Close vote of the EU member states about the extension of the MIP expected for tomorrow

1/25/17, 1:00 PM -

Tomorrow the 28 EU Member States are going to vote about the extension of the EU-China PV trade sanctions. China proposed a minimum import price of 0,46 Euro per Watt, if the scheme will be extended. However, the most important Chinese manufacturers already withdrew from the undertaking.

Wouter Veermersch, General Director of Belgium based Cleantec Trade shares insights about the possible extension of the EU-China solar trade case.

The 28 EU Member States are going to vote this Thursday January 26 to decide whether the import duties and the price undertaking should be extended for another two years until 2019. According to Wouter Veermersch, General Director of  Cleantec Trade the vote is going to be really close. There need to vote 15 countries against the extension in order to go to an appeal and so far approximately 13 countries are expected to vote against.

Largest manufacturers already left the scheme

Veermeersch gives a chronology of the most important decisions and developments of the last months. Citing alleged violations of the minimum import price (MIP) agreement, the EU Commission on October 13, 2016 removed Huashun and Seraphim from the undertaking. October 31 GCL voluntary withdrew from the undertaking. All China’s largest producers have now left the MIP: Jinko Solar, Trina Solar, GCL and Canadian Solar. November 16, the EU Commission confirms the withdrawal of another 4 solar firms: JA Solar, Risen Energy, Suntech and Phono Solar.

EU Commission proposed an extension

On December 21 in a presentation of the preliminary results of its anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into the import of Chinese solar modules and cells into the EU, the Commission proposed to extend the current import duties for two additional years, once the current scheme expires in March 2017. CCCME, the Chinese government body that negotiated the deal on behalf of Chinese firms, notified parties to the deal that the new MIP will be in that case 0,46 Euro per Watt.

Final decision by March 2017

Member States are yet to approve this proposal on Thursday. The European Commission must make its final decision known by latest March 4, 2017. Germany is supposed to vote for the extension of the scheme, as Economics and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said yesterday at a conference in Berlin. Although just hours later Gabriel resigned from this position and as chairman of the Social Democratic Party.

Industry association Solarpower Europe calls for a removal of the MIP in order to reinforce the European solar market. (HCN)

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