India is Polar Opposite of USA for Imported Solar Panels 

India decided to exempt solar panels from any type of import duty.


Few pieces of legislation that have been enacted by Presidents in America have caused the outcry of so many opponents as the tariff that President Trump signed this year on panel imports. Many believed it would be the beginning of the end for solar panel sales in the United States. Meanwhile, halfway across the world in India they have decided to take a far different approach on imported solar panels. They have actually decided to exempt solar panels from any type of import duty. It’s obviously a move that is designed to spur on the production of more solar panel generated in the country. 

Although President Trump’s solar panel tariff has not lead to the doom and gloom scenario for solar panel use in the USA that many experts predicted it has had a slightly negative effect so far. That’s why it’s so interesting to see India take an exact opposite approach to imported solar panels at this time. It has also lifted the spirits of green energy advocates around the world after those very same spirits were crushed by America’s solar panel tariff. 

How The Duty Exemption On Imported Indian Solar Panels Came About? 

Just like America has its International Trade Commission so does India have its trade policy makers in its Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBITC). They help oversee that Indian product manufacturers are not being usurped by lower priced imported goods coming into the country. In a rare move this board decided it would make imported solar panels exempt from any type of import duty. 

It’s not really that surprising that the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBITC) ruled in favor of making imported solar panels exempt from any import duty. After all, the country imports over 90% of the solar panels used there at the present moment. That means there is very little solar panel manufacturing in the country that can be harmed by not having import duties on solar panels in place; even though the move will most likely hurt the countries burgeoning solar panel manufacturing industry. 

What this move should do is keep solar panel prices in the country at a lower price level. That in turn it’s hoped will increase the demand for solar panels in India and ultimately lead to the increased growth of solar panel electric power generation in the country. 

There May Soon Be a Hidden Charge on India’s Solar Panel Imports 

This may not be the slam dunk that India’s solar panel retailers and installers had hoped for though. There is a possibility that a somewhat hidden cost may be added to imported solar panels. This comes in the form of a little known duty called a ‘safeguard’ duty. Under this duty India has a right to impose up to a 70% fee on imported solar panels. Obviously this would tremendously offset and gains made by waving the regular customs duty on solar panels. 

Indian solar panel retailers and installers can breathe a sigh of relief at the moment though. That’s because in addition to the solar panel import duty exemption, a judge also ordered a stay on the any solar panel safeguard duties at this time also.  

The Future Looks Bright for Indian Solar Panel Growth 

The elimination of the customs duty on imported solar panels looks to be a big boon for the growth of solar panel related energy production in the country. Although India sits 7th in the world in Gigawatts of solar panel produced energy; its solar panel produced energy lags far behind the major players like China, Japan, Germany and the US. This is a shame for a country its size and with its abundant year round sunshine. 

The countries government, solar panel retailers and solar panel installers have staked their futures on betting that this custom duty exemption will go a long way towards helping grow India’s solar panel power generating capacity. Similar measures like this have certainly had positive effects in other countries. The growth of solar panel use in India is certainly something to keep an eye on in the near future. 


Source:    4/23/18 


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