Attention: This page contains information on how to apply for a Food Certificate of Free Sale. Please visit the Certificate of Free Sale for Animal Feed webpage for information specific to exporting animal feed. 

Food Certificates of Free Sale are being processed at least once per week, however this turnaround may be slower than usual. Please submit your certificate application with enough time to compensate for this change to our normal process.

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 five to seven business days as long as all previous invoices issued by the MDA are not overdue (30 days). 

How are applications processed?

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

Where can I pay my certificate of free sale invoice?

Follow the prompts to pay your invoice in our online Licensing and Renewal page.