Jump to Content

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Washington state agencies engage in international work?
2. Whom shall I contact if I'm interested in importing goods to Washington State?
3. Whom shall I contact if I'm interested in exporting goods from Washington State?
4. What do I need to know before traveling abroad?
5. If I am not eligible for a social security number, what do I use in place of it?
6. Whom shall I contact about obtaining a new passport, passport renewal, or a lost or stolen passport?
7. What other international resources are available to me in Washington?

1. Which Washington state agencies engage in international work?

International Trade and Economic Development provides business recruitment and export promotion assistance, foreign trade information and promotions, statistics on Washington exports and other economic data.

Washington State Department of Agriculture helps bridge the gap between international buyers and Washington suppliers of agricultural commodities, and other products.

2. Whom shall I contact if I'm interested in importing goods to Washington State?

The U.S. Customs Service does not require an importer to have a license or permit. Other agencies may, however, require a permit, license, or other certification, depending on the commodity. All items or merchandise coming into the U.S. must clear through customs and is subject to a customs duty unless specifically exempt by law. Clearance involves a number of steps, including entry, inspection, valuation, appraisement, and liquidation. You should contact the organizations listed below, as appropriate.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration - Contains foreign language documents and an Information Guide for the International Community where foreign government officials, embassy officials, and importers can obtain information about FDA's international functions.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

International Trade and Economic Development offers recruitment and export promotion assistance, foreign trade information and promotions, statistics on Washington exports and other economic data.

3. Whom shall I contact if I'm interested in exporting goods from Washington State?

Export/Import Guide from International Trade and Economic Development
The NAFTA Center (North American Free Trade Agreement)
U.S. Dept of Commerce, International Trade Administration
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
USA Trade.Gov - International Trade Administration site is a one-stop shop for export assistance matters.
Washington Council on International Trade
Washington Public Ports Association
International Trade and Economic Development

4. What do I need to know before traveling abroad?

There is a great deal of information available on the internet relevant to foreign travel. The internet sites listed below are only some of those that may be help to you.

Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheet
CIA World Factbook
Background Information on Countries of the World - Background Notes provide information on geographic entities and international organizations and are updated periodically by the U.S. State Department.
Department of State Country Offices Link
Links to U.S. Embassies and Consulates Worldwide
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Information
Private Companies Which Offer Medical Assistance to Travelers:
     MEDEX Assistance
     International SOS

5. If I am not eligible for a social security number, what do I use in place of it?

For information on what to use in place of a social security number, you should contact the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

6. Whom shall I contact about obtaining a new passport, passport renewal, or a lost or stolen passport?

U.S. Citizens should contact the U.S. Department of State: Passport Services and Information

Non-U.S. Citizens should contact the Embassy of their country of nationality in Washington, DC: Embassies of Washington D.C.

7. Which international resources are available to me in Washington State?

There are numerous international resources available in Washington State. The list below will give you a start on some of them.

Consular Corps Directory for the State of Washington
Export/Import Guide from International Trade and Economic Development
Foundation for Russian-American Cooperation
Seattle-Tacoma World Affairs Council
Sister City/Sister State Relationship with the State of Washington
U.S. China Relations Council of Seattle
U.S. West Coast - Russian Far East AD Hoc Working Group
Washington Council on International Trade
Washington State Department of Agriculture
Washington State Governmental Agency Index
International Trade and Economic Development
World Trade Center of Tacoma