Member States of the European Union are due to vote tomorrow (22 December) on the European Commission's proposal to extend anti-dumping duties imposed on shoes from China and Vietnam.

However, it is still not clear what the outcome will be after several Member States changed their voting intentions after rejecting an extension of the shoe duties last month.

The initial vote on 19 November resulted in a 15 to 12 majority against continuation.

So far, Germany, Austria and Malta have since changed their voting intentions to abstention - which under EU rules effectively counts as a vote of support.

Meanwhile, Slovakia has hinted it will vote against continuation when it was previously in favour, and Hungary says it will abstain.

"With the voting standing at 13 against and 14 in favour of continuation I look to Germany, Austria and Malta in particular to see sense and vote against the Commission's proposal and finally put an end to this sorry saga," said Jan Eggert, secretary general of the Foreign Trade Association (FTA).

The Commission has recommended a 15-month extension of the anti-dumping levies, which originally began in 2006 and were extended pending a review last year.

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.