Request a Certificate of Free Sale for Your Exports
A Certificate of Free Sale, sometimes called a “Certificate for Export” or “Certificate to Foreign Governments,” is evidence that goods—such as food items, cosmetics, biologics or medical devices—are legally sold or distributed in the open market, freely without restriction, and approved by the regulatory authorities in the country of origin (United States).
A Certificate of Free Sale is used when you are registering a new product in a country. You’re sending a Certificate of Free Sale to the customs authority in that country saying, in effect, “This is a new thing I’m going to start importing, and here are my support documents that confirm this product(s) is legal to sell in the country of manufacture.
How to Apply for a Certificate of Free Sale
If your international customer requests a Certificate of Free Sale, you can easily apply for a certificate through the Shipping Solutions website.
Just fill out the registration form on this page. There is no charge for registering for this service. You should receive your login credentials along with a set of instructions by the end of the next business day.
When you are ready to apply for a certificate, login to the electronic certificate of origin portal (eCO) with the User Name and Password you received. Click Active Applications. Then, under Client Services, click Information and Support.
Download and complete the Certificate of Free Sale Application. It is a fillable PDF. The application is a written declaration from the manufacturer (or from your company if you are the manufacturer) stating that the products are manufactured and freely sold in the United States.
The application must:
- Be on the letterhead of the company requesting the certificate.
- Contain within the declaration the names of the products being certified.
- Include the language, “Products are manufactured and freely sold in the USA.”
- Include the name of the applicant company.
- Specify exactly how the products should be listed on the certificate. This should coincide with how they are listed on the commercial invoice by at least 80%.
For example: The item is listed as “Grape Shampoo” on the invoice, but you need it to be listed as “Shampoo, Grape, 16 oz.” on the certificate. An example that would not comply would be if “Grape Shampoo” is listed on the invoice, but you need it to be listed as “Special Volume Control Grape Shampoo” on the certificate. If the product name you list on the form does not match the invoice product name, the certificate cannot be processed.
For each product you would like listed on the Certificate of Free Sale, your company must submit copies of invoices showing the sale of each product to two different U.S. customers. Your company name and address should be on the invoices. The invoices should be dated within the last 12 months. Scan the Application for Certificate of Free Sale and the product invoices into one PDF.
Back on the eCO portal, click the Active Applications button. In the Create Online Application drop-down box, choose OD Other Documents. Click Apply.
Under Attachments to application, click Select Invoices in the drop-down list and upload your PDF of the Application for Certificate of Free Sale and product invoices. Alternatively, you can upload your product invoices using the Select Invoices button and upload your Application for Certificate of Free Sale by selecting Other Document in the Attachment is drop-down box below the Select Invoices button.
Select the Country of Destination in Box 2.
When all the information has been completed, click Submit. Each Certificate of Free Sale is $100 plus the cost of sending you the Certificate via overnight courier. You will receive a certificate on American World Trade Chamber of Commerce (AWTCC) letterhead that includes the requested information as well as a chamber stamp.
Shipping Solutions AMP Subscribers
If your company uses Shipping Solutions export documentation software, you are eligible for discounted pricing. Not a Shipping Solutions software user and/or a current AMP subscriber? Contact us for more information about subscribing at 888-890-7447 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, let us show you how it works.
Ready to start the process of getting a Certificate of Free Sale online? Fill out the registration form today and start generating certificates tomorrow. There is no cost or obligation for registering.
Certificate of Free Sale FAQs
What is a Certificate of Free Sale?
A Certificate of Free Sale, also known as a "Certificate for Export" or "Certificate to Foreign Governments," is a document that provides proof that goods, such as food items, cosmetics, biologics or medical devices comply with the regulatory requirements and are legally sold and distributed in the open market without any restrictions. These certificates are issued by the regulatory authorities in the country of origin, confirming the approval of the products for export. In the U.S., the regulatory authority may be the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or a select Chamber of Commerce, depending on the import requirements.
Does a Certificate of Free Sale expire?
No, only one Certificate of Free Sale is required for each product going to each country. You’re sending a certificate of free sale to the customs authority in that country saying, in effect, “This is a new thing I’m going to start importing, and here are my support documents that confirm this product(s) is legal to sell in the country of manufacture.”
Who issues a Certificate of Free Sale?
A Certificate of Free Sale must be issued by a regulatory agency like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or a select chamber of commerce. A chamber of commerce typically is able to issue the certificate more quickly and less expensively than the FDA, but exporters should confirm with the importer that a certificate stamped by a chamber of commerce is acceptable. Exporters who can issue a certificate of free sale stamped by a chamber of commerce can register for the service at the top of this page.
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