The European Commission is reportedly proposing an extension to the anti-dumping duties on EU imports of Chinese and Vietnamese leather footwear for at least 15 months.

According to Reuters a source said that “the proposal put forward by the Commission which will now be sent to the interested parties by the end of the week, is to extend the current duties by at least 15 months.

“Most (European Union) countries still oppose the plan and the issue should be voted on by member states on November 12. A decision must be made by November 20 at the latest for it to come into force.”

If approved, the new duties would take effect from January 3.

The EU first imposed duties of up to 16.5% on Chinese and 10% on Vietnamese leather footwear for two years in 2006 after European manufacturers complained that the two governments unfairly subsidised low-cost shoe makers preventing European manufacturers from competing.

Brussels temporarily reimposed the tarrifs last October pending a review, despite opposition from member states and the threat of legal action by Beijng.

A source told Retail Week that if the Commission is proposing a 15-month extension of the measures, retailers and importers who are already considering moving out of China and Vietnam will accelerate that decision to the benefit of countries like India.

“All that does is to extend the uncertainty over sourcing and pricing decisions, which benefits nobody,” said the source.