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Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition - Food and Drug Administration

June 3, 2013

Starting today, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) export certificates for U.S.-produced cosmetic products will be available only online. The change from a paper-based to a web-based system will make the application process more efficient for both exporters and the agency. Paper export certificates for cosmetics will no longer be available.

Export certificates may facilitate sales of U.S. products to buyers in countries overseas. At the request of exporters, FDA issues export certificates for certain U.S.-produced, FDA-regulated products. Foreign importers and governments often require export certificates to accompany shipments.

The FDA Certificate Application Process (CAP) website allows cosmetic exporters to apply online for a cosmetic export certificate using FDA’s secure Web portal. To create an account in CAP, visit, select “Create New Account,” then select “Certification Application Process,” and fill in the required contact information. Applicants will receive an email notification when your account has been activated.

Benefits of CAP for cosmetics include:

  • Online submission of applications
  • Online receipt of certificates
  • Status updates via email and online tracking
  • Ability to copy, edit, and resubmit applications

The certificates will have a new look. Each certificate will have a unique Certificate Identifier (ID). Foreign government officials authorized by FDA can use this Certificate ID to verify the authenticity of the certificate. Exporters will need to ensure that the printed certificates are clear and legible. An example of the new certificate is below.

For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions about Cosmetic Export Certificates.

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