Govt. reconsiders American Samoa’s export conditions

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Minister of Agriculture Lopao’o Natanielu Mua.

Minister of Agriculture Lopao’o Natanielu Mua. (Photo: File)

While Government appreciates the American Samoa Government’s decision to lift its ban on taro export, there remains reservations with the conditions for taro to re-enter the territory.

This was revealed by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Lopao’o Natanielu Mua.

While the government welcomes the territory’s decision to lift the taro export ban, which they unilaterally imposed without officially notifying government, he said the conditions demanded by American Samoa for taro exports to re-enter the territory is “unnecessary.”

Among the conditions are for local exporters to provide their contact details which include mailing address, email and telephone numbers.

This is on top of a 15 day requirement for local exporters to obtain a permit from the territory before shipping.

“We welcome the territorial government’s decision made by their own accord to lift the export ban,” said Lopao’o.

“But I have deep reservations with their conditions.  And as I said before, the conditions are unnecessary.”

The Minister noted that the further negotiations are expected with American Samoa officials.

And there is also a meeting with the local taro exporters to discuss the American Samoa offer and conditions.

But ultimately before taro exports will resume to American Samoa, there is a bit of ironing out between the two Samoas coupled with concerns raised by local exporters that some of the conditions are uncalled for and could result in disruptions and delays.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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