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FDA to Issue Electronic Export Certificates for Food Products

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) announced that, starting February 20, 2017, certificates of free sale (COFS) for food products will be issued electronically as downloadable PDFs. COFS are issued for certain food products regulated by CFSAN, upon request by an exporter.  While FDA does not require the issuance of such certificates to export foods to foreign countries, a COFS may be required by a foreign country as part of the import process. (Information on FDA Export Certificates can be found on FDA’s website).                                                            

CFSAN is also revising the appearance of the COFS, including an updated letterhead and image of the Health and Human Services (HHS) seal.  Additionally, for each certificate, FDA will provide a unique Certificate Identifier, which will allow foreign government officials authorized by the FDA to verify the authenticity of the certificate. Exporters are encouraged to continue to use the FDA Certificate Application Process (CAP) to request COFS (an account with FDA Industry Systems is required).