Selling Alcohol and Tobacco in California
Selling alcohol and tobacco involves navigating a stringent regulatory landscape that varies at both federal and state levels in the United States. Here’s a concise guide to help you understand the key aspects:
What is the FDA Certificate of Free Sale?
Is It Necessary to Apostille an FDA Free Sale Certificate?
What You Need To Apostille a California Certificate of Free Sale
To apostille a California Certificate of Free Sale, you typically need to follow a specific process. Here are the general steps and requirements:
1. Original Certificate
Ensure that you have the original California Certificate of Free Sale issued by the appropriate authority. Photocopies are generally not accepted for apostille purposes.
2. Notarization (if required)
Depending on the state’s requirements, the document may need to be notarized before obtaining an apostille. Check with the California Department of Public Health or the relevant issuing authority to confirm if notarization is necessary.
3. Check Eligibility
Confirm that the document is eligible for apostille. Apostilles are generally affixed to documents issued by public authorities, and the California Certificate of Free Sale, being a government-issued document, typically qualifies. Make sure that you avail document translation services for countries that require it.
4. California Secretary of State Authentication
- In-Person Submission: You can submit the document in person at the California Secretary of State’s office. Check their website for the current address and any specific requirements.
- Mail Submission: If submitting by mail, include a cover letter with your contact information, the document to be authenticated, a self-addressed stamped envelope, and the applicable fees. Ensure that your documents meet the Secretary of State’s requirements.
5. Payment of Fees
6. Wait for Processing
7. Receive the Apostilled Document
Is A Certificate of Free Sale the Same As A Certificate of Exportability?
While both a Certificate of Free Sale and a Certificate of Exportability serve similar purposes in facilitating international trade, they are distinct documents with specific applications.
Certificate of Free Sale
- Purpose: This certificate attests that products being exported are freely sold in the country of origin.
- Issued by: Typically issued by the regulatory or health authority of the exporting country, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States for certain products.
- Content: It assures foreign governments and buyers that the products comply with the regulatory standards of the exporting country and are freely sold and distributed.
Certificate of Exportability
- Purpose: This certificate is specifically related to pharmaceutical products and is issued by the FDA in the United States.
- Issued by: The FDA.
Both certificates serve as assurances to foreign authorities and buyers. However, a Certificate of Free Sale is a broader document applicable to various products, while a Certificate of Exportability is specific to pharmaceuticals and relates to FDA regulations in the context of pharmaceutical exports.
- Content: It indicates that the exported pharmaceutical product meets the requirements for export under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This certificate is often required for medications not approved for marketing in the United States but permissible for export.