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U.S. Solar Producers To Host Webinar To Detail Mechanics Of Trade Remedy Duties

The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM), comprised of more than 220 solar-industry employers of more than 18,000 U.S. workers, will offer a public webinar at 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT) next Thursday, Aug. 9, to provide an overview of the ongoing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases against Chinese producers of solar cells and panels and to highlight potential pitfalls for solar importers and purchasers.

To access the webinar, titled “Understanding the Mechanics of Import Duties from the Solar Trade Cases,” industry participants and observers are invited to log onto http://goo.gl/oN9OZ, then use the password SOLAR. Participants are encouraged to log into the webinar five minutes early to ensure they can complete registration by the session start time.

Among other things, the webinar will highlight the various ways in which anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duty margins can increase unexpectedly, creating an “open-ended contingent liability” for importers of Chinese cells and panels, according to CASM. The webinar also will address the scope of the trade cases and the domestic industry’s request that all Chinese crystalline silicon solar cells and panels be subject to duties. In particular, according to CASM, U.S. trade laws do not allow Chinese companies to escape duty liability by making minor alterations to their products or by completing or assembling them in a third country.

In addition, the webinar will discuss the role and enforcement powers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in collecting duties and in detecting possible duty evasion and circumvention activities. U.S. law provides civil and criminal penalties for fraud, negligence, and failure to exercise reasonable care related to the importation of products subject to duties, according to CASM. It also is illegal, CASM says, for a U.S. importer to be reimbursed by the seller for anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties.

With CASM’s support, SolarWorld Industries Americas Inc. filed its trade cases on Oct. 19, 2011. As a result, the Department of Commerce based its anti-dumping investigation on the prior two quarters, the second and third quarters of 2011. On May 27, 2012, Commerce published a preliminary determination that triggered collection of duties ranging between about 31 percent and 250 percent on the value of Chinese solar imports back to Feb. 25, 2012. Commerce will issue its final anti-dumping determination on Oct. 9, 2012.

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