Safeguard duty on solar cell imports extended by a year

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The Indian government has decided to follow the recommendation of the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) by extending the safeguarding duty on solar cell imports by a year. 

The duty will be levied at 14.9% on cells imported from China, Vietnam and Thailand from today until January 29. After that, it will fall to 14.5% until July 29, according to a Finance Ministry notification.

The safeguarding duty was initially levied in July 2018, on Chinese and Malaysian solar products, with its application linked to import volumes from the nations in question. Introduced at a rate of 25%, it fell to 20% on July 30 last year and 15% on January 30.

With Malaysian imports having fallen dramatically since the duty was introduced, it is now Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai products which come under the scope of the one-year extension.

The 12-month addition was proposed by the DGTR arm of the commerce ministry after an investigation of the effects of the safeguarding duty. The DGTR concluded rising volumes of imported east Asian solar cells continue to force Indian solar manufacturers to operate factories at reduced production capacities.

With Indian companies having had two years of duty protection to adapt, however, the DGTR recommended extending the levy for just a year.