India has submitted plans to introduce a safeguard duty on solar imports from China, fearing it endangers the domestic solar industry.
A preliminary report published by India’s Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) concluded:
“Existing critical circumstances justify the immediate imposition of a provisional Safeguard Duty in order to save the DI from further serious injury, which would be difficult to repair, if the application of the recommended Safeguard measure is delayed.”
The DGS has suggested a 200-day levy of 70% on cells and modules shipped in from China.
India is China’s biggest solar importer. Between January and September last year, it imported 33% of total shipments. In 2012, this was just 1.52%.
According to a governmental note last month, India has a current solar capacity of just over 3 gigawatts, well below the 20-gigawatt target set by India’s National Solar Mission.
Chinese solar producers are geared towards the export market and with difficulties in shipping to the US and EU, India, with a marked disparity between its limited supply and large demand seemed the natural export market.
However, the report was commisioned following a suit from the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA), which claimed a flood of imports had harmed the domestic industry and that a safeguard duty was needed to prevent further damage.
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