ISMA withdraws anti-dumping plea on solar imports, to file fresh petition

The Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA) has withdrawn a petition it had filed in July last year for anti-dumping investigation on solar cells and modules imported from China, Taiwan and Malaysia, and will file a fresh plea, seeking to extend the period of investigation after a considerable increase in solar imports was noticed in the second half of 2017.

“We had filed the petition for Antidumping duty on solar cells and modules, covering the period of investigation till June 2017. However, the import trends since then have made the period of investigation irrelevant,” ISMA said in a statement on Monday .

With an increase in volume of imports of cells and modules by 33 to 45 per cent between July to December last year, it was imperative to ‘contemporarize’ the period of investigation, the statement added. The period of investigation for the petition which has now been withdrawn, was April 2016 to June 2017.

Dhruv Sharma, governing council member of ISMA, said that the industry body is quite confident of a duty levy and they will file a fresh petition with the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties in about two weeks’ time.

“The petition has a very solid ground. Very clearly, there is huge dumping from China, Taiwan and Malaysia. We are very clear, that it should come. But procedures are procedures,” he added.

Indian solar developers have been vocal about the repercussions of anti-dumping and safeguard duties, which will shoot up project costs and ultimately lead to higher solar tariffs. Domestic solar manufacturers, on the other hand, have made a strong case for imports crippling their businesses.
"We believe withdrawal of the anti dumping case is a step in the right direction by the Indian manufacturers. We hope that the revised case filing from them will take into account the realities of the global market," said Kushagra Nandan, President of solar EPC company SunSource.

A revision in ISMA’s petition will make their case only stronger as the decision on safeguards duty is imminent, said Vinay Rustagi, managing director of solar consultancy firm Bridge to India.

The Directorate General of Safeguards in January this year proposed 70% safeguard duty on imported solar cells and modules, after a petition was filed by ISMA again.

“The government seems sympathetic to the concerns of the manufacturers and it is really a move for them to make their case even stronger. I think right now a more pressing matter is the safeguards duty where the market has been anticipating a decision very shortly,” Rustagi added.