On September 13th the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services wrapped up a consultation on the Upholstered and Stuffed Articles Regulation. The consultation, which had been launched in June, allowed companies to comment on a program that has drawn the ire of many firms in the apparel industry in past years. The regulation was first established in 1938, and requires that new materials are used in upholstered and stuffed articles.
Historically this has been focussed on bedding and upholstered furniture (and apparel products such as winter outerwear). However, in recent years there have been frequent questions and complaints concerning the program, especially as it relates to products that contain minimal amounts of padding, but fall under the broad definition of the term “upholstered and stuffed article” contained in the regulation.
This regulatory overreach came to a head in 2008 when regulators for the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) attempted to expand the regulation to cover padded undergarments (brassieres made with polyurethane components) and garments containing shoulder pads. That effort was reversed following the intervention of the Canadian Apparel Federation. For details of that situation download this Canadian Apparel magazine article from 2009.
In 2013 CAF and our US sister association, the AAFA requested that this regulation be discussed as part of the bilateral regulatory reform agenda between Canada and the US.
Ontario took up this issue last year, and hired KPMG to review the program. That review validated many of the concerns raised by CAF members, and was reflected in the consultation. Many CAF members have written to the Ministry to request that apparel products be exempt from the regulation.
Any firm that wants to have further background on the issue should contact Bob Kirke at CAF: email@example.com.