What is a Certificate of Free Sale?
A Certificate of Free Sale (CFS) refers to a certificate that needs to be obtained from designated authorities for the export of certain commodities like medical equipment to other countries. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to apply for and provide this certification to the importer. The CFS is sometimes referred to as a Free Sale Certificate.
This certificate is a form of confirmation that:
- The product is freely available in the country of export
- The product is accepted as being safe to use in the country of export
The manufacturer usually assigns a representative to submit a request to the concerned authorities to obtain the CFS.
Why use a Certificate of Free Sale?
One of the reasons manufacturers acquire a CFS is to enable access to foreign markets. For instance, there is a great demand for EU manufactured medical equipment in several Middle Eastern countries. Manufacturers based in the EU need to acquire the CFS in order to sell their products in the region. The CFS requirement is a mandatory document to produce before a trader is allowed to import or locally release a product in some countries.
Use CFS to verify a manufacturer?
There are many ways to verify the authenticity of a manufacturer. However, manufacturers that provide you with a CFS can in most cases be safely assumed to be verified manufacturers.
How to verify a product?
Regulatory authorities in every country would not allow products like medical equipment and pharmaceutical drugs to be imported until and unless its authenticity, safety and reliability can be guaranteed to some extent. When countries import some products like medical equipment and drugs from other countries, they need to be sure that the product or equipment is up to the standards for use at least in the country of manufacture. The Certificate of Free Sale, is a form of proof that the product is authorized for release in its country of origin. In this way, the CFS acts as the guarantee that this product has passed all the standards expected of it in the manufacturing country.
GMP Compliance Verification
If a European manufacturer is able to provide you with a CFS, this also acts as a form of validation of the product manufacturer’s compliance with the General Manufacturing Practices (GMP). These guidelines are set out by the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering and act as a sort of guarantee that the product manufacturer meets all the requirements that a high quality medical equipment producer is expected to fulfill. In this way, CFS adds another level of authentication for the quality standard of the product.
One can easily see how the CFS acts as an authentication service not only for the manufacturer but also for the product itself. Hence, it is important to check if your product requires a CFS prior to export if you intend to extend your business overseas.