On July 3, 2015, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“CITT”) issued its ruling in inquiry NQ-2014-003. The inquiry concerned the question of injury or threat of injury to the Canadian solar energy industry from dumping and subsidizing of photovoltaic modules and laminates from China. The Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) issued final determinations, dated July 3, 2015, finding that the goods had been dumped and subsidized. The CITT found that, with the exception of monocrystalline photovoltaic modules, the dumping and subsidization threatens to injure Canada’s domestic industry and, as such, has issued duties to be in effect for the next five years.
If an appellant, a respondent, or an intervener disagrees with the CITT’s decision, it may be further appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal within 90 days of the decision.
The final duties that will apply to imports from manufacturers in the affected countries will remain confidential, but generally will be based on the provisional duties that were imposed in March 2015. Those duties ranged anywhere from 50% to 280% of the export prices of the solar modules. The provisional duties which were levied and collected during the investigation will be refunded, due to the fact that no material injury to the industry was found. In other words, when the CITT rules that there is a “threat of injury”, duties are applied on a go-forward basis only.
The CITT order applies only to photovoltaic modules and laminates originating or imported from China. Therefore, the order may have very little practical impact on the presence of imported product in the Canadian market, given that most Chinese solar manufacturers have mature manufacturing capabilities in other countries (for example, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia). It remains to be seen whether domestic manufacturers will initiate complaints regarding imports from these countries, particularly if the supply of imported goods to the Canadian market shifts to these countries. As an aside, we do note that Canadian solar manufacturers have benefitted substantially from the recent decline in the Canadian dollar – particularly as they sell high quality products into the burgeoning U.S. markets. Assuming the Canadian dollar remains low, this may have an impact on the impetus to bring future anti-dumping/countervailing proceedings.