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Parliamentary questions
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25 February 2013
Question for written answer E-002027-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Judith A. Merkies (S&D)

 Subject:  Registration requirement for solar panels
 Answer in writing 

The Commission recently proposed that all solar panels originating in China should be subject to compulsory registration by the customs authorities. This decision was prompted by the antidumping campaign which the European Union is currently carrying out with regard to solar panels from China. As a result, according to reports by Reuters, purchasers of Chinese solar panels would be subject to a levy, and would possibly even have to pay the levy retrospectively, the amount being up to 60% or even more. The announcement and reports have already caused serious uncertainty on the solar panel market.

In addition, research by the Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy (AFASE) shows that the measure could cause substantial job losses: with a 60% levy, 242 000 jobs would be lost in the EU.

1. Does the Commission intend to follow up the registration requirement with a levy on solar panels?

2. Is it true that this levy will also be introduced retrospectively? Can the Commission guarantee that people who have previously invested in solar panels will not be affected?

3. Does the Commission acknowledge that the measure is of a protectionist nature? Why/why not? How will the Commission ensure that this does not set a precedent for more protectionism?

4. Does the Commission acknowledge that the measures will lead to job losses? How will these losses be compensated?

Original language of question: NLOJ C 372 E, 19/12/2013
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