EU member states have approved a European Commission proposal to register imports of Chinese panels ahead of its decision to impose tariffs on Chinese manufacturers.

This is expected to stop imports of bulk orders at low prices of Chinese modules and for duties to be applied retroactively to imports. Sources claim this procedure could commence as early as mid-March.

EU Trade Spokesman John Clancy said, “Let’s be very clear: registration of imports of a certain product in trade defence procedures is nothing out of the ordinary. It simply allows the industry concerned to mark a reference date so that there can be an option for retroactive measures if the case concludes in their favour. This type of registration is automatic in trade defence actions in other major trade partners – whereas in Europe it has to be requested by the industry. So let's not interpret this as suggesting anything – it is simply administrative procedure.”

He added, “Details of such consultations have to be kept confidential by law. Should the Commission decide to make the said imports subject to registration, the relevant decision will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.”.

Earlier this week, an independent research company, Prognos, said the imposition of European Commission tariffs of up to 60% against Chinese manufacturers could lead to 242,000 job losses in Europe during the first year costing the European solar industry €27.8 billion.

Communications Manager at Chinese manufacturing giant Suntech, Björn Emde, told PV-Tech, "The main consequence is the added uncertainty now after the decision."

The deadline for the decision to impose provisional anti-dumping measures is 6 June 2013.

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