The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) says the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to undertake enhanced import reviews and potential enforcement of tariff collection on Chinese-manufactured PV modules.
The move, which the CASM describes as an ‘extraordinary measure,’ was undertaken based on federal data suggesting that some manufacturers and importers of Chinese-made solar panels are misreporting and underreporting their imports to evade new tariffs on them.
A DOC analysis of CBP import data revealed that some importers are evading import duties by improperly declaring merchandise to be outside the scope of the duties or by understating its value, the CASM says.
The DOC memo cited by the CASM also states that as a result of the findings, CBP has initiated operations at ‘various ports throughout the country’ that ‘have resulted in the collection of significant additional cash deposits on merchandise subject to the [anti-dumping and countervailing-duty] orders.’
‘For U.S. manufacturing employees, this evasion adds insult to injury,’ says Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc. SolarWorld, the leader of the CASM, filed the initial complaint in 2011 that led to the imposition of the tariffs.
The CASM adds that its ranks now include approximately 240 solar companies.