SC Upholds Safeguard Duty on Solar Imports

If the petition by ACME Solar Holdings is upheld in Supreme Court, the safeguard duty collected from the importers will be refunded.

Safeguard Duty

Adding to the joy of Indian solar manufacturers and woes of solar developers, Supreme Court (SC), on being approached by Government of India, has stayed the Orissa High Court’s interim order restricting safeguard duty on solar imports.

The SC order mentions, “In the meantime, interim order dated 23.07.2018 in I.A. No.10566 of 2018 passed by the High Court and further proceedings in Writ Petition (C) No.23827 of 2018 shall remain stayed.”

K.K Venugopal is the primary petitioner as the Attorney General of India along with other advocates for the petition filed against the Orissa HC order.

Primarily, Orissa HC had stayed the safeguard duty imposed by Government of India on solar imports from China and Malaysia on the petition filed by solar importer ACME Solar Holdings.

As a result of the latest order lifting restrictions on safeguard duty, the importers are in a catch as they will now be liable to pay 25 percent safeguard duty on the solar imports from China and Malaysia for imports after.

Also, if the petition by ACME Solar Holdings is upheld in Supreme Court, the safeguard duty collected from the importers will be refunded.

On the other hand, the solar manufacturers have been provided with a security with the launch of the safeguard duty. According to SC’s order, the safeguard duty will remain till further investigations.

Moreover, Indian solar developers/importers had concerns on the costs of solar modules after the imposition of safeguard duty. They also voice the already high costs of solar modules manufactured in India.

Significantly, India imports 90 percent of its total solar component requirement and 80 percent of which is imported from China citing reasonable costs.

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