European Union (EU) yestoday announced it will collect the anti-dumping taxes of 16.5% and 10% for leather shoes importing from China and Vietnam respectively from Oct 5 on to curb the cheap shoes largely entering their market. The policy will last two years.

Chamber of commerce in Hong Kong predicted the EU's buyers will take the extra charges on HK dealers' shoulder, which will worsen the their operating conditions; On the other hand, HK merchants can't transfer their manufacturing bases in the China Mainland to foreign regions, but seperating export markets could ease the impact of the new tax rate.

Hong Kong Shoes Industry Chamber of Commerce vice-president Gaozhu said frankly the new EU's policy makes a great impact on HK merchants, predicting the EU buyers will ask them to take on the increased cost, which will aggravate the HK dealers' operating burdens in mainland and reduce their profit.

However, he expected that the policy won't affect the desire of EU consumers to buy shoes, as the cost and price of leather shoes made in EU are several times of those importing from Mainland China.

He said also the move was in accord with HK merchants' expectation and they have taken some measures - expanding their foreign markets to North America, South America and Middle East etc, not only focusing on EU market. At present, his company's operation turnover for exporting EU has declined to 10% from 30% before two years.

The EU levyied temporary anti-dumping duties lasting six months on imported leather shoes from China and Vietnam since April 2006, the rate for China was gradually increased to 19.5% from 4.8%.