Large numbers of jobs in the Vietnamese shoe industry are threatened by the uncontrolled import of cheap shoe uppers into Vietnam from China. The Ministry of Industry has asked the Ministry of Trade to put a brake on shoe upper imports. Vietnam exports to the EU account for over 80 per cent of the shoe industry's output. The problems are arising following EU changes to country-of-origin requirements for shoe imports made in 1999, which allowed Vietnamese sub-contractors to import pre-processed materials from other countries, except for the shoe sole. This was followed by a Vietnamese Ministry of Industry circular in July last year, allowing business to import ready-made uppers from other countries.