The US Department of Commerce clarified its position on anti circumvention of solar energy investigation, saying that it would allow the import of solar panels made in a third country using batteries made in Southeast Asia.

At the beginning of this month, the US Department of Commerce found that more than 20 solar companies evaded anti-dumping/countervailing duty orders by transferring their business from China to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Under the circumstance that the US photovoltaic supply chain is seriously blocked, US President Biden implemented a two-year tariff exemption for solar products imported from Southeast Asia in June.

The U.S. Department of Commerce clarified the scope of the tariff, saying that companies that use batteries from Southeast Asia, then ship them to another country for assembly, and then import them to the United States will not be subject to tariffs. If the batteries manufactured in Southeast Asia use Chinese silicon wafers and are finally assembled in another country before being shipped to the United States, they will not be classified as "Southeast Asia completed components".

However, batteries manufactured in China and assembled into modules in a third country are still defined as Chinese export products and still need to pay import tariffs. The US Department of Commerce clarified that, according to the statement of the Ministry of Commerce, the country of origin of solar cells and modules is defined by the place of manufacture of the battery.

Since the AD/CVD incident began, this issue has been concerned by enterprises. Especially for Maxeon, a solar energy manufacturer, this will be an important clarification. The company uses Southeast Asian batteries to assemble components in Mexico and then ship them to the United States.

For many Chinese companies, I believe it is also an important information.

At present, the two-year anti-dumping/countervailing duty exemption announced by President Biden in June will prevent any new tariff from taking effect before 2024. However, it is speculated that an American manufacturer may challenge the exemption.
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