Certificate of Free Sale

Basic information about Certificate of Free Sale

A Certificate of Free Sale (CFS) is a document issued by a government authority or regulatory agency that certifies that a particular product is freely sold, distributed, or marketed in a particular country or region. The certificate serves as proof that the product meets the regulatory requirements and quality standards of the issuing country or jurisdiction and is considered safe for consumption or use by consumers.

Key points


The primary purpose of a Certificate of Free Sale is to facilitate the export of goods by providing assurance to foreign governments, importers, distributors, and consumers that the products being exported comply with applicable regulations and quality standards in the country of origin.


The content of a Certificate of Free Sale may vary depending on the requirements of the importing country or jurisdiction. However, typical information included on the certificate may include:

  • Product name
  • Manufacturer or exporter name and address
  • Product description and specifications
  • Batch or lot numbers (if applicable)
  • Declaration that the product complies with relevant regulations and quality standards
  • Signature and seal of the issuing authority
  • Issuing Authority: Certificates of Free Sale are typically issued by government agencies or regulatory authorities responsible for overseeing the safety and quality of products in the exporting country. In some cases, private certification bodies or trade associations may also be authorized to issue such certificates.


Exporters or manufacturers seeking to obtain a Certificate of Free Sale for their products typically submit an application to the relevant issuing authority along with supporting documentation, such as product specifications, test reports, and quality assurance records.


The validity period of a Certificate of Free Sale may vary depending on the requirements of the importing country or jurisdiction. In some cases, the certificate may be valid for a single shipment or for a specified period, such as six months or one year.


Once issued, the Certificate of Free Sale can be included with the shipment of goods or provided to the importer or regulatory authorities in the destination country as part of the export documentation process. It may be required as a condition for customs clearance or to demonstrate compliance with import regulations.


  1. International Trade Facilitation: The CFS acts as a crucial document for international trade. It provides assurance to foreign governments and buyers that the products being exported comply with regulatory standards and are freely sold in the country of origin (United States).
  2. Market Access: Many countries require a CFS as part of their import regulations. By obtaining this certificate, exporters gain access to markets that demand proof of product safety and quality.
  3. Boosts Confidence: The CFS demonstrates that the manufacturer has no unresolved enforcement actions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This boosts confidence in the product’s safety and quality.
  4. Legal Compliance: It ensures that the goods being exported meet legal requirements and have undergone necessary approvals. This is especially important for items like food, cosmetics, biologics, and medical devices.
  5. Customer Requirement: Some international customers specifically request a CFS as part of their due diligence process. Providing this certificate can enhance business relationships and facilitate smoother transactions.
  6. Documentation for Customs: When clearing customs in the destination country, having a CFS simplifies the process. Customs officials recognize it as evidence of product legitimacy.

Overall, a Certificate of Free Sale plays a vital role in facilitating international trade by providing assurance that exported products meet regulatory requirements and quality standards, thereby helping to ensure consumer safety and confidence in imported goods.

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