New labelling rules introduced in Canada could lead to undergarments and apparel items containing shoulder pads being removed from store shelves if details of the hidden filling materials are not clearly shown.

The changes follow the decision by Canada's Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) to include any garment that contains filling, materials or stuffing in its revised Upholstered and Stuffed Articles regulation.

The new labelling law is designed to protect wearers from the use of unclean or used fillings, and requires bras and shoulder pads to carry labels stating they are filled with "new clean material only."

From 1 January 2009, producers of padded items will have to register with the safety authority.

And it is expected that by 1 July 2009, "all shoulder pads and trims and those involved in their manufacture, importation, distribution or retailing will be in full compliance with the requirement of the regulation."

Garments on sale that are not properly labelled may result in fines or removal of the goods.

Bob Kirke, executive director of the Canadian Apparel Federation, told just-style the industry views the regulations as "ridiculous."

"We are looking to the Ontario government to use a bit of common sense and a bit of humility and reconsider what they have done," he said.

"In the interim we are building a coalition of concerned manufacturers and retailers to oppose these measures."

He added that the implications for overseas facilities and firms that use them are "Kafka-esque."

"In the case of a foreign firm, they need to register in each of the three Canadian provinces requiring this, on an annual basis. The annual cost will come in at over $1100 to register, plus costs of labels, and managing the whole thing.

"It just breeds compliance problems."