Commerce Issues Preliminary Determination That Solar Cells From China Should Be Assessed Antidumping And Countervailing Duties
Preliminary Determination On Antidumping Duties
On May 25, 2012, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) published its affirmative preliminary determination that imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (“solar cells”) cells from China are being dumped into the United States. This investigation covers photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules. Under U.S. law, dumping occurs when a foreign company sells a product to the U.S. at less than fair market value.
Antidumping duties (AD) must be deposited for entries of these cells that are made on or after May 25, 2012. Fifty-nine exporters qualified for the separate rate of 31.18%. The “China-wide” rate, which applies to those Chinese producers/exporters who did not receive the separate rate, is 249.96%.
Scope Of The Investigation
The products covered by the investigation are identified as follows:
Critical Circumstances Exist
Commerce also preliminarily determined that critical circumstances existed. Under the U.S. antidumping law, if it is shown that there have been massive imports of the product within a relatively short period of time, Commerce can impose AD duties on imports made 90 days prior to the date of the preliminary determination. Because there was a preliminary finding of critical circumstances, Commerce will instruct Customs to require a deposit based on these preliminary rates applicable to all entries of Chinese solar cells back through February 25, 2012.
What Happens Next For The AD Investigation
Commerce is currently scheduled to make its final determination by October 9, 2012. However, this date might be extended. If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes an affirmative final determination that there is injury to the U.S. domestic industry from these imports, Commerce will issue an AD Order.
Preliminary Determination On Countervailing Duties
Commerce published a Notice on March 26, 2012, stating it had preliminarily determined that two certain Chinese producers/exporters of solar cells have received countervailable subsidies of 2.90% and 4.73%, respectively. All other Chinese producers/exporters received a preliminary subsidy rate of 3.6%. In simple terms, a Commerce CVD investigation reviews whether “countervailing” duties should be imposed to offset subsidies by foreign governments on certain products exported to the U.S.
Scope of the CVD Investigation
The scope of the CVD investigation covers the same products as the antidumping investigation (see above).
Critical Circumstances Exist
Commerce determined in an earlier decision on January 27, 2012, that critical circumstances existed in the CVD investigation. Thus, CVD duty deposits must be paid on entries dating back to December 27, 2011.
What Happens Next For The CVD Investigation
A final determination is currently scheduled for October 9, 2012. However, it is possible that this may be extended. If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination and the ITC makes an affirmative final injury determination that imports of solar cells from China are injuring the domestic industry, Commerce will issue a CVD Order.
If you have any questions about these issues, please contact Steve Spraitzar at email@example.com or at (415) 288-0427.
Stephen S. Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco.
The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.
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