Bifacial solar panels are again exempt from article 201 tariffs



Solar energy advocacy group SEIA, along with co-plaintiffs NextEra Energy, Invenergy Renewables, and EDF Renewables, successfully appealed to the US International Trade Tribunal (CIT) to reinstate the exemption of bifacial solar modules from tariffs. of article 201 on imported solar modules. SEIA began its campaign for bifacial exclusion from the new presidential administration in February 2021, not necessarily citing industry-related reasoning, but rather referring to various violations of procedural requirements around the trade law itself. same.

Credit: Billy Ludt / Solar Power World

Today’s ruling means that imported bifacial modules are again exempted from Section 201 tariffs, with immediate effect. Item 201 tariffs have returned to 15% for this fourth year, and all imports from the previous year under the adjusted 18% tariff are eligible for refunds with interest.

To jog everyone’s memory: As of February 2018, imported crystalline silicon AC / embedded cells, modules and modules have been priced at 30% by the Trump administration as part of a four-year plan. Imports received a 25% tariff in 2019, a 20% tariff in 2020 and were scheduled for a 15% tariff in 2021. Various tariff exemptions were allowed, mainly small power off-grid panels, but Bifacial modules received a full duty exemption in June 2019. Bifacial modules are gaining popularity in the large-scale solar market, and in the absence of domestic manufacturers able to meet the demand, the tariff exemption was seen as a breakthrough. in the price-conscious utility market.

After reviewing reports from the International Trade Commission (ITC) and determining that domestic manufacture of photovoltaic panels was increasing, President Trump ruled in October 2020 that the bifacial exemption undermines the objectives of the article’s original safeguards. 201 (which were to support solar manufacturing in the United States). , bifacial modules would therefore lose their exemption in November 2020. And since bifacial imports have not been tariffed for more than a year, Trump has adjusted the rate for the fourth year of the overall tariff from 15% to 18%.

Today’s CIT decision allows imported bifacial modules to be exempt from Section 201 tariffs (which is expected to end in February 2022), and this year’s tariff rate has dropped to 15%.

Judge Gary S. Katzmann, who revoked the bifacial exemption in 2020, released today’s decision to put bifacial modules back on the exemption list.

“The decision of the United States Court of International Trade to overturn an order by President Trump to change the rate of reduction in Section 201 tariffs and overturn the bifacial module exclusion was clearly the right conclusion. Both actions were an illegal attempt to toughen Section 201 tariffs, ”said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of SEIA. “We are committed to building the solar manufacturing supply chain in the United States and we believe there are policies in the Build Back Better Act that will help grow American manufacturing. We look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to bring these essential policies across the finish line, including Senator John Ossoff’s Solar Power Manufacturing Act for America.

The ITC has received a request to extend the item 201 tariffs for a further period of four years, and discussions are ongoing. A virtual hearing was held earlier this month, and you can see testimonials here. The ITC is expected to present its suggestion to President Biden in the coming weeks, and the president will have the final say on whether to extend tariffs.



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