US Section 201 bifacial exemption reinstated after international trade court decision

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Refunds will be paid to importers to have shelled out for the higher tariffs since last year. Image: Flickr/Matt Wade.

An exemption for bifacial solar panels from Section 201 tariffs in the US has been reinstated after a decision passed down by the US Court of International Trade (CIT).

The judgement, published today, means that as of now bifacial solar modules can be imported to the US free of punitive tariffs under the Trump administration’s Section 201 trade regime.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Furthermore, an increase of the Section 201 tariff rate – enacted by President Trump in October last year, just prior to his election defeat to Joe Biden – from 15% to 18% was rescinded by the CIT. Refunds will be paid to parties to have paid any resultant tariffs.

In its verdict, the court concluded that Trump’s Presidential Proclamation “constituted both a clear microconstruction” of the statute and were deemed to be an action outside of the president’s delegated authority.

The exemption for bifacial modules from the Section 201 tariffs was removed after the then-President Trump laid a Presidential Proclamation in mid-October 2020, calling upon the US Trade Representative to request an investigation by the US International Trade Commission to determine whether or not the tariffs, introduced in 2018, had sufficiently protected the US’ domestic solar manufacturing sector.

It sparked a legal wrangle between the Trump administration and other government officials. The US Court of International Trade was initially expected to rule against the intent of the proclamation and allow the bifacial exemption to continue, while a restraining order was issued against the decision in late October, earning the exemption an effective stay of execution.

However further efforts to keep the exemption in place failed and, once the restraining order lifted in late November, bifacial modules were once again subject to import tariffs.

Today’s development, considered a surprise, has been celebrated by the US solar sector.

Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said the decision was “clearly the right conclusion”.

“We are committed to building the U.S. solar manufacturing supply chain and we believe there are policies in the Build Back Better Act that will help grow American manufacturing. We look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to get these critical policies, including Senator John Ossoff’s Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, over the finish line,” she said.

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 14, 2024
Ørsted has commissioned its Helena Energy Center in the US state of Texas, a 518MW co-located solar and wind project.
June 12, 2024
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) research shows that the use of solar panels on US homes can cut energy burden to as low as 1.3%.
June 6, 2024
Solar module demand increased in Europe in May, according to data from solar wholesaler sun.store, as buyers’ confidence rose and the price of bifacial modules fell.
June 6, 2024
The US installed 11.8GWdc of capacity in the first quarter of 2024 and added more than 40GW of solar capacity last year, according to SEIA.
May 29, 2024
Responsibility for awarding permits for new renewable projects in Michigan will remain with the state’s Public Service Commission.
May 29, 2024
The challenges facing Europe's solar sector are explored in depth in the latest edition of our quarterly journal, PV Tech Power.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia