grain bags on conveyor belt headed into a semi truck for transport

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

When exporting products from Minnesota some destination countries may require a Certificate of Free Sale

The Certificate of Free Sale will attest:

  • The feed product may be freely sold in Minnesota
  • The product's guarantor holds a current Minnesota Commercial Feed License
  • The ingredients in the feed are acceptable for inclusion in commercial feed distributed in Minnesota under the current Minnesota Commercial Feed Law and Rules and are considered safe for animal consumption if used according to directions

A Certificate of Free Sale is a physical document that will: 

  • Include the three attestations shown above
  • Is printed on official MDA letterhead with the MDA watermark
  • Is signed by an appropriate MDA staff member
  • Is signed by a notary public currently commissioned by the State of Minnesota
  • Is stamped with the notary public’s official stamp

Regulatory Requirements:

  • The product label must be compliant with all applicable Minnesota Laws and Rules
  • The guarantor must be current with all applicable license and inspection fees (tonnage and/or product registration)
  • There must be no outstanding compliance or enforcement issues with the guarantor

Physical Location Requirements:

To be eligible for a free sale certificate, at least one of these physical location conditions is required: 

  1. The product's guarantor has a physical address in Minnesota

    OR

  2. The product's manufacturer has a physical address in Minnesota. In these cases, the product's manufacturer must also have a current Minnesota Commercial Feed License in good standing. The manufacturer's license number as well as their Minnesota address must be indicated on the Certificate of Free Sale application under this condition.

    OR

  3. The product's distributor has a physical address in Minnesota. In these cases, the product's distributor must also have a current Minnesota Commercial Feed License in good standing. The distributor's license number, as well as their Minnesota address, must be indicated on the Certificate of Free Sale application under this condition. 

Under any of the above three conditions, the guarantor must have a current Minnesota Commercial Feed License in good standing and the guarantor's name and address must be indicated on the certificate application. 

Companies that do not satisfy any of the above physical location requirements should request a certificate from the state in which they are located. 

Fees and Application Requirements:

  • A nonrefundable application fee of $25.00 must accompany each Certificate of Free Sale application
  • A nonrefundable fee of $50.00 per product must accompany the Certificate of Free Sale application 
  • All products to be listed on a Certificate of Free Sale application must have the entire product label(s) included with the application. The label(s) must accurately represent all aspects of the product(s) on the certificate, including the name, ingredient list, and guaranteed analysis.
  • All product labels submitted are subject to review. Certificates will not be issued until product labels are fully compliant with all applicable Minnesota Laws and Rules

To complete the request, send applications and required information to the following address along with payment: 

Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Attn: Cashier
625 Robert Street North
Saint Paul, MN 55155 - 2538

Certificate of Free Sale Frequently Asked Questions

  • Ensure Certificate of Free Sale submission is complete and includes:
    • Completed application form
    •  Payment (in the form of a cash, check, or money order)
    •  Product label(s)
    • Self-addressed express mail return insert (Optional.  Returned via US Mail otherwise.)
    •  Any supplemental documents you feel may expedite the process
  • Use an express delivery service such as FedEx, UPS, or USPS Priority Mail to send Certificate of Free Sale submission to the MDA Cashier at the address listed above.
  • Additionally, email the following to steven.stewart@state.mn.us:
    • High quality, legible copy of all product labels
    • A copy of the return mailer PDF
    • A copy of the completed Certificate of Free Sale application form
  • Currently payment is limited to cash, check, or money order.
  • At the moment, there are no methods for making payments online, using credit cards, or being invoiced.

Yes, you can request up to four Certificates of Free Sale per application with no additional fee.  All certificates are identical, written on the MDA letterhead, signed, and notarized.

A consignee is the firm or person in the destination country that the product is being shipped to or otherwise is overseeing delivery of the product into the destination country.

The government of the destination country is the entity that determines if a Certificate of Free Sale is required.  The MDA does not make the determination and does not maintain a current list of requirements for foreign countries.  Please consult your contacts within the destination country to determine if a Certificate of Free Sale is required.