Commerce Considers Changes to Scope Description of China and Taiwan Solar Cell Investigations

November 18, 2014

The U.S. Department of Commerce advised interested parties on October 3, 2014 that it is considering clarifying the scope description set forth in the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on crystalline silicon photovoltaic products (solar cells) from China and Taiwan. The scope language now reads:

For purposes of this investigation, subject merchandise includes modules, laminates and/or panels assembled in the subject country consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells that are completed or partially manufactured within a customs territory other than that subject country, using ingots that are manufactured in the subject country, wafers that are manufactured in the subject country, or cells where the manufacturing process begins in the subject country and is completed in a non‑subject country.

The proposed changes for clarity are as follows:

  • For the PRC investigations, subject merchandise includes all modules, laminates and/or panels assembled in the PRC that contain crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells produced in a customs territory other than the PRC. 
  • For the Taiwan investigation, subject merchandise includes all modules, laminates and/or panels assembled in Taiwan consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells produced in Taiwan or a customs territory other than Taiwan.* In addition, subject merchandise will include modules, laminates, and panels assembled in a third-country, other than the PRC, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells produced in Taiwan.

The proposed changes are to simplify the scope language and do not appear to change the substance of what is covered within the scope. As originally written, the scope description was difficult to understand.

Case briefs regarding this proposed change were filed by October 16, 2014, and rebuttal briefs were filed by October 27, 2014.

The final determination for all three investigations (AD and CVD for China and AD for Taiwan) are due on December 15, 2014. If affirmative, and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decides that the subsidies and dumping cause injury to the U.S. solar industry, AD and CVD orders will be issued.

We will provide information when these decisions are issued.

Companies should ensure that the correct AD/CVD cases are being identified at the time of filing the entry summaries.

If you wish a copy of the October 3, 2014 letter from Commerce to the interested parties on the proposed scope clarification, or have any questions about these matters, please email Steve Spraitzar at steve.spraitzar@tuttlelaw.com, or call him at (415) 288-0427.

*The scope of the Taiwan and the China investigations on solar cells would continue to exclude any products covered by the existing AD and CVD orders on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from the PRC.

Steve Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco.

The information in this article is general in nature, and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

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