Solar Installer Alert: Commerce Dept. Reduces Preliminary Antidumping Duty Rates for Solar Products from Taiwan

by Stoel Rives LLP

The International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce (“ITA”) on August 18 issued a notice amending its Affirmative Preliminary Determination for antidumping (“AD”) duties against certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic (“CSPV”) products from Taiwan. The revised rates will be retroactive to July 31, 2014. The AD rate changes are as follows:


New AD Rates

Original AD Rates







All Others



As we reported earlier, on July 31, 2014, ITA published affirmative preliminary AD determinations in its investigations for CSPV products from China (case no. A-570-010) and Taiwan (case no. A-583-853) in response to petitions from U.S. company SolarWorld Industries, alleging sales of such products in the United States at less than fair value. As a result of its determinations, importers of subject CSPV merchandise were required to make AD cash deposits at the calculated rates upon entry of the products through U.S. Customs in addition to the payment of normal tariffs.

Almost immediately after publication of the ITA’s original determination and AD rates, various parties alleged ministerial errors in the calculation of the dumping margins and corresponding AD rates. After reviewing the allegations, ITA concluded that the errors in the separate rate for Motech of Taiwan were material and justified an amendment. Since the “All Others” rate is a function of the individual rates for Motech and Gintech in the Taiwan investigation, reducing the Motech AD rate reduced the All Others rate as well. Cash deposits already collected by CPB (“U.S. Customs”) at the higher original rates will be refunded to the extent they exceed the amended rates.

No Change in the AD Rates for CSPV products from China

Despite some allegations of calculation errors in certain AD rates for Chinese manufacturers and exporters, ITA did not find sufficient reason to revise them. On August 18, 2014, ITA issued instructions to U.S. Customs for collecting the cash deposits on CSPV products from Chinese manufacturers and exporters. The guidance reflected cash deposit rates for the named Chinese parties adjusted for the prior CVD rates imposed by ITA in June on the same products in the unfair subsidy investigation (case no. C-570-011). See our Alert on the June 9 CVD determination for more information. Those adjustments, however, are only applicable to parties receiving a separate AD rate. The “All Others” AD rate for unlisted Chinese parties remains at 165.04%

The U.S. Customs guidance for Chinese CSPV products noted that the published cash deposit rates would be in effect until October 8, 2014, at which time the preliminary CVD duties will terminate and the cash deposit requirements for the remaining AD rates will be reissued. The CVD rates end on October 8 because U.S. law limits the use of preliminary CVD rates to a four month period (June 10 - October 8). Since ITA chose to align the CVD and AD investigation timelines and issue a final decision in both on or about December 16, 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 44402 July 31, 2014), the alignment pushed the final CVD determination for Chinese products well beyond the four month limit. Note that the CSPV products from Taiwan are not subject to a CVD investigation at this time, so the October 9 changes will only affect the CSPV products from China.

Product Scope Questions Remain

The scope of the CSPV products at issue has not changed since the initiation of these investigations in January of this year. The scope definition in full is repeated in the ITA’s recent AD Fact Sheet. However, a number of parties have questioned the scope and its interpretation since it varies from historical country of origin determination practice. For example, in its Decision Memorandum supporting the July 31, 2014 affirmative preliminary AD determination for CSPV products from Taiwan, the ITA acknowledged the questions as follows.

In accordance with the preamble to the Department's regulations, in our Initiation Notice we set aside a period of time for parties to raise issues regarding product coverage. Between February 18,2014, and April 21, 2014, numerous interested parties timely submitted scope comments and rebuttal scope comments. The Department is continuing to analyze interested parties' scope comments, including comments on whether it is appropriate to apply a traditional substantial transformation or other analysis in determining the country of origin of certain solar modules described in the scope of the investigation. (p. 5; citations omitted, emphasis added)

It is reasonably clear that assembly and final finishing of solar panels and modules alone will not determine country of origin for AD/CVD purposes, rather it is the origin of the cells that counts. This may not be true for other solar products, but it appears to be the consensus for panels and modules. If a cell is manufactured wholly within a country from ingots or wafers produced in that country, the cell is a product of that country, therefore, panels or modules made with those cells are a product of that country, wherever assembled.

The questions arise around mixed production, namely, using ingots or wafers produced in one country as the starting point for finished solar cell production in another country. When there is mixed production for cells - part in one country and part in another - the country of origin for the finished cells, and hence the application of AD and CVD rates, or not, is raising questions among various parties. As ITA continues to analyze these issues and U.S. Customs begins rendering AD/CVD cash deposit determinations, there could be adjustments made to the final scope of subject merchandise. With experience, some of the answers to the scope questions should become clearer.

Government of China Seeks to Suspend the U.S. Investigation

Among calls by some parties for a “negotiated solution,” the Government of the People’s Republic of China has now weighed in on the matter. By letter submitted to ITA on August 15, 2014, the Chinese Government informed the U.S. Department of Commerce that it wished to negotiate a Suspension Agreement with respect to the AD investigation against CSPV products from China. We will report on this effort as the information becomes available.

Written by:

Stoel Rives LLP

Stoel Rives LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.