European Law Monitor

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new f2European Commission continues anti-subsidy investigation on solar panels from China without duties

The European Commission will not impose provisional measures in the anti-subsidy proceeding concerning solar panels, cells and wafers originating in the People’s Republic of China. The anti-subsidy investigation is running parallel to the European Union’s anti-dumping investigation on solar panels and was initiated on 8 November 2012 upon a complaint by the Union industry. The European Commission can, within a period of 9 months, decide to impose provisional anti-subsidy duties. However in this case, the investigation will continue without provisional measures and the Commission will continue working actively on the case in order to arrive to definitive findings that are due at the end of this year.

As any injury to the Union industry has already been removed, at the preliminary stage, by the provisional anti-dumping measures and the price undertaking on the same products, this decision does not have an impact on the protection of the Union industry against unfair trade practices. The decision not to impose any provisional anti-subsidy measures does however not, in any event, prejudice any subsequent decision which may be taken at the definitive stage of this proceeding.


The Commission is legally obliged to open an investigation when it receives a valid complaint from Union industry which provides evidence that a product exported from one or more countries is being subsidised and causing injury to the Union industry. Such complaint was lodged by the Union industry last year concerning the imports of solar panels, cells and wafers from China. Subsequently the Commission initiated an anti-subsidy investigation on 8 November 2012. European Union and WTO rules permit the initiation and conduct of parallel anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations concerning the same product.

The parallel anti-dumping investigation and the undertaking

The parallel anti-dumping investigation continues after provisional duties were imposed on 5 June 2013 and a price undertaking by the Chinese exporting companies has been accepted by the European Commission on 2 August 2013. Experts are now analysing comments and submissions received within the framework of the investigation after the imposition of provisional measures. The agreement on an undertaking announced on 27 July 2013 is based on the provisional measures imposing anti-dumping duties. The undertaking entered into force on 6 August. The Commission has expressed its readiness to follow the necessary procedures to include the anti-subsidy investigation into the undertaking at the definitive stage, should such action be warranted.

Next steps

When the Commission finalises its analyses in both the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases, the findings will be disclosed to all interested parties for comments. When the comments submitted are fully analysed and considered, the Commission will issue definitive findings in both investigations. The deadline for the imposition of definitive duties in both cases is 5 December 2013.

The Commission also currently conducts an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation concerning imports of solar glass from China, one of the raw materials used in the production of solar panels. This case is however independent and is not subject to findings in the solar panel cases.

For further information

Press release, 8 November 2012: European Union initiates anti-subsidy investigation on solar panel imports from China (MEMO/12/844)

Press release, 27 July 2013: Amicable solution in the European Union-China anti-dumping case on solar panels (MEMO/13/729)

Speech by European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on the amicable solution in the European Union-China anti-dumping case on solar panels, 29 July 2013 (MEMO/13/730)