EU-China solar deal effective from Aug 6: Official

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Commission said on Friday that a much-lauded "amicable solution" over imports of Chinese solar panels, a key step in easing fears of a trade war, will enter legal force on Tuesday, Aug 6.

A Commission spokesman told a regular news conference in Brussels that backing around the now 28-state bloc home to more than 500 million people - the world's most lucrative integrated market - was "almost unanimous."

He said: "A huge majority voted in favour... (and) no member states voted against." The European Union executive "adopted a decision to accept the undertaking offered by Chinese exporting producers of solar panels, as well as a regulation exempting these participating companies from the payment of provisional anti-dumping duties," the Commission said in a statement.

The legal formalities are to be completed overnight in Europe.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht announced the accord last Saturday, expressing the hope the compromise could serve as a template in a series of tit-for-tat disputes on other products ranging from steel pipes and telecoms equipment to wine and chemicals.

De Gucht said that the agreement, which runs to the end of 2015, was the best possible - despite solar panel manufacturers complaining they had been sold out and importers warning they will suffer higher prices as a result.