The European Commission has agreed to impose high, anti-dumping tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panels. The decision is now up for debate among EU member states.
Brussels has decided to levy preliminary duties of around 47 percent on Chinese solar panel imports, European Union sources said Wednesday. A consultation process had been launched among EU member countries with a final decision expected to be announced on June 5.
The European Commission will be able to impose preliminary, half-year anti-dumping duties. Individual EU governments now only have the power to decide whether the tariffs would stay in place for five years or be revoked completely. In the latter case, fees collected within the first six months would be fully reimbursed.
China's solar industry exports goods worth 21 billion euros ($27.5 billion) to the EU each year. That makes the current case the biggest anti-dumping action ever launched by Brussels.
European industry association ProSun argued that European producers were being illegally undercut by cheap Chinese solar products. The EU looked into the issue as a result.
The United States decided to impose tariffs of more than 30 percent on Chinese solar panels last year, following a similar investigation by regulators. A number of German companies have also been hit hard by Chinese competition, including Q-Cells and Solarworld.
hg/jm (dpa, AFP)