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)

Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Republic Day

Reuters Showcase

Banking Revolution

Banking Revolution

India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution.  Full Article 

Nuclear Group

Nuclear Group

China urges India to take steps to satisfy standards of NSG  Full Article 

Gold Market

Gold Market

Chinese gold demand holds up ahead of holiday, Indian buying weak  Full Article 

India-U.S. Relations

India-U.S. Relations

Column - U.S. and India should join to balance China's rise  Full Article 

Padma Bhushan

Padma Bhushan

India honours Bill Gates with civilian award  Full Article 

Fashionable Modi

Fashionable Modi

When Modi met Obama, his name was all over - his suit  Full Article 

Nuclear Deal

Nuclear Deal

Obama reveals nuclear breakthrough on landmark India trip  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Serena avenges French Open loss to reach quarter-finals.  Full Article 

Climate Change

Climate Change

U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, says Modi  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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