Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association - Certificates

By: Cctfa  09-12-2011

As a service to the cosmetic industry, CCTFA offers a certificate program to facilitate international trade. This certificate program, which includes Certificates of Free Sale and Good Manufacturing Practices Certificates, is offered to both member and non-member companies of the CCTFA. For over 80 years, CCTFA has been the leading Canadian association for the personal care products industry. CCTFA has been issuing certificates for over 10 years, destined to approximately 65 countries annually.

Certificates of Free Sale are  Affidavits signed by a qualified CCTFA specialist attesting that, to the best of the specialist’s knowledge, the personal care products in question are identical to those  sold throughout Canada. A CFS is often requested by a foreign government to ensure that Canadian imports are in compliance with applicable Canadian Provincial and Federal law.

Good Manufacturing Practices are guidelines for manufacturers to follow regarding production. These are designed to control and streamline the influence of outside factors on the quality of production.  GMP Certificates are affidavits attesting that the manufacturing of the products in question are adhering to these guidelines.  For additional information regarding personal care product GMPs, please reference ISO 22716:2007, Food and Drug Regulations, Part C, Division 2 “Good Manufacturing Practices” and Natural Health Product Regulations, Part C “Good Manufacturing Practices”.

Cosmetics, as defined in the Canadian Food and Drugs Act as “any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth, and includes deodorants and perfumes,” are eligible for both CFS and GMP certificates.

Cosmetic-Like Drugs & Cosmetic-Like Natural Health Products, are eligible if they fall within any one of the following nine categories: acne therapy, anti-dandruff products, fluoride-containing anti-caries products, medicated skin products, diaper rash products, antiseptic skin cleansers, sunburn protectants, skin whiteners and tooth whiteners.
*Products outside of these categories may not qualify for a CCTFA-issued CFS.  Please contact CCTFA for further information or clarification.

In order to obtain a CCTFA certificate, applicants must first submit an affidavit based on the Certificate Guidance Documents and the sample affidavits included in the document. After the CCTFA receives the required documentation, the CCTFA drafts a new affidavit based on the original affidavit submitted by the applicant, which includes an identification of the affiant, the company name and address, location of manufacturer and a statement swearing that, to the best of the affiant’s knowledge, the products listed in the document are freely sold or eligible for sale throughout Canada. For GMP documents, the affidavit must also include a statement declaring adherence to a specific set of GMPs. The CCTFA is responsible for ensuring that the final certificate is notarized by a qualified Notary Publicand then authenticated by the Board of Trade or Chamber of Commerce. Note: Following a certificate’s issuance, it is the responsibility of the applicant to seek further Consulate attention if so required. The process can take 2-4 weeks, depending on the service requested and the complexity of the certificate. CCTFA membership is not necessary, but as a member you will have less requirements, receive faster service and benefit from a reduction in the cost.

Only one original certificate will be produced and cannot be photocopied or duplicated for any purpose. As each certificate will bear an original number, requests for multiple originals must be stated in the cover letter and accompanied by the full certificate fee for each additional copy.

Because CFSs are generally prepared in the Country of Origin, the CCTFA generally prepares CFSs only for products that are manufactured in Canada. In certain situations, however, the CCTFA may prepare CFSs for products that are manufactured in the United States or abroad and distributed in Canada.  It is also within the CCTFA’s discretion to determine whether an Affidavit must reference the point of manufacture.  The CCTFA does not produce GMP certificates for products manufactured outside of Canada.

  • The production of a CCTFA certificate commences when all of the requirements in this document are met.
  • The CCTFA reserves the right to request additional information from the applicant. Such requests may include the following: label copy, product ingredient list, product samples, name and coordinates of the Brandowner.
  • The CCTFA may not prepare a certificate for any product known to CCTFA as subject to active regulatory action, scrutiny by Health Canada or scrutiny by the U.S. FDA. While the CCTFA relies on the Company Affidavit for assurance and protection, if there are issues regarding a particular product the CCTFA will verify that there are no outstanding citations.  The CCTFA also reserves the right not to issue either a CFS or GMP Certificate if the standards of this program are not strictly adhered to.
  • It is the responsibility of the company to ensure that all statements included in the cover page, affidavit, and attachments are accurate, true and verifiable at the time of submission. 
  • Certificate applicants are subject to the provisions of the Criminal Code, which makes it a criminal offence to knowingly and wilfully make or submit false or fraudulent statements.

The appropriate fee must accompany the request for a Certificate.  Payment is preferred in Canadian funds, via company cheque or credit card. Preparation of the CFS will commence only when all required material is received.  There are no refunds. he fees listed below include certification costs and charges paid towards processing the certificate, such as notarization, authentication, transportation, photocopying and other related administrative costs.

One original Certificate will be issued per country, per request. A separate fee applies for each certificate issued per country requested.  However, multiple requests can be made on the same Cover Letter and Affidavit, provided the requests are identical.

For ALL non-members of the CCTFA, an extra processing and verification fee will apply. (Please see the non-member price listed below.) Attachment E contains a list of required information.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to determine if they are a CCTFA member or non-member. If unsure, please check the CCTFA’s website at or contact the CCTFA directly.


CCTFA Member*


Regular service (four week turnaround)



Rush service (eight to ten business days)



Please add tax to all payments. Taxes are based on CDN billing addresses only.
Please add HST for BC 12%, NL NB ON 13%, NS 15%
QC and all other provinces/territories, add GST 5%
GST R106844814

*Member Rate is available to members in good standing for applications where:
I) the applicant is the owner/licensee of the brand in Canada for which the application is being made; or
II) The applicant is a custom manufacturer or agent and the brandowner is also a CCTFA member in good standing.
**Rush service may not be available for non-members. Certain restrictions may apply. CCTFA reserves the right to issue a CFS at its sole discretion.

Please be advised, the imposition of economic sanctions against foreign States and non-State actors remains an important instrument for the international community in the enforcement of international norms and laws. Sanctions can encompass a wide variety of measures, including limitations on official and diplomatic contacts or travel, the imposition of legal measures to restrict or prohibit trade or other economic activity between Canada and the target state, or the seizure or freezing of property situated in Canada. In order to maximize the effectiveness of a sanctions regime, particularly one involving trade and economic measures, Canadian policy seeks to ensure that sanctions measures are applied multilaterally whenever possible.

As of May 2011, Canada has partial or full sanctions agains the following:

Al Qaida and the Taliban Democratic People of Congo Liberia Sudan
Burma / Myanmar Eritrea Libya Suppression of Terrorism
Belarus Iran Rwanda Syria
Cote d'Ivoire Iraq Sierre Leone Tunisia and Egypt
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Lebanon Somalia Zimbabwe
The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

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