January 9 (Renewables Now) - A safeguard duty of 70% has been proposed for solar cell imports into India coming from China and Malaysia, after an investigation confirmed that these cause or threaten to cause serious injury to domestic manufacturers.
The recommendation has been made by the Directorate General of Safeguards, Customs and Central Excise, which is calling for immediate imposition of a provisional safeguard duty in order to prevent further serious injury. The recommended period for the duties is 200 days, which is considered to be the minimum period of time required to protect the interests of Indian photovoltaics (PV) manufacturers.
The proposed duties are for both crystalline silicon (c-Si) and thin film solar cells, whether or not assembled in modules or panels. The document shows that imports of such products in India have surged to 9.5 GW, annualised, in fiscal 2017/18, from 1.28 GW in fiscal 2014/15. Moreover, the overall growth rate of PV cell imports relative to domestic production is quite significant, rising to 814% in 2017/18 from 519% in 2014/15.
Before a final determination on the matter is made, there will be a public hearing.
The safeguard duty recommendation comes in response to an application by the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA) from December 5, 2017, on behalf of five Indian PV makers -- Mundra Solar PV Ltd, Indosolar Ltd, Jupiter Solar Power Ltd, Websol Energy Systems Ltd and Helios Photo Voltaic Ltd. Together these companies produce more than 50% of all Indian-made solar cells.