What Types Of Documents Do Cosmetic Exports Need?

Many export transactions do not require specific approval in the form of licenses from the U.S. government - cosmetics is one of them! However, there are several documents that your country of export might require, or that the distributor might ask for.

ACMA Certificates

ACMA issues certificates on its letterhead and under terms and conditions for the following documents, all of which are issued by the company exporting the products, signed by a company officer and sealed by a notary public. These documents are then certified by ACMA, which bases its certification upon forwarded reports, legal statements from company officers, and public information. ACMA Certificates are then notarized and legalized or apostilled for use abroad.

  • Certificate of Free Sale: The Free Sale certificate asserts that the products listed are identical or equivalent to products sold freely in the United States.
  • Certificate of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP or cGMP): A Certificate of Good Manufacturing Practices attests that the products were manufactured in the United States in accordance with Current Good Manufacturing Practices for those products.
  • BSE-Free Certificate(Bovine Spongiform Encephalopaphy: To protect against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as "mad cow disease," cosmetics may not be manufactured from, processed with, or otherwise contain, prohibited cattle materials. To obtain a BSE Certificate, a manufacturer must provide a list of all ingredients in a product; said ingredients cannot contain or be processed alongside prohibited cattle materials.

Other Common Export Certificates for Cosmetic Products

  • Certificate of Origin (C/O): A Certificate of Origin attests where that the products were manufactured in the United States, and generally accompanies the invoice for the shipment (it is common to have both authenticated at the same time).
  • Commercial Invoices (C/I): Your goods will need to be accompanied by a Commercial Invoice (C/I) and a Certificate of Origin (C/O). Foreign states use the values on the Commercial Invoice to assess tariffs and taxes, and the information on the Certificate of Origin to verify where the product was manufactured. Both of these documents must be certified before the products can be shipped.
  • Certificate of Sanitation: Certain countries require certification that the products were manufactured in a safe or sanitary facility, that the materials used (particularly water) are from safe and sanitary sources, that waste materials are disposed of properly and that personnel are appropriately trained to monitor production. Certificates of Sanitation are obtained through government agencies such as the Board of Health that certify that the facilities, production process and products are in compliance with sanitary requirements.