USITC votes affirmative to continue 201 duties on silicon PV cells.

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According to the US International Trade Commission (USITC) media release (https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2021/er1124ll1852.htm), the USITC has determined that Section 201 tariffs should continue in order to “prevent or remedy serious injury to the U.S. industry” producing crystalline silicon PV cells.

After the USITC prepares a report – the USITC will then send the report to President Biden. The President then will make the decision whether to continue the Section 201 duties sometime after December 8th.

The Section 201 tariffs of 18% are imposed on all solar modules imported into the United States that don’t meet an exemption. If the tariffs are not extended by the Biden administration, the tariffs on solar modules will drop to 0% in February 2020.

If you have any questions on how the Section 201 tariffs on solar modules will impact your business – contact David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

1,000 counterfeit solar panels from China seized.

Image of seized solar panels, source: CBP.gov

In late September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials in Baltimore seized 1,000 solar panels from China destined to Denver. The 365-watt crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules from China were seized because the ELT markings were applied with the ETL trademark owner’s authorization. The Intertek ETL mark is only allowed on authorized goods that meet Intertek’s standards for compliance with North American performance and safety standards.

The seized panels were appraised at $275,000, if authentic. If you have had your shipment detained or seized due to not having the appropriate mark or alleged unauthorized use of a mark even though you have authorization – contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com for immediate assistance to explore your options.

US detains solar panel imports due to forced labor concerns.

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Back in June of 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection imposed a ban on solar panels from a company called Hoshine Silicon – a producer of raw materials used in the manufacturing of solar panels. The ban was instituted by CBP under the forced labor provisions – in which CBP can block goods believe to have been made using forced labor. Hoshine Silicon operates plants in China’s Xinjiang region and is suspected of using forced labor. Forced labor covers a broad range of actions by the employer and in the case of Hoshine, it is believed they intimidate workers and restrict their movements. Hoshine is also believed to be participating in state-sponsored employment programs targeted towards minorities in the Xinjiang region into factory jobs – forced labor in that there is no choice but to accept the jobs.

Hoshine plays a major role in the manufacturing of solar panels and the raw materials they sell are sold to at least 8 of the largest polysilicon manufacturers, also based in China. The polysilicon is then used to make solar panels. The largest solar manufacturing companies are based in China due to cheap electricity and other low manufacturing costs. Some human rights watchdogs claim the use of forced labor is another factor driving down the prices of Chinese solar panels.

If you have had your goods detained based on suspicion of being manufactured using forced labor – contact David Hsu by phone or text anytime at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Importing solar materials? US bans some Chinese solar materials tied to forced labor.

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Two days ago, the Biden Administration announced a ban on the importation of some solar materials from Xinjiang, the province in China that supplies most of the world’s polysilicon used to make solar panels. The ban is in response to what the White House accuses China of committing genocide and repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

Specifically, the ban applies to imports by “Hoshine Silicon Industry Company” and any goods made using those products (sometimes referred to as goods “downmarket”). CBP will ban imports of certain manufacturers if they have “information reasonably indicating” that a manufacturer uses forced labor to produce its goods. The risk to importers is very high and Customs will require the importer of record to provide information proving their goods are not downmarket from Hoshine Silicon or other companies subject to the ban.

Besides Hoshine Silicon Industry Company, other companies subject to the ban include:

  1. Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Company,
  2. Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals Company,
  3. Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology Company, and the
  4. Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

If you are unsure what to do, or unsure your products contain the banned materials, contact our office for a free no cost consultation. We also assist companies in the preparation of a Social Compliance Program to meet CTPAT requirements and to help lower your company’s risk of forced labor issues. Contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 for assistance or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com.