European Commission trade officials in Brussels have confirmed that the EU may exempt sports trainers from possible anti-dumping duties against Vietnam footwear exports, now under investigation.

The official told "We're considering an exemption in this case; that's a scenario we have put to member states, (European) producers and other interested parties."

The comments follow quotes in Vietnamese news wires from Christoph Wiesner - a senior Commission trade official -  that "certain categories of high-tech sport footwear" could be excluded from duties, as there is "very little European production for these categories."

For EU anti-dumping duties to be imposed, the Commission must not only prove imports are below cost, but that this also causes real economic damage in Europe.

Wiesner added that a decision on imposing provisional anti-dumping duties should come in the New Year, although the Brussels official stressed their levying was not guaranteed. Duties follow only 70% of Commission anti-dumping inquiries.

By Keith Nuthall.