FDA Announces E-application System for Certificates of Free Sale
June 7, 2012
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has unveiled an automated system for companies exporting food from the U.S. to file electronically for Certificates of Free Sale. Such certificates are often requested by international customers or governments to verify that the products being exported meet certain standards.
The FDA Unified Registration and Listing Systems (FURLS) Certificate Application Process (CAP) allows exporters of conventional foods, including seafood, to apply online for a Certificate of Free Sale, reducing the amount of time required for the FDA to process requests and issue certificates. At this time, the certificates are available only as hard copies that are mailed to the applicant.
Exporters who create an account in CAP will be able to apply for new certificates, modify existing applications and check the status of pending applications. Online help is also available to provide assistance. In order to create an account, companies will need to enter their bioterrorism food facility registration number and passcode that they received when they registered their food facility under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. The CAP system uses this information to verify eligibility to obtain a certificate.
Although exporters can still request certificates by mail, the electronic filing system will enable the FDA to process certificates in a shorter period of time.