5 Aug 2016
Turkey Initiates Investigation on Imports of Solar Panels Originating in Mainland China
Hong Kong traders with export interests in Turkey may like to know that Turkey initiated an anti-dumping investigation into solar panels originating in mainland China and currently falling under Tariff Statistical Position 8541.40.90.00.11. The investigation was initiated by Decree No. 2016/29 on the Prevention of Unfair Competition from Imports, published in the Turkish Official Journal, No. 29759, dated 1 July 2016. The complaint, regarding the alleged dumping, had been filed by Solartürk Enerji, Sunlego Enerji Sistemleri, and Zahit Enerji. It is important to note that the investigation concerns only solar panels whereas the Tariff Statistical Position provided in Decree No. 2016/29 covers solar cells, modules and panels.
Within the framework of the anti-dumping investigation, importers, producers and exporters of the products under investigation will be notified of the initiation of the investigation. Notified parties are required to submit their responses to the anti-dumping questionnaire, in Turkish, within 37 days from the date on which the notification was sent, including the time spent for delivery. For other interested parties, who do not or have not received a notification, the 37-day deadline starts as from the publication date of the announcements in the Turkish Official Journal, including the time spent for delivery.
Interested parties failing to submit their responses within the deadline will be considered as not cooperating, and the relevant determinations, within the framework of the investigations, will be made based on the facts available, which may lead to unfavourable or less favourable consequences compared to cooperating parties.
Interested parties are also invited to submit evidence proving that market economy conditions apply in mainland China. In the case where such claim cannot be substantiated by evidence, normal value calculations will be based on a constructed value, the calculation of which will be based on information relating to an analogue country, the choice of which has not been decided yet.
The initiation of the current anti-dumping investigation was expected in light of the recent changes to Turkey’s trade policy. Turkey currently applies 0% customs duty on imports of solar cells and panels. However, the import of solar panels into Turkey has already been subject to monitoring since late 2015. As Hong Kong traders may recall, Turkey had imposed a prior surveillance measure on the importation of solar panels by Decree No. 2015/9 on Surveillance Measures for Importation, published in Turkish Official Gazette No. 29537 on 19 November 2015. The surveillance measure is still in force concerning imports of solar panels regardless of the country of origin, except for imports of solar panels whose unit price is above 35 USD/Kg. The HS Code, the product definition and the unit customs value of the product concerned by the surveillance measures are set out in the following table:
Furthermore, recent changes in Turkey’s incentive policy reveal that the use of imported solar panels in new solar power generation investments is discouraged. On 25 June 2016, Turkey introduced an amendment to its incentive policy by Decree No. 2016/2 amending Decree No. 2012/1 on the Application of the Decision concerning State Incentives to Investments, published in the Turkish Official Gazette No. 29753 on 25 June 2016.
The abovementioned Decree excluded imported solar panels from the scope of state incentives to be granted to companies for their investments. Such incentives include VAT exemptions, customs duty exemptions and income tax arrangements for their employees. Similarly, Turkey’s Minister of Energy has recently stated that solar power installers would be required to use domestically produced solar panels in their projects, which demonstrates the discouraging state policy concerning imported solar panels.