Levy of up to 16.5 per cent on imports
The BRC has accused the European Union of doing 'murky deals' to ensure that new five-year import taxes of up to 16.5 per cent would be introduced this Saturday on shoes imported from China and Vietnam.

The long-term deal replaces a stop-gap measure introduced earlier this year by the EU to protect European shoe manufacturers that felt threatened by cheaper imports from the Far East.

The new regulations impose a levy of 16.5 per cent on the price of shoe imports from China and 10 per cent on those from Vietnam.

BRC director-general Kevin Hawkins said: 'You can only wonder at what sort of murky deals have been done to get this over the line.'

The BRC said that a 'majority of EU states' opposed the shoe tariffs because they would push up prices for customers and add to the costs of struggling retailers'.

'The EU clearly believes customers' interests and giving businesses a fighting chance of planning ahead matter less than the shoring up of a few inefficient European producers, which will fail in the long run anyway,' Hawkins added.