Solar Installer Alert: In Preliminary Determination, U.S. Commerce Department Imposes Countervailing Duties on Chinese Solar Products

Legal Alert

Late on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, the International Trade Administration of the Department of Commerce (ITA) released a Fact Sheet announcing an affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty case against Chinese Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic (CSPV) products from China.  Background on this decision is available in our March 2014 alert.

The ITA’s determination imposes countervailing duty rates of 18.56% on Trina Solar, 35.21% on Wuxi Solar and five affiliates, and an industry rate of 26.89% on all others for US imports of subject solar merchandise.  The scope of the solar merchandise subject to the duties is described in the Fact Sheet but excludes solar merchandise already subject to the countervailing duty and antidumping orders from December, 2012.  We have provided a scope comparison showing the changes in this 2014 scope against the 2012 scope for countervailing duties.  The countervailing duties imposed by the 2012 order are generally lower (14.78%-15.97%)  than the preliminary 2014 duties, and it may be a challenge for importers and Customs to sort out which duties apply to a shipment clearing Customs.

These preliminary duties will be in effect until at least August 18, 2014, when ITA’s final decision is due.  The duties could change or be dropped altogether at that time or later when a related International Trade Commission final decision on domestic industry  injury is due.  The preliminary duties will be effective on the date noted in the official Federal Register notice, once published.  Unlike the 2012 cases, these duties are not retroactive.

We will update this report once we have reviewed the expected official Federal Register notice. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this determination, please contact your Stoel Rives lawyer or the key contributor.

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