• ARTsolar of South Africa has submitted a customs tariff application to the country’s ITAC to bring in anti-dumping tariff on imported solar modules/panels
  • The solar panel manufacturer complains the domestic solar panel manufacturers do not get any protection in the form of anti-dumping duties like it happens in the US and Europe
  • Such a scenario has forced several local companies to cease their production operations, claims the applicant
  • In other news from the country, NERSA will start giving licenses to combined capacity of 500 MW small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) projects under instructions from the Energy Minister Jeff Radebe to ease out regulatory process

The International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) under the South African Department of Trade and Industry has received a customs tariff application by local solar panel producer Amisec (Pty) Ltd or ARTsolar to impose anti-dumping duties on imported solar modules/panels.

Claiming no protection for PV module manufacturers in the South African Customs Union (SACU) in the form of anti-dumping duties like it exists in the US and Europe, ARTsolar application says a number of PV module manufacturers have been forced to cease their production operations in the region as they couldn’t cope up with the high competition from low-priced imports.

It recommends the tariffs will help retain local production capacity and jobs to enable the local industry to significantly grow.

The application was submitted in late March 2019 and the ITAC has taken it up for consideration.

While Europe ended its Dec. 2013 launched anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures imposed on Chinese solar panels with effect of September 3, 2018, the US increased tariffs on imported cells and modules (see Trump Slaps 30% Tariff On Imported Cells & Modules).

About complainant

As per ARTsolar website, the company is 100% locally owned and says its production facility is ‘fully capable of laminating and framing PV modules, with a capacity up to 300 MW annually’. It produces 60-cell and 72-cell polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels of up to 350 W for industrial, commercial and domestic use. The production fab of ARTsolar is Swiss built and completely funded by its shareholders. It also exports its panels to the rest of Africa. The company also has the provision to conduct complete quality assurance tests on all imported PV modules.

Meanwhile, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) will start giving licenses to 500 MW of small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) projects according to instructions from the Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. This, says the South Africa Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), will facilitate further investment as developers will not have to seek authorization from the Minister. SAPVIA says over 1 GW of 1 MW to 10 MW of SSEG projects have been awaiting approvals for years.