Sian Crampsie

The European Commission is to continue imposing import tariffs and price controls on solar panels imported from China.

The measures were due to expire on 7 December but the Commission has agreed to a request from EU ProSun, an association of EU solar panel manufacturers, to extend them for at least a year.

The UK’s Solar Trade Association (STA) said that the tariffs and minimum import price (MIP) measures could remain in place until 2020 and said it was "disappointed" by the Commission’s decision.

However the EU can now, as part of its proceedings, officially consider whether the import duties are doing the European solar industry as a whole more harm than good

Paul Barwell, CEO of STA commented: "These price controls on imports of Chinese solar panels need to be dropped. Europe is currently paying far more than it should for its solar – and that applies both to our homeowners and our governments."

Barwell added: "We hope this review by the Commission will check whether these price controls are in the interests of the industry as a whole."

The European Commission imposed the import tariffs and minimum import prices in 2013 after formal complaints for European manufacturers that their Chinese counterparts were deliberately undercutting their prices and dumping cheap products on the market.