Solar Cells.PNG

Importation of Solar Cells, Modules, & Panels

Importers of solar cells are face a complex array of barriers imposed by the U.S. government per legal demands made by the domestic industry.  These include antidumping and countervailing duties (ADCVD) on solar imports from various countries, including China and Taiwan, and more recently "Safeguard duties" that were imposed by the President in response to recommendations reported on by the ITC.

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Curated news on Solar Safeguards

September 19, 2018: USTR: Exclusion of products from Solar Safeguards.

February 14, 2018: USTR: Deadline for submission of safeguard exclusions announced (March 16). Responsive comments due April 16.

February 7, 2018: WTO: EU and China file formal requests for consultations on the solar safeguard issue. (The first step in teh WTO dispute resolution process).

Februrary 2, 2018: CBP: Quota Bulletin: Solar Safeguards.

January 24, 2018: USTR: Report to Congress On China’s WTO Compliance: "It is now clear that the WTO rules are not sufficient to constrain China’s market-distorting behavior"  Reuters

January 23, 2018: POTUS: Safeguard Proclamations released:  Solar cells. Duty-free entry below 2.5 GigaWatts, then after that quota limit, the US will apply safeguards duties over 4 years, as follows: 30% ad valorem in year 1, 25% in year 2, 20% in year 3, and 15% in year 4.

January 22, 2018: NYT article: POTUS approves safeguard duties on solar cells (with staged reductions over 4 years).  "In each of the four years, the first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempted from the tariff..."  

October 31, 2017
ITC Commissioners have released their duty recommendations on various types of solar cells.  ITC  Safeguard Duty Recommendations. 

Next month, this report will be formally submitted to the President, who holds final authority as to whether or not to formally implement such Safeguard Duties, and to set the rates of such duties.   Washington Post Summary.

September 22, 2017
The U.S. ITC determined that increased imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells (whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products) are being imported "in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury to the domestic industry producing an article like or directly competitive with the imported article."  Certain Commissioners also found injury as to imports from NAFTA countries and South Korea.  Press Release on ITC Injury Determination.

May 17, 2017
A section 202 Petition was filed by Suniva, Inc. (supported by SolarWorld Americas, Inc.) to invoke a section 201 Safeguard Investigation by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC).  Investigation factsheet.

Additional Resources:



Other News Related to Solar imports

April 4, 2019: ITC: 337 Investigation of Solar cell imports: Notice of investigation. <Factsheet>.

March 12, 2019: Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC): Canadian Solar decision affirms CIT & DOC decisions to allow the separate scope country of origin test for Taiwanese solar products.

February 20, 2019: Prelim CVD Solar Cells (China).

October 29, 2018: Commerce: Amended results of CV review.

December 28, 2018: Commerce: Solar Cells (China): Preliminary ADD Review (2016-2017).

July 27, 2018: Commerce: Solar Cells (China): Final results of ADD Annual Review (2015-2016). China-wide rate: 238.95% - but some companies achieved rates as low as 15.85%.

July 22, 2018: Commerce: Solar Cells (China): Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2015 - 2016.

June 28, 2018: Commerce: Solar (Taiwan): Final Results of Antidumping Administrative Review; 2016-2017.

January 26, 2018: Amended Prelim (A-583-853).

January 9, 2018: Commerce: Solar (China): Preliminary Results CVD Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2015-2016.

January 7, 2018:
Commerce: Solar Cells (China): Preliminary Results AD Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2015-2016.

December 26, 2017: 
Commerce: Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review to exempt 'small cells.'  (See Nov 27 news.)

December 18, 2017: 
TAIWAN AD:  Advance draft of Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review. 

November 27, 2017: ITA:
Changed circumstances review of Pitco request for solar cell exclusion re: "Panels with surface area from 3,450 mm2 to 33,782 mm2 with one black wire and one red wire (each of type 22 AWG or 24 AWG not more than 206 mm in length when measured from panel extrusion), and not exceeding 2.9 volts, 1.1 amps, and 3.19 watts. No panel shall contain an internal battery or external computer peripheral ports." 

October 6, 2017: 
Amended Final Results of CV China Review: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: 2014-2015.

September 12, 2017: 
Final results CV China review: Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, and Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015.

August 29, 2017: 
CIT holding that Sunpreme hybrid-cells were within scope.  Commerce acted improperly in directing CBP suspensions of liquidation prior to commencement of scope proceedings.

July 21, 2017:
CIT holding in Kyocera Solar, Inc. v. U.S.,  that modules with Tawianese cells are in scope regardless of module assembly.

June 7,  Commerce: Scope Ruling: Flashlight found to be within the Order on solar cells (A-570-979 and C-570-980): "Goal Zero, LLC; the Torch 250 Flashlight is covered by the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from the People's Republic of China because one of its functions is to provide power for other electronic devices and thus it does not qualify for the exclusion identified in the scope of the orders; May 13, 2016."

March 18, 2015:  Sunpower Corp. v U.S.  challenged Scope issues in CIT.

July 21, 2017:
CIT Holding in Sunpower Corp. v U.S.

December 23, 2014
Commerce publishes final determinations in the Solar II PRC ADD and CVD investigations.

Solar II Issues and Decision Mem. for the Final Determination in the CVD (C-570-011):  Traditional substantial transformation rule dispensed with. Country of origin to be determined by the country in which the ASSEMBLY of the panel occurs.

Dec. 15, 2014:
Taiwan ADD Final Determination: Issues and Decision Mem., (A-583-853):  Concludes that the solar cell is the origin-conferring input. Substantial transformation analysis shows a panel assembly does NOT substantially transform the cell into a different product.

Feb. 18, 2015:
Solar II Final Determinations: ADD order; and amended final affirmative CVD determination and CVD order.

Taiwan ADD Order:  covering solar cells manufactured in Taiwan, including Taiwanese cells assembled into modules, laminates, and/or panels outside of Taiwan, but excluding Taiwanese cells assembled into modules, laminates, and/or panels in China covered by the Solar II PRC Orders.

October 3, 2014: 
Commerce proposes the "two out of three rule” for Scope issues is impractical and unworkable, and that scope be revised to cover all modules, laminates, and/or panels assembled in China consisting of solar cells produced in a country other than China.

Jan. 29, 2014:
Commerce initiates "Solar II" ADD and CVD investigations of the Chinese solar industry, and an ADD investigation of the Taiwanese solar industry.

Dec. 31, 2013:
Solarworld: Pet. for Imposition of ADD and CVD Investigation, Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from the PRC & Taiwan, CVD PD 1–8, bar codes 3171278-01–08 (alleges Solar I PRC Orders “failed to cover Chinese solar modules assembled from non-Chinese solar cells, allowing Chinese solar producers to begin using cells fully or partially manufactured in Taiwan in the modules they assembled for export to the United States, and to export those modules, duty-free, to the U.S. market.”

Oct. 9, 2012:
Issues and Decision Mem. [ADD and CVD] Final Det. Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules, from the PRC (A-570-979 and C-570-980)

Dec. 7, 2012:
Solar I PRC investigations resulted in AD/CVD orders covering solar cells from China (including Chinese cells assembled into modules, laminates, and panels outside of China).  The orders did not cover solar modules, laminates, or panels assembled in China using solar cells produced outside of China

Nov. 16, 2011:
Initiation of "Solar I" AD & CVD Investigations



Additional Historic Resources: 

China (PRC) Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products (A-570-010)

China (PRC) Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products (C-570-011)

Taiwan Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products (A-583-853)