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Import Safeguard Exclusion for Solar Panels Withdrawn

Friday, October 11, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Effective Oct. 28, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is reinstating an import safeguard measure with respect to bifacial solar panels.

The Section 201 safeguard on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and other CSPV products containing these cells consists of (1) a tariff-rate quota on CSPV cells not partially or fully assembled into other products, with an unchanged duty rate for the in-quota quantity and a higher duty rate for over-quota articles, and (2) a higher duty rate on other CSPV products.

In June 2019 USTR excluded from this safeguard bifacial solar panels that absorb light and generate electricity on each side of the panel and that consist of only bifacial solar cells that absorb light and generate electricity on each side of the cells. However, USTR has since received information demonstrating that global production of bifacial solar panels is increasing, that the exclusion will likely result in significant increases in imports of these goods, and that such imports likely will compete with domestically produced monofacial and bifacial CSPV products in the U.S. market.

As a result, USTR is withdrawing the safeguard exclusion with respect to bifacial solar panels entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after 12:01 a.m. EDT on Oct. 28.

For more information, please contact trade attorney Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965.

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