- A Chinese producer of PV modules, Shinetime was found by the European Commission to be selling its products not respecting the Minimum Import Price (MIP) undertaking
- Upon inquiry, it was found that Shinetime used an unrelated importer, which shared the same address as Shinetime Europe, to issue two re-sale invoices
- In another instance, the company issued a pro-forma invoice below the MIP to an unrelated customer in the European Union
- One of these invoices abided by the MIP, while the other didn’t; Shinetime could not produce quarterly report that show these transactions
The European Commission (EC) has removed Shinetime of China from its Minimum Import Price Undertaking (MIP). The PV module producer from China, also called Zhejiang Xiongtai Photovoltaic Technology Co. Ltd. and its related company in Europe, Shinetime Solar GmbH, both have been removed from the MIP with effect from June 30, 2016.
Under the MIP, Chinese solar producers are required to sell their products to their clients in Europe below the minimum price assigned to them. Shinetime has been found guilty of selling below the MIP, by the EC.
Shinetime had allegedly used an unrelated importer to issue two re-sale invoices for one transaction of solar modules to its customer. This importer shared the same address as Shinetime Europe. One of these invoices had respected the MIP, while the other didn’t. The enquiry conducted by the EC found that invoice numbers, volume of modules and company product codes were identical.
The customer made the payment to Shinetime China for this transaction for the receipt carrying invoice value less than the MIP. The report noted, “In addition, the evidence received demonstrates the existence of another form of undertaking circumvention. Shinetime China had issued a pro-forma invoice below the MIP to an unrelated customer in the Union. This customer had engaged in paying the below MIP amount to Shinetime China’s account in Hong Kong.”
The Chinese company could not submit a quarterly sales report to the commission for the period in which these transactions took place.
Last year in December, Trina Solar of China walked out of the MIP agreement voluntarily. The EC has officially removed Canadian Solar, ReneSola and some
other companies from the undertaking. These companies now have MIP-free access to the European markets, but have to pay import duties.