On June 6, 2022, President Biden announced a 2-year suspension of anti-dumping duties that could be levied on imported solar modules and cells from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The move is intended to accelerate solar projects in the U.S., which had been stalled by the prospect of severe additional tariffs on solar modules and cells imported from these counties.
The Executive action grants U.S. importers a temporary safe harbor from anti-dumping duties by guaranteeing that the duties will not be imposed retroactively to imports occurring during the 2-year period. Therefore, importers can continue to source solar products from these countries and will not need to set aside funds or make cash deposits with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to cover the duties.
In March, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced an investigation into whether imports of solar panels from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are circumventing tariffs imposed on solar cells originating in the Peoples Republic of China (China). The investigation seeks to determine whether solar cells imported from the targeted countries are produced from Chinese-origin components from “minor or insignificant” manufacturing processes, and thus are properly subject to the current anti-dumping duty order that applies to imported solar cells from China. Since the announcement of the investigation, U.S. importers have been preparing for the possibility of duties on imports from these countries -- potentially amounting to more than 250% of their declared values. Comments by both the White House and the Commerce Department make clear that the circumvention investigation is ongoing and unimpeded by the temporary suspension of duties. The Commerce Department is scheduled to publish its preliminary circumvention determination on August 29, 2022.