Trends & Features

Call to end anti-dumping duties

Small and medium-sized footwear companies across the European Union are calling on EU Member States to take immediate action to save the European footwear sector.

On November 19 EU Member State representatives will meet to take a crucial vote on whether or not to extend footwear anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Vietnamese imports of leather footwear to the EU.

Europe’s SMEs have borne the brunt of the footwear duties for the past three-and-a-half years, which, it was understood, would be terminated in 2008.

“Extending the footwear duties spells certain disaster for hundreds of small footwear producers in Europe,” says Manfred Junkert, director of the Federation of the German Footwear Industry. “The economic crisis has pushed us to the limit. A continuation of the duties could push us over the edge.”

European footwear producers have calculated that an extension of footwear anti-dumping duties would cost EU businesses and consumers in excess of one billion euros.

The measures in place cover virtually the entire spectrum of leather footwear, including fashion, business, leisure, street shoes, sandals and boots. It covers the world’s two largest volume footwear sources – China and Vietnam.

The only categories excluded are special technology athletic footwear (STAF)2 and shoes dedicated to specific sports, ie shoes that have spikes and bars attached to them; skating boots, ski boots, boxing boots, cycling shoes, etc; and slippers and protective footwear.

Of the 2.46billion pairs of shoes sold in Europe in 2006, 2.1billion were imported – 1.49billion pairs were from China and 256million were from Vietnam.

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