MoF defers safeguard duty on solar panels and modules

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has issued a notification to defer the 25 per cent safeguard duty imposed on solar cells and modules. The notification follows a directive from the Odisha High Court (HC) and is in compliance with the interim directions issued by the Odisha HC. MoF has decided not to insist on the payment of safeguard duty for the time being.

As per the ministry, all imported solar cells and modules will be assessed provisionally on furnishing a simple letter of undertaking or bond. After the court’s assessment of individual cases, the safeguard duty may or may not be levied and the developers will be liable to pay back the amount accordingly. The government’s decision also follows the Madras High Court’s order that instructed customs officials at the Chennai port to provisionally release the module shipment of Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital without the payment of safeguard duty.

Earlier, MoF had imposed safeguard duty on solar panels import in July 2018 with 25 per cent duty on solar panels and modules imported from China and Malaysia for a year, followed by 20 per cent duty for the next six months, and 15 per cent duty for another six months.

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