DGTR Initiates Anti-Dumping Investigation on Fluoro Backsheets for PV Modules

DGTR has initiated an anti-dumping investigation on Fluoro Backsheets used in the manufacturing of solar modules exported from China

The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has notified that upon successful application by Renewsys India, it has initiated an investigation to determine the existence, degree and effect of any alleged dumping of Fluoro Backsheets used in the manufacturing of solar PV modules originating in or exported from China PR. Upon completion of the investigation, the DGTR will decide/ recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty, which is levied, would be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic injury.

Product Under Consideration

The product under consideration in the present application is “Fluoro Backsheet” which is a polymer-based component used in the manufacturing of solar PV modules. It is manufactured using a lamination process where one or more sheets are laminated/ coated using solvent or extrusion lamination and/or liquid coating technology. Currently, there are mainly two types of backsheet in the market, Fluoro and non-Fluoro.

Backsheet is used to manufacture solar PV modules to protect cells and other module components from dirt, dust, moisture and UV radiations during the service life of the module. One sheet of the Backsheet equal to the size of the module is used in making one set of module. The cell connected with string is placed between two sheets of Encapsulant followed by a layer of the backsheet. Glass is placed on other side of the sandwich during the module making. The sandwich is then put into hot chamber under a vacuum where the Encapsulant is melted to form the module. This semi-finished module is further subjected to framing, function box fixing, testing and final packing for shipments.

Petition 

Renewsys India Private Limited has filed an application before the Designated Authority in accordance with the Customs Tariff Act, 1975, and the Customs Tariff (Identification, Assessment and Collection of Anti-dumping Duty on Dumped Articles and for Determination of Injury) Rules, 1995, for the imposition of Anti-Dumping Duty on imports of Fluoro Backsheet from China PR.

The applicant ‘Renewsys’ – which manufactures all forms of backsheet depending upon the market demand and the customer requirement and the DGTR has accepted as viable representation of the domestic industry – stated that the subject products are predominantly imported under Chapter Heading 39 “Plastics and articles thereof’. They have further stated that the subject goods are imported under different codes from company to company and country to country (majorly under the headings 3920 and 3921). 

The Authority noted that the custom classification is indicative only and in no way, it is binding upon the product scope and the product description prevails in circumstances of the conflict.

The applicant further claimed that the subject goods, which are being dumped into India, are identical to the goods produced by the domestic industry. There are no differences either in the technical specifications, quality, functions or end-uses of the dumped imports and the domestically produced subject goods and the product under consideration manufactured by the applicant. The two are technically and commercially substitutable and hence should be treated as like article under the AD Rules. Therefore, for the purpose of the present investigation, the subject goods produced by the applicant in India are being treated as Like Article to the subject goods being imported from the subject country.

Dumping Margin AND Injury & Causal Link

The normal value and the export price have been compared at ex-factory level, which prima facie shows that dumping margin is above the de-minimis level and is significant in respect of the PUC from China PR. There is prima facie evidence that the PUC from subject country is being dumped into the Indian market by the exporters from the subject country.

Further, the information furnished by the Applicant has been considered for assessment of injury to the domestic industry. The Applicant has furnished prima facie evidence regarding the injury having taken place as a result of the alleged dumping, resulting in increased volume of dumped imports in absolute terms and in relation to production and consumption in India and price undercutting. The performance has been adversely impacted in respect of profitability and return on capital employed, as a result of an increase in imports of the product under consideration at a price below selling price and non-injurious price for the domestic industry. There is sufficient prima facie evidence of material injury being caused to the domestic industry by dumped imports from the subject country to justify the initiation of an anti-dumping investigation.

Based on the above factors, the DGTR has decided to initiate the investigation to determine the existence, degree and effect of any alleged dumping of Fluoro Backsheets used in the manufacturing of solar PV modules originating in or exported from China PR.

Period of Investigation

The period of investigation (POI) for the present investigation is October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020 (12 months). The injury period under investigation will, however, cover the periods April 2017 to March 2018, April 2018 to March 2019, April 2019 to March 2020, and the period of investigation (POI).

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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