Officials of Fesi, the European federation of the sporting goods industry, tell us that they plan to continue the fight to obtain reimbursement of the anti-dumping duties that they had to pay on imports of a certain types of leather shoes that they had imported from China into the European Union between 2006 and 2011. Unlike their more lifestyle-oriented models, the performance-oriented shoes of the sports brands were exempted from the duties.
Several reports published in the last few weeks indicated that the European Union was going to impose new anti-dumping duties of 16.5 percent on certain non-athletic leather shoes from a number of suppliers in China and Vietnam. Following consultations with Fesi, the Confederation of the European Footwear Industry (CEC) and other parties in Brussels, we have been able to determine that the European Commission has not imposed any new duties, but rather confirmed that all the anti-dumping charged on these products between 2006 and 2011 were legal.
The misunderstanding came from the language of regulations issued on Aug. 18 and Sept. 28 by the Commission, which confirmed dumping by some producers in China and Vietnam and thus concluded that it can fully recover the anti-dumping duties paid by the importers.
Reportedly, the duty payments had been held in escrow pending a legal challenge launched in 2012 by Puma, Timberland and about 20 other brands, which ended up with a ruling of partial invalidity made by the European Court of Justice last Feb. 4 based on the guidelines of the World Trade Organization.