The European Union decided to impose tariffs as high as 67.9 percent on solar panels from China in the largest EU commercial dispute of its kind, seeking to help revive a withering industry in Europe. The duties are to punish Chinese manufacturers of solar panels for allegedly selling them in the 27-nation EU below cost, a practice known as dumping
EU producers including Solarworld AG (SWV)
’s No. 1 maker of the renewable-energy technology, have faced “significant harm” as a result of dumped imports from China, the European Commission, the bloc’s trade authority in Brussels, said in a statement today. The levies, due to be published tomorrow in the EU’s Official Journal
and to take effect June 6 at an initial lower rate of 11.8 percent, will be for six months and may be prolonged for five years.
The trade protection covers EU imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels, and cells and wafers used in them - - shipments valued at 21 billion euros ($27.5 billion) in 2011. European companies including Solarworld have demanded punitive levies to counter growing competition from China
following similar U.S. trade protection.