Kentucky Proud

Certificate of Free Sale & Phytosanitary Certificate

Certificate of Free Sale

Some country officials require the issuance of a Certificate of Free Sale, sometimes called a Certificate for Export, to show that the products offered for entry into their countries comply with the requirements of the laws and regulations of the United States for distribution in our domestic commerce. In Kentucky, this document is issued by two different state agencies, depending on for whom or what the product is intended.


If the product is for animal consumption, the Certificate of Free Sale is issued by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, through the Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture. This is also the case for seed and fertilizers. However, before this document can be issued, a company must first contact the Division of Regulatory Services at the University of Kentucky. Regulatory Services must then determine if the company's products are registered and allowed to be sold within the Commonwealth. If this is the case, then Regulatory Services will notify the Office of the Commissioner, and the Certificate of Free Sale may be issued. For more information, please visit the UK Division of Regulatory Services website or call (859) 257-2785.


If the product is for human consumption, the Certificate of Free Sale is issued by the Food Safety Branch of the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services. The Food Safety Branch may issue a Certificate of Free Sale for food products manufactured in Kentucky, in a food processing establishment that falls under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Kentucky Department of Public Health, that holds a valid permit to operate, and is in good standing with the Department of Public Health. The Food Safety Branch does not issue Certificates of Free Sale for dietary supplements, USDA regulated products, or animal/pet feed. You may complete the application, Request for Certificate of Free Sale or Export, and e-mail the completed document to The document may also be faxed to the Food Safety Branch at (502) 564-0398. For more information, please call (502) 564-7181.


The USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) issues a comparable document called FSIS Form 9060-5 Export Certificate of Wholesomeness (ECW). Your FSIS inspector can provide this export certificate. The FSIS is the USDA's public health agency which is responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged as required by the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act. For more information please follow this link to the FSIS website or call 1-800-674-6854.


Phytosanitary Certificate

A phytosanitary (plant health) certificate is an official document issued by an exporting country, which certifies the phytosanitary status of a shipment meets the phytosanitary regulations of the inspecting country. Foreign countries may require exporters of U.S. commodities to obtain a phytosanitary certificate, in accordance with the importing requirements for importing U.S. plants and plant products. A phytosanitary certificate is issued by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). As State Cooperators with APHIS, the Kentucky Office of the State Entomologist can issue Federal Phytosanitary certificates for shipments outside of the U.S. For more information please contact Carl Harper, Senior Nursery Inspector, at (859) 257-5838 or visit the website of the Kentucky Office of the State Entomologist.