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Anti-dumping duties scrapped but EC warns of "swift action" if needed

The European Commission has confirmed anti-dumping duties on leather footwear from China and Vietnam will be scrapped on April 1, but it warned that it would monitor imports for a year and take “swift appropriate action” if needed.

The EC said in a statement that it had not received any calls for a review after it signalled its intention to scrap the duties in January, and that there was nothing blocking the move. The change will come as a welcome relief to UK footwear retailers who are facing other intense cost pressures on materials and production.

Many footwear brands which source from Vietnam and China have been delaying deliveries until after April 1 to take advantage of the change.

The duties, of 16.5% and 10% on leather footwear from China and Vietnam respectively, were originally imposed in 2006 to prevent cheap Chinese and Vietnamese footwear imports flooding the European market and putting local producers out of business.

They were introduced with a promise that they would last just two years. However they were extended twice, most recently for 15 months from January 2010.

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