Customs and Border Protection detained a large shipment of quartzite, a raw material for making polysilicon, from an unnamed tier one solar module supplier.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has detained a large batch of material from an as-yet-unnamed Tier 1 solar module supplier, according to a recent announcement from ROTH Capital Partners CEO Phil Shen.

According to the memo, the seized shipment is being held until the supplier provides documentation showing the source of the quartzite, a raw material used to make polysilicon, although details beyond the material seized and confirmation of the seizure are sparse, as is typical of CBP trade enforcement. The product was seized as part of the recently passed Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).

The issue of quartzite documentation is particularly difficult, as ROTH shares that, to his knowledge, none of the module vendors have quartzite documentation, and that the two leading vendors, Wacker and Hemlock semiconductor, would currently have a hard time providing this information. It’s possible that this is information that the companies could provide, but that would take time and put other US supplies at risk.

Enacted in December 2021, the UFLPA seeks to ban imports of all products from Xinjiang unless they are found to be unrelated to the forced labor of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China. Xinjiang is home to 50% of the world’s supply of polycrylic, an important material in conventional solar modules, and there are concerns that the implementation of the UFLPA will seriously disrupt what has already become a strained solar energy supply chain.

Although about half of the world’s polysilicon does not come from Xinjiang, it is difficult to trace where each producer gets all of its polysilicon, and there is the possibility that entire factories will be “contaminated” by a relatively small mix of Chinese polysilicon in an otherwise non-Chinese mix.

While the Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans of the Department of Homeland Security Prevention Strategy June 30 importing goods mined or manufactured using forced labor under the UFLPA was initially seen as a best-case scenario for the solar industry, and other companies deemed at risk were removed from the import ban list, this hold-up casts a shadow over that notion.

NOTE: This article was originally published on 06/30/2022 with inaccuracies regarding the delayed shipment. Due to technical problems, the article has been republished. We apologize for the error.

This content is copyrighted and may not be reused. If you would like to collaborate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact:

Previous articleHyundai Ioniq 5 Safety, Chevy Silverado EV Test, EPA and CO2 EV Regulations: Today’s Auto News
Next articleTOYOTA US SALES IN JUNE: Manufacturing woes put it back behind GM