Certificates Of Free Sale – What Are They?

Certificates of Free Sale are a bit of an odd thing. They aren’t really part of any countries actual cosmetic regulations. But when exporting, companies often get asked to provide them. What people think is required is as important as what is actually required, and in a way the Certificate of Free Sale (CFS) does play a useful role.

A CFS is simply confirmation by the UK Responsible Person that their products comply with relevant UK regulations. If one of the motivations for buying a product from a company based in the UK is that the product meets the UK’s regulatory standards then it is clearly reassuring to have it in writing that this is exactly what you are getting.

What Are Certificates of Free Sale?

So logically a simple letter from the supplier should be enough. And in some cases it will be. But often the customer wants official confirmtion. This used to be something of a hit and miss businessness. There was no actual source of these certificates so creative alternatives were pursued. Graphic designers were employed to devise impressive formats for letter headings. Customised stamps were commissioned. A popular option was getting the local chamber of commerce to sign off the consignment.

Where To Get Your Certificate of Free Sale

But the best option was to get government’s trade department to approve them. I’m writing at a time when they are calling themselves the Department for International Trade – but they do change their name quite often. This used to be an informal system but has now developed into a system that allows CFSs to be applied for and issued even though they still aren’t an official part of the regulations.

The instructions for how to apply for a CFS can be found here https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/945739/Notice_to_importers_2940_-_Certificates_of_Free_Sale_for_exporters.pdf

And here is the login page where you can set up an account.


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