October 26, 2011 Cosmetics glossary

CFS (Certificate of Free Sale)

©L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

The Certificate of Free Sale (CFS) is a real passport, an open sesame without which it is sometimes impossible to export cosmetics. Required by many countries, among them the heavyweights: China, South Korea, Russia, India, Brazil…, before a product is placed on their own market, it certifies that the product complies with the regulation enforced in the country of origin, and can be legally made available on the market.

When a cosmetic product is available on the French market, it means it meets all the European Regulation requirements. It is the responsibility of the person who places the product on the market to verify and to endorse its compliance, as no prior authorization is required before its placing on the market.

The situation is somewhat different when exporting the product. Indeed, circa sixty countries (including the largest export markets) require a CFS before authorizing a cosmetic product on their territory. It enables these countries to be sure the product complies with regulations sometimes more stringent than their own, and to make sure that products were not specifically formulated for export.

In France, a CFS may be delivered by two professional organizations, FEBEA and Cosmed, both approved by the French Ministry of Industry. Thus, they have to check, on the basis of the data supplied by the responsible person, the product complies with the European regulation.

For further information
• The CVL page on the FEBEA website (in French only)
• The CVL page on the Cosmed website, and the Cosmed CVL website (in French only)

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