The European Commission is proposing to extend anti-dumping excise taxes on footwear imports from China and Vietnam for another 15 months, according to reports.

News agencies quoted a European Commission document as saying that "the anti-dumping measures on leather footwear should be maintained" - a proposal likely to anger many European retailers, who had called for the tariffs to be abolished at the end of the year.

However, the proposal is still to be discussed by the relevant EU trade committee, before a final vote by all 27 member states in December.

If the taxes - 16.5% on Chinese and 10% on Vietnamese leather footwear imports respectively - are adopted, they will take effect from January 2010 and lapse at the end of March 2011.

But the move is likely to meet with huge opposition from retailers, many member states and pressure groups such as the Foreign Trade Association, which has already argued against the continuation of the tariffs.

The anti-dumping taxes were originally introduced in 2006 following protests of unfair competition from European manufacturers in Poland, Italy and France.

The measures were extended last year pending a full investigation into the market.