SGMA Praises EU Decision to Exempt Athletic Footwear

European Commission Elects Not to Place Tariffs on Chinese, Vietnamese Sports Footwear

WASHINGTON, D.C. February 24, 2006 – The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) commended the recent European Commission announcement that it will exempt certain sports footwear from anti-dumping tariffs targeting footwear imports from China and Vietnam. SGMA supported the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) in opposing EU anti-dumping tariffs on athletic footwear produced in China and Vietnam.

“SGMA applauds this continued exemption of Special Technology Athletic Footwear (STAF). It is good for the consumer and good for the manufacturers,” explained SGMA President and CEO Tom Cove. “It would make no sense to penalize either group in a category which has no domestic competition.”

The European Commission's decision to exclude STAF goods was based on a lack of EU manufacturing of this type of footwear. Without an adequate EU segment to protect, anti-dumping tariffs could not be justified.

Cove stressed that, while the STAF exemption is the right decision, SGMA will continue to press for full exemptions of sports footwear by EU officials. “We recognize there is still a threat of tariffs for producers of non-technical footwear. SGMA opposes any punitive tariffs and promises to pursue full exemption for our manufacturers' products.”

The EU intends to put forward a four-stage tariff that will see duties on other types of Chinese and Vietnamese shoes rise from about 5 percent in April to almost 20 percent in September. Visit for a copy of the complete EU anti-dumping tariff schedule.

About SGMA
The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA, owner of the Sports Research Partnership®, enhances industry vitality and fosters sports, fitness, and active lifestyle participation. More information about SGMA can be found at