Certificates Programs

February 2021 Update In March 2020, all government agencies and embassy offices in Washington, D.C., closed temporarily due to the outbreak of COVID-19. This closure temporarily left us unable to process requests for Certificates of Free Sale or Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificates. The D.C. notary office and the U.S. State Department reopened in June 2020 for mail-in service only. All embassies have now reopened for walk-in or mail-in service.

Processing times for all requests are longer than normal due to circumstances beyond our control, including the requirement to ship documents to the various government agencies. Due to these delays, PCPC has suspended the Rush option for all requests until normal processing procedures are able to resume.

For certificates to countries not subject to the Hague Convention (which require additional legalization), the completion time is at least three (3) months as a result of the required legalization by the State Department, which has a 3-month backlog. China currently has a 2-month backlog and requires additional paperwork. We will continue to provide a temporary notarized document that can be used until the final document is received. 

We will do our best to complete the legalization process as quickly and efficiently as possible and regret that we are unable to provide an estimated date of completion for requests. We continue to process GMPs that do not require legalization per our normal procedures.

Questions can be submitted to certificates@personalcarecouncil.org.

Certificates of Free Sale (CFS) is a document that attests the product you are exporting to another country is identical to the product sold in the United States and has been manufactured according to all applicable laws. This assures foreign authorities that the product is safe and effective.

Many countries require a CFS to register and sell products in their country. Even where not required, some companies find it easier to register their products when accompanied by a CFS.

PCPC has been issuing CFS for member companies for more than 20 years and processes more than 2,500 of these certificates annually for 81 countries. PCPC issues CFS in an efficient and timely manner, providing all necessary consular, state department and local government agency notarization seals required for CFS. PCPC is equipped to provide a tailored CFS for a range of manufacturing situations.

PCPC also offers members Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Certificates, stating that the products are manufactured in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as GMP guidelines issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that the products are not adulterated or misbranded. A Document Authentication certificate can be ordered for documents that require legalization from the embassy or apostille from the Secretary of State, such as Letters of Authorization, product formulations and Powers of Attorney.

Certificates are available to PCPC members only. If you are a member, login to request a certificate or inquire about country prices. For more information on this program, contact the Certificates department at (202) 331-1770.

Join today to become a member and gain access to the certificates program and many other member benefits!