Importing wind turbines from China to the EU

Wind turbines are devices that are an essential element of a wind farm. Wind turbines used in residential applications are becoming increasingly popular since they can provide an uninterrupted power source. The energy that moves the blades in the wind turbine is transferred to the generator. There, the kinetic energy is converted to electricity. China is one of the largest producers of wind turbines in the world. This article discusses importing wind turbines from China to the EU.

Importing wind turbines from China to the EU

What is a wind turbine?

A wind turbine is one of the components of a wind farm. It consists of:

  • foundation
  • tower
  • rotor with blades
  • nacelle with a generator, controller, brake, and gearbox.

Weather and wind turbine power determine what kind of output can be generated from the turbines.

Wind turbines can be horizontal (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines, HAWT), the most popular, and vertical (Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, VAWT).

Where are wind turbines produced in China?

Wind turbines of various parameters and the number of blades can be imported from China. One of the largest wind turbine production areas is Qingdao, Shandong Province. Besides Qingdao, wind turbines are manufactured in:

  • Hefei (Anhui)
  • Guangzhou (Guangdong)
  • Wuxi, Nanjing (Jiangsu).
Importing wind turbines from China to the EU manufacturers map

Importing wind turbines from China to the EU – duty rates

Customs duty is a tax levied on international trade. It has to be covered when goods cross customs borders so that they can be placed on the foreign market. Customs rates, which determine the amount of the duty based on factors such as the value of the shipment, are available in the tariff system TARIC.

For utility-scale wind turbines of an electrical power generation capacity – either in onshore or offshore applications – equal to or in excess of 1.00 megawatt, fitted in a steel wind tower and a nacelle…, customs code 8502 31 00 85, the duty rate is 2.7% duty rate. There is a definitive anti-dumping duty applied on the wind towers: EUR 0.192 / nat curr. / 1 EUR / Nat Curr.

Importing wind turbines from China to the EU – requirements

It is the importer’s duty to ensure that the imported product complies with the target market’s requirements. Relevant provisions can be found in directives and regulations issued by the competent authorities of the European Union.

The international standards IEC 61400 apply to wind turbines. Meeting the standards is voluntary, although many comply with EU requirements.

Do not forget to attach the product’s user manual and technical documentation. Below are the regulations for wind turbines in the EU market.

EU regulations on wind turbines

1. Machinery Directive

Directive 2006/42/EC applies to machines and their parts. Each machinery subject to this directive has an affixed nameplate.

2. Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive

Directive 2014/30/EU applies to devices with electronic or electrical components that potentially interfere with the operation of other devices.

3. Low Voltage Directive (LVD)

Directive 2014/35/EU regulates electrical equipment with voltages between 75 V and 1500 V DC and between 50 V and 1000 V AC.

4. CE mark and declaration of conformity

CE mark

If the turbines pass the conformity tests, the machine must be CE marked. The manufacturer’s declaration of conformity has to be marked too. This document lists the directives with which the product complies.

Renewable energy trade fairs in China

China is a country that values interpersonal relations. That is why it is so important to participate in trade fairs in China, where it is easy to establish relationships and expand business networks (work on guanxi).

We have compiled a list of renewable energy trade shows held in China.

China (Shanghai) International Wind Energy Exhibition

Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), Shanghai

Website: cwee.com.cn/en

CWEE is a comprehensive fair, the perfect platform for companies in the wind power industry. One of the key products is wind turbines.

China WindPower

Venue: China International Exhibition Centre, Beijing

Website: chinawind.org.cn

ChinaWindPower is a trade fair focused on the wind energy sector. Exhibitors present various solutions in this area, and during seminars you can learn about the latest trends regarding wind farms.

Canton Fair (China Export and Import Fair) Phase 1

Venue: Canton Fair Complex, Guangzhou

Website: cantonfair.org.cn/en

Canton Fair is the longest-running trade fair in China. It attracts about 200 000 visitors. The biannual fair is divided into three phases. The first phase is about machinery and vehicles, including wind farms.

Importing wind turbines from China – to sum up

  • Many Chinese wind turbine manufacturers are in the eastern part of the country.
  • The duty on wind turbines from China is low, but an anti-dumping duty is applied to towers.
  • Wind turbines in the EU market must comply with the Machinery Directive, EMC Directive, and LVD Directive. Every wind turbine has to have the CE mark.
  • Be sure to verify your Chinese supplier before partnering up with his company.

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