Department of Health Export Certificates
Department of Health shellfish export certificates can be requested online. The cost for each export certificate is $55, which is billed monthly. You must have a current Washington Shellstock Shipper or Shucker-Packer license to export shellfish. Export certificate requests are processed during business hours, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and must be received by 4:00 p.m. in order to be processed the same day. Applications submitted after 4:00 p.m. will be considered received at 8:00 a.m. the next business day. During business hours, certificates will be returned to applicants within 4 hours of submission. Our office is closed on state holidays and will not issue export certificates until the following business day.
Learn more about Department of Health export certificates.
NOAA Export Certificates
Shellfish companies exporting product using NOAA certificates and already enlisted in the NOAA Inspection Program have the option to request NOAA export certificates from the Department of Health. Export certificate requests must be received by 4:00 p.m. in order to be processed the same day. Requests received after 4:00 p.m. will be processed the next business day. Certificates are only issued on regular business days, Monday through Friday, and must be picked up by 5:00 p.m.at our Town Center 1 office at 101 Israel Rd. S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501.
Contact us (or 360-236-3330) with any questions.
What is a shellfish export certificate?
A shellfish export certificate is a document that accompanies shipments of shellfish (clams, mussels, oysters, geoduck) to countries outside of the U.S. The certificate lists information about the company shipping the shellfish, the type of shellfish in the shipment, the date and location where the shellfish were harvested, and the company that harvested the shellfish.
Why do I need an export certificate?
Export certificates satisfy the receiving country's requirement that shellfish shipped into their country are harvested by a legally licensed company from approved shellfish harvest areas. They provide assurance that the shellfish were harvested and handled in a sanitary manner. Shipments sent without export certificates may be refused by the receiving country.
Who issues export certificates?
The Department of Health's Shellfish Program issues export certificates to commercial shellfish companies licensed in Washington State.
Does the Department of Health issue export certificates for all overseas shipments?
No. We don't issue export certificates to European countries at this time. We only issue export certificates for countries that have formally communicated their export requirements to us. See shellfish areas cleared for geoduck export to China.
Who can get an export certificate?
You must have a current Department of Health shellstock shipper or shucker packer license to be issued an export certificate.
How do I get an export certificate?
Export certificate requests must be made through our Secure Access Washington online application system. Fax, mail, or other hard-copy requests are not accepted. The online application system is a secure site which requires a login and password. Follow these instructions for setting up an account and getting into the shellfish export application system (PDF).
Once you have setup your account and it is confirmed by our staff, you can log-in and access the Secure Access Washington shellfish export application system.
Your Application and Certificate
If the application is complete and accurate, we will issue an export certificate and email or mail it to you based on the email you registered with Secure Access Washington and DOH shellfish staff.
Can I apply for more than one export certificate at a time?
Yes. However, only 6 lines of product are allowed on each certificate.
I have an export certificate I'm ready to use, but one of the growing areas listed on it suddenly closed. Can I still use the certificate?
No. If this happens, you can't cross that growing area off the certificate. You must request and receive a new certificate with the closed growing area removed from it. If the certificate with the closed growing area(s) has been approved (prior to growing area closure), you will be billed for the certificate but must mark “Void - did not ship” and keep it on file in your company's records for three years. You must request a new certificate without the closed growing area(s) and will be billed.
What if I need to edit, change, or cancel a certificate after I have submitted it?
Call us at 360-236-3330 and ask for shellfish export certification staff, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to communicate your request. If the incorrect or unwanted certificate has already been approved, you will be billed for the certificate but must mark “Void - did not ship” and keep it on file in your company's records for three years. If needed, you must then request a new certificate and will be billed. If the certificate has not yet been approved, staff may re-direct the certificate to you by changing the certificate status to “Needs Additional Information,” or the staff may make the change(s) or cancel the certificate with your permission. You will not be billed for canceled certificates.
How much do export certificates cost, and when do I pay for them?
Each export certificate costs $55. We will send you a detailed invoice at the end of the month that shows the total amount you owe. You must pay that amount within 30 days. If your account becomes 60 days past due, we will not issue any more certificates to your company and you will lose system access until you bring your account current.