Timberland ( TBL), designer and marketer of footwear and its accessories, said Thursday that European Commission's decision to impose provisional duties on leather upper footwear originating from China and Vietnam and imported into European Member States will likely reduce its 2006 operating profits in the range of $10 million.

These provisional duties are expected to be effective for a six-month period beginnning April 7, and will be phased in over a period of five months, beginning at a rate of about 4% and ending at a 19.4% rate for China sourced footwear and at a 16.8% rate for Vietnam sourced footwear.

These duties may become definitive on or before Oct. 7.

The company said it is advancing strategies in response to this action, including potential price increases on footwear products sold in Europe.
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