Guidance

Certificates of Free Sale

Find out if you need a certificate to export food or drink (for humans or animals) to non-EU countries and how to get one.

If you export food or drink (for humans or animals) you’ll need to know what export conditions apply and what documents you need. Contact the importing country’s authority or embassy to find out.

If you export to non-EU countries, you may need a Certificate of Free Sale. This shows that the product can be sold within the United Kingdon (UK).

Rural Payments Agency (RPA) produce certificates (free of charge) covering products for:

  • human consumption - these give assurance to the importing country that the product isn’t a risk to consumer health.

  • animal consumption - these give assurance that the products are free from harmful levels of radioactive material.

There’s no time limit on how long a certificate is valid for, unless the country you’re exporting to has specified one.

Apply

Fill in the relevant form:

The best way to return your form is to email it to trader@rpa.gsi.gov.uk.

Once RPA receives your application, we’ll aim to send your certificate(s) within 5 working days.

Products

RPA produce certificates for the following products.

Human consumption:

  • manufactured foods
  • soft drinks
  • health food supplements
  • food additives
  • tea, coffee, cocoa
  • herbs and spices
  • alcoholic drinks
  • milk and milk products
  • sugar and sugar products
  • malt and flour

Animal consumption:

  • protein crops
  • animal feeding stuffs
  • pet food

If you want to export something to eat or drink which isn’t on this list, contact RPA.

Types of certificate

For human consumption:

  • Free Sale Standard
  • Manufacture and Free Sale Standard (all exports to Nigeria will need this type of certificate)
  • Free Sale Alcohol
  • Human Consumption (alcohol only)
  • Declaration of Origin (Dioxin). (All non-alcohol exports to Argentina, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Sudan and exports of milk and milk products to all non-EU countries will need one of these certificates as well as the ‘Free Sale’ or ‘Manufacture and Free Sale’ certificate.)

Animal consumption:

  • Free Sale Animal Feed
  • Manufacture and Free Sale Animal Feed
  • Non-mammalian
  • Non-animal
  • Dioxin Free

Contact RPA

Email: trader@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: 03300 416 500 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, closed on weekends and bank holidays).