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Export Documentation

The International Marketing Program is available to help Michigan food & agricultural companies understand the documentation needed for international shipments.

Phytosanitary Certificate

Importing countries may require a phytosanitary certificate for any plants or plant products, as well as related regulated goods (such as those processed with plants), to ensure that these goods meet specified requirements and will not introduce regulated pests. Learn how to acquire a Phytosanitary Certificate.

Certificate of Free Sale/Health/Sanitary

A Certificate of Free Sale, often called “Certificate for Export” or “Certificate to Foreign Governments,” is a certificate used as evidence that goods such as food items, cosmetics, biologics, or medical devices are legally sold or distributed in the open market and approved by regulatory authorities within the United States. This certificate is required by certain countries to demonstrate that your product is eligible for export. Below you will find a complete resource list designed to help you obtain your specific certificate. Learn the requirements and steps for obtaining a Certificate of Free Sale.

Certificate of Origin

A Certificate of Origin (COO) identifies who has produced the goods and in what country. The exporter should verify whether a COO is required with the buyer or a freight forwarder. Learn how to obtain a Certificate of Origin.

Certificate of Apostille

An Apostille or Certificate of Authority certifies that documents intended for use in foreign countries are legally authenticated. Learn how to obtain a Certificate of Apostille.

Additional Common Export Documents

Learn about additional export documents, including a bill of lading, shipper's letter of instruction, commercial invoice, export packing list, and pro forma invoice.

Don't see the document or certificate you're looking for? Contact the International Marketing Program at

  • The following certificates are for exporting specialized food and cosmetic products. Certificates may be issued by the FDA and applications are available through the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Export Certification Application and Tracking System (CFSAN eCATS)Step-by-step instructions are available for accessing CFSAN eCATS and creating applications. For more information on each, visit the FDA’s Food Export Certificates guide.

    • Certificate to a Foreign Government: export certificate for conventional foods, food additives, food contact substances, and infant formula that meet applicable requirements of the FD&C Act for marketing within the U.S.
    • Certificate of Exportability: conventional foods, food additives, food contact substances, and infant formula that CANNOT be marketed in the U.S. but meet requirements of section 801(e) of the FD&C Act and can legally be exported.
    • Certificate of Free Sale: dietary supplements, medical foods, and foods for special dietary use.
    • Certificate for Cosmetics: products that meet the definition of a cosmetic under section 201(i) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 3 21(i)). Not issued for cosmetics with drugs claims, such as acne cleansers.