• India's Director-General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has proposed for safeguard duty to be continued to be imposed on solar cells originating from China and Malaysia
  • Vietnam has also now been included along with China and Malaysia under the scope of this duty
  • It recommends increasing this duty in 2 periods of 6 months each, starting with 14.90% ad valorem in the first 6 months decreasing to 14.50% in the last 6 months

The Government of India may be looking at extending the safeguard duty imposed on imported solar cells by another year if it decides to go by the recommendations of the Director-General of Trade Remedies (DGTR). In its current form with 15% limit, the safeguard duty is set to expire after July 29, 2020 (see 25% Safeguard Duty Imposed By India).

Post its review investigation conducted in response to a petition filed by the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association in March 2020 asking for a 4-year extension period, the DGTR suggests the duty can be imposed breaking it into 2 periods of 6 months each. In the first 6 months, 14.90% ad valorem can be imposed followed by 14.50% ad valorem for the next 6 months.

Last time around, only those solar cells and modules attracted the duty that came from China and Malaysia, but this time the DGTR has recommended including Vietnam also into the ambit along with China and Malaysia.

The DGTR observes that imports of the products under consideration (PUC) have ‘continued to cause serious injury to the domestic producers’ and that it will be in ‘public interest’ to continue with its extension.

“Keeping in view 2 years of protection has already been provided and DI (domestic industry) has improved its position but needs some more time to adjust, extension of safeguard duty would continue to be liberalized at a pace so as to ensure that adjustment but DI is attained within the span of one year only,” reads the DGTR recommendation. This shows that post this current extension, there likely won’t be any more extensions that the government would like to consider.

The recommendations of the DGTR on ‘Solar Cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels’ made after an oral hearing with relevant stakeholders can be viewed on the egazette website of India.