Certificates of Free Sale

JULY UPDATE: The District of Columbia office that authenticates legal documents has reopened. All certified statement and certificate of free sale requests that only require apostilles can now be legalized. PCPC has resumed processing these and will provide to companies by mail only. For those countries that require legalization by the embassy, we will continue to send notarized copies by mail as well as electronically.

UPDATE: In response to a global advocacy effort by PCPC and international associations, and in recognition of current COVID-19 circumstances, certain countries have agreed to accept export documents, including Certificates of Free Sale, without legalization/stamps or government authentication.

Following expiration of this temporary policy, importers will be required to submit the physical, original document with the normal legalization and required signatures/stamps. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and closure of government offices, PCPC had been unable to process Certificates of Free Sale documents that require legalization until this policy change.

Accordingly, companies may request certificates from PCPC by following the normal procedures for submitting applications and payments electronically. All certificates, which will continue to be notarized by PCPC, will be sent to companies by mail as well as electronically. PCPC will mail companies original, legalized documents as soon as possible after government offices resume their operations.

For those countries that have not yet formally indicated acceptance of the temporary policy, we encourage companies to include the PCPC/international association advocacy statement. However, please note that PCPC cannot guarantee or assume responsibility for imports that use documents adhering to the temporary policy. PCPC and international cosmetics industry associations will continue to advocate formal acceptance of the temporary policy by all countries that require Certificates of Free Sale.

We continue to process Certified Statements (Certificates of Good Manufacturing Practice) that do not require legalization per our normal procedures.

Questions can be submitted to certificates@personalcarecouncil.org.

For a fee, the Personal Care Products Council issues Certificates of Free Sale (CFS) to PCPC members. These certificates are required by governments in a number of countries that need assurance that products exported from the United States to their countries are the same as products sold in the United States, presumably meeting all state and federal laws and regulations. Exports to these countries must be accompanied by a valid certificate, or the product will not be admitted. In the CFS, a PCPC official attests that to the best of his/her knowledge, certain cosmetic products are freely sold throughout the United States. PCPC can quickly issue a CFS, helping to facilitate our members’ ability to do business in the international arena.

Certificates of Free Sale are available to PCPC members only. If you are a member, login to request a Certificate of Free Sale (CFS).

If you are a member, and would like to learn more about the Certificate of Free Sale  and additional country prices click here.

If you are not a member, join today to gain access to this and many other member benefits.

For more information on this program, contact the Certificates department at (202) 331-1770.