The European Union's (EU) controversial anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Vietnamese-made leather shoes will probably be extended for another 15 months, after the European Commission concluded they should remain.

It has asked the EU Council of Ministers for a formal extension, although it is far shorter than the usual five years.

The duties are 16.5% on Chinese shoes and 10% on Vietnamese shoes.

When they were first imposed in 2006, they were opposed by many northern European member states who feared increases in the retail price of imported shoes.

However, the Commission, following review, has concluded prices have remained stable despite the duties.

This is because, it argued, China and Vietnam continue to over-produce shoes and dump cut priced-exports on the EU market.

As a result, it said in a communiqué, "the removal of measures at this stage would lead to increased dumping and injury—and potentially halt the adjustment process of an industry which employs over 260,000 workers in the EU."

Ministers must make a formal decision by January 2 (2010), which is when authorisation for the existing duties expires.