European Footwear Alliance pleased with WTO findings

European Footwear Alliance pleased with WTO findings regarding the Chinese challenge of EU anti-dumping duties on footwear from China and Vietnam

Friday, November 4th, 2011

The European Footwear Alliance (EFA) welcomes the Chinese Government’s success in its WTO challenge of EU anti-dumping duties imposed on certain leather footwear.The WTO Panel’s report condemned various aspects of the EU’s practice during the investigation and concluded that the anti-dumping duties imposed by the EU were inconsistent with the EU’s obligations under the WTO Anti-dumping Agreement.The report highlights many ways in which the EU violated the WTO Agreement, including the EU’s general lack of transparency in conducting the investigation. The EU denied footwear importing companies, including EFA members, information about key aspects of the proceedings and refused to provide the companies non-confidential summaries of “confidential information”.The WTO Panel also upheld China’s challenge to the EU’s method for calculating the anti-dumping duties. The WTO Panel concluded that the EU’s approach systematically produced a result which punished normal pricing behaviour, not unfair trading. The WTO Panel further concluded that the EU calculated and imposed the anti-cumping duties in a way which impermissibly discriminated against the vast majority of Chinese suppliers solely because they were Chinese, thus violating the cornerstone non-discrimination provision of the WTO Agreement.Though the EU anti-dumping duties recently expired, EFA requests that the EU implement the WTO Panel findings and reimburse footwear importers those anti-dumping duties which the EU impermissibly collected over the past five years.The EFA actively opposed the imposition of these duties from the outset and its membership welcomes the WTO Panel’s findings supporting China’s claims and the positions advocated by EFA during the anti-dumping proceedings.




FESI secretariat :

The European Footwear Alliance




EFA comprises hundreds of small and medium sized enterprises and many of Europe’s most successful global footwear brands. It includes approximately 2,000 footwear companies from across the EU, directly and indirectly employing over 1.5 million EU people. It is made up of three European footwear bodies, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI), the European Branded Footwear Coalition (EBFC) and the European Outdoors Group (EOG). EFA members design, market and import significant volumes of leather footwear from China and Vietnam subject to anti- dumping duties. Many of our members also have significant own footwear production inside and outside of the EU.


European Outdoor Group (EOG)
Originally founded in 2003 by nineteen of the world’s largest Outdoor companies, this group recognised the need for a cohesive, cross border approach to representation of the outdoor sector. We live in a world of increasing internationalism, where legislation, environment, the media and trade are all now multinational issues. The combined strength of our member brands, and a close cooperation with national outdoor associations, provides us with an extremely powerful force to represent the European outdoor industry in a constructive and positive manner.
European Branded Footwear Coalition (EBFC)
The European Branded Footwear Coalition is comprised of prominent European and global footwear companies that market high-quality footwear in the EU. The coalition includes brands such as Diesel, ECCO, Levi’s, Merrell, Rockport, Hush Puppies and Sebago. The Bundesverband der Deutschen Schuhindustrie (German Footwear Industry Federation – HDS) is also a member of EBFC. Founded in 1950, it represents all major regional associations grouping over 80 German footwear companies such as Rieker, Wortmann Group, Marc, Ara, Gabor and Camel Active.
Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI)
The European sporting goods industry represented by FESI directly and indirectly employs about 650,000 workers in the EU with turnover of over €65 billion in economic activity in 2010. 70-75% of FESI’s membership is made up of Small and Medium Enterprises. 1,800 companies are members, either directly or indirectly through national sports industry federations from Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. FESI also includes some of the most renowned global sporting goods brands such as Adidas and Puma from Germany or Lotto and Tecnica from Italy. FESI members account for 98% of athletic footwear sales in Europe.