Department of Commerce Issues Final Determination of Circumvention Inquiries of Solar Cells and Modules from China

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the final determinations in the circumvention inquiries of solar cells and modules from the People’s Republic of China (China). Commerce found that certain Chinese producers are shipping their solar products through Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and/or Vietnam for minor processing in an attempt to avoid paying antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD). The final determination affirms the preliminary findings in most respects and underscores the importance of rigorously enforcing trade law. Specifically, Commerce found that five companies were attempting to avoid the payment of U.S. duties by completing minor processing in third countries, and that three companies were not circumventing.  Commerce also found that certain unexamined companies were circumventing.   

These final decisions will not have an immediate impact on the border.  Pursuant to the Presidential Proclamation issued on June 6, 2022, duties will not be collected on any solar module and cell imports from these four countries until June 2024, as long as the imports are consumed in the U.S. market within six months of the termination of the President’s Proclamation.  This provides U.S. solar importers with sufficient time to adjust supply chains and ensure that sourcing is not occurring from companies found to be violating U.S. law.  Solar cells made in one of the four Southeast Asian countries, even if made from wafers from China, that are then exported to a non-inquiry country and further assembled into modules or other products there, before exportation to the United States, are not subject to Commerce’s final circumvention findings

Under U.S. law, Commerce may conduct a circumvention inquiry when evidence suggests that merchandise subject to an existing AD/CVD order is completed or assembled in third countries from parts and components imported from the country subject to the order.  AD/CVD orders are designed to provide relief to the U.S. domestic industries when they are facing unfair competition.  Today’s final determinations underscore Commerce’s commitment to holding China accountable for its trade distorting actions, which undermine American industries, workers, and businesses. 

After a thorough, transparent, and data-driven investigation of eight companies across the four countries, Commerce found that five of the eight companies investigated are attempting to bypass U.S. duties by doing minor processing in one of the Southeast Asian countries before shipping to the United States. 

The final findings are as follows: 

Third Country Company Finding 
Cambodia BYD Hong Kong Circumventing 
  New East Solar Circumventing 
Malaysia Hanwha Q CELLS Not Circumventing 
  Jinko Solar Not Circumventing 
Thailand Canadian Solar Circumventing 
  Trina Solar Circumventing 
Vietnam Boviet Solar Not Circumventing 
  Vina Solar Circumventing 

Further, for those companies in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam that did not respond to Commerce’s request for information in this investigation, they were found to be circumventing. Because Commerce found that circumvention was occurring through each of the four Southeast Asian countries, Commerce continues to make “country-wide” circumvention findings, which simply designates each country as one through which solar cells and modules are being circumvented from China.  This does not constitute a ban on imports from those countries.  Companies in these countries will be permitted to certify that they are not circumventing the AD/CVD orders, in which case the circumvention findings will not apply.   

For more information on antidumping and countervailing duties, visit the International Trade Administration’s FAQs