The leading solar panel supplier is accused of contraband from China

Nov 25, 2019 02:23 PM ET
  • The accusation has been brought against IBC Solar of importing the Chinese photovoltaic modules declared in the wrong way, which has resulted in nonpayment of about €23m duties. Both the headquarters and the top management’s homes have been subject to search.
The leading solar panel supplier is accused of contraband from China
Image: Wikipedia/GFreihalter

In September 2018, the MIP imposed on PV panels delivered by European companies from China was canceled. In spite of this, German customs agencies are still investigating the cases of violation of this trade measure.

IBC Solar, a major PV supplier, has been charged of nonpayment of import duties. Search has been conducted both at the headquarters and at homes of the company top managers. The documents seized are being examined.

The customs investigators claim IBC has bought Chinese photovoltaic panels declared as if shipped from other Asian countries. According to the accusation, this happened about 60 times in 2015-2016 and enabled the German business to avoid duties payment amounting to about €23m. 

The importer has been accused of deliberate disguise of the actual country of manufacture of the goods aimed at avoiding the CV and AD duties. IBC doesn’t comment on the proceedings except claiming to have been misled by the importer.

Two years ago a group of people was accused of selling the PV panel contraband from China and nonpayment of €110m in import duties. Two of the accused were adjudged to imprisonment (one of them was sentenced for four months in prison and the second one for a year). There are also some other contraband cases being currently investigated. Half a year ago some citizens of China were arrested and accused of importing solar panel contraband.

The total loss of European taxpayers due to nonpayment of import duties imposed on solar modules from China has been estimated as nearly €400m.


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