Recently, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a decision to partially revoke the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on imported solar energy panels from China related to the solar panel anti-dumping duty order in effect since 2012.
According to the DOC’s decision (resulting from a review of changed circumstances initiated by solar energy panel manufacturers and exporters from China), the products excluded from this duty order are off-grid small portable crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels, with or without a glass cover with the following characteristics:
(i) total power output of each panel is 200 watts or less;
(ii) maximum surface area of each panel is 16,000 cm2;
(iii) does not include an integrated inverter;
(iv) includes an attached or packaged handle for easy transportation;
(v) includes one or more mounting brackets for easy installation or angle adjustment;
(vi) includes or is packaged with a cord of at least 3 meters in length connected to a power connector with an 8mm diameter.
Changes to the circumstances of the Solar Energy Panel Duty with China
It is expected that the DOC will instruct the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) not to impose anti-dumping/countervailing duties on newly imported shipments into the United States and to refund the duties on unliquidated shipments imported into the United States on or after December 1, 2021 (anti-dumping duties) and January 1, 2021 (countervailing duties).
According to the DOC’s announcement, the guidance issued by the agency to the CBP will be no later than 35 days after the issuance of the decision regarding the changed circumstances related to this duty order (on June 22, 2023).
This is the latest development from the DOC regarding trade remedy investigations related to solar energy panels. In addition to the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on solar energy panels from China, the United States is also investigating anti-circumvention measures on imported solar energy panels from four Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand.
However, the anti-circumvention investigation involving Vietnam is currently “suspended” due to President Joe Biden’s administration implementing a duty exemption for solar energy panel trade remedies from these four countries until the end of June 2024, in line with the U.S.’s green energy goals.
Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have attempted to overturn the President’s veto, but were unable to do so.
While Vietnamese enterprises are currently exempt from duties even if they are found to engage in circumvention practices against trade remedies, the decision by the United States to change the circumstances of the Solar Energy Panel Duty with China will also benefit Vietnamese businesses.
This is because when Vietnamese enterprises export off-grid small portable crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels, with or without a glass cover to the United States (according to the products excluded from the duty order on China), they will also not be subject to corresponding anti-circumvention measures.
The Decision can be downloaded here.