Please use the online application to apply for a Certificate of Free Sale.


Firms exporting products from Minnesota are often asked by importing states, foreign customers, or foreign governments to supply a certificate for products regulated by the MDA. The certificate is a document prepared by the MDA containing information about a product that describes and or attests to animal health, product safety, production, processing methods, or sanitation of the processing plant. Before an export certificate can be issued, the exporting party must have a current Food Handlers License issued by the MDA and have a current inspection report on file without any outstanding critical orders. If one or more of the requirements are not satisfied, the MDA will not issue a certificate. Effective July 1st, 2017, per Minnesota Statute: 28A.081, a fee of $125 dollars is charged for each specific type of certificate.

shipping containers

Requirements and Fees

The exporting company must have:

  • Food Handlers License issued by the MDA
  • A current inspection on file
  • No outstanding critical orders

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a certificate of export or a certificate of free sale?

It is a document requested by an importing state or nation, prepared by the MDA that describes and/or attests to animal health, product safety, production, processing methods, and sanitation of processing plants.

How are applications processed?

Certificates are processed within 5 to 7 business days as long as all previous invoices issued by the MDA are not overdue (30 days). Applications received after 4:00 p.m. CST will be processed the next business day.

How are applications processed?

Applications are processed in the order they are received, unless there are extenuating circumstances, i.e. detained shipment.