit hike credit-positive, says Moody's  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage