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American Samoa govt. considers entry fees increase

The government in American Samoa is looking at increasing its 30-day entry permit fee for foreigners - including people from independent Samoa - to $125 tala.

The fee stands at $100 tala. 

The proposal was highlighted in a public notice issued by the American Samoa Attorney General’s Office, which further stated that they are seeking comments on the proposed amendments through the American Samoa Administrative Code.  

The new fee structure will go into effect 1 August, 2019 according to the notice.

The public notice stated that group entry permits for groups of people between 10 and 20 will now cost $500 tala, $750 tala for groups of 21 to 50, and $1,000 for 51 to 100 people. 

“A multiple entry permit for one year is available for business travelers at the cost of $1,250. This permit allows the qualified traveler to enter multiple times during the one year period to conduct business in American Samoa, without having to purchase an entry permit for each entry. 

“For each entry the traveler is allowed to remain in American Samoa for a maximum period of 30 days.” 

“The 14-day pass made available to citizens of the Independent state of Samoa to enter American Samoa to participate in cultural exchanges, religious activities, family, sports and other traditional activities at the cost of $25 tala per person, per trip. Each must meet entry requirements and must present a round trip ticket,” stated the public notice.

During his trip to Samoa to participate in the Independence Day celebration early this month, Acting Governor of American Samoa Lemanu Peleti Mauga, said permit fees have been a part of the two Samoa talks for a long time. 

Lemanu told the Samoa Observer at that time the two countries have strong ties that go back to the beginning of time. 

“We are a one nation under God,” said Lemanu. It was put to Lemanu that while American Samoa sings about the strong ties; yet there are entry permits in place. 

“The truth is, that is the whole purpose of the Two Samoa talks held biennial. This is not limited to entry permits, there are other issues. 

"However I must say the only other issue that limits our vested authority is that we have the United States government to answer to. Unlike Samoa they are an independent state," he added.

Lemanu said it is difficult for the American Samoa Government as they have limited “authority”, due to the fact that they are a U.S. territory.

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