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By No owner — last modified Nov 17, 2014 12:20 PM

 American Samoa - Formalities

Clearance

Pago Pago is the only Port of Entry in American Samoa and all yachts must clear in there before visiting elsewhere.

Notify the Harbour Master by using VHF Channel 16 prior to port arrival for port authorization. The Harbour is open 24-hours.

Ensure you have all the mandatory documents before entering port which include Clearance from previous port, Passport of everyone on board and Vessel Manifest.

Government Officials that may inspect your vessel upon arrival include ASG-Customs, ASG-Port and ASG-Immigration.

On arrival in order to check-in, yachts can either anchor, or if arriving during normal hours (08:00-17:00 Monday to Friday) tie up at the tug dock at the container terminal. It is quite rough here however for a yacht. If anchoring, it can be difficult to get the anchor to hold.

If you arrive in the evening or at a weekend, yachts may anchor in the anchorage and fly the Q flag. You are then expected to dinghy to shore and visit the authorities during normal business hours.

The dinghy dock at the marina is open 06:00-18:00.

Clearing out can be done the same way, from anchor and dinghying ashore.

Last updated February 2016.

Immigration

American Samoa is considered part of the United States, and US citizens can live and work there, but it has its own regulations regarding immigration.

All visitors (including US citizens) require a passport valid for 6 months.

Visitors who are permitted to enter, are granted a 30 day visa.

Citizens of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom do not require a visa and are granted a 30 day stay.

The 'official' position is that all other nationalities must apply for a visa in advance, but in practice, yacht crews with European passports will usually be granted a 30 day visa on arrival. (see comments below)

Most visas can be extended for an additional 30 days by applying to the Attorney General's Office.

Non-US women who are more than six months pregnant will be refused entry as will nationals of more than 25 countries who do not have the personal approval of the Attorney General of American Samoa.

An exit permit is needed from Immigration. It is possible that passports may be held until departure.

Last updated February 2016.

Attorney General Office
P.O. Box 27 , Apia , Samoa
Tel:+1 (685) 20295 / (685) 20296 Fax:+1 (685) 22118
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00 (Mon-Fri)
Located on Level 6 of the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi Building.
Contact this office regarding visas.

Customs

A customs entry clearance permit is required for firearms and the necessary permit must be applied for 60 prior to your arrival.

A Department of Agriculture entry clearance permit is needed for any animals, plants or vegetables.

All medicines must be clearly labelled and, preferably, in their original packaging.

Replacement boat parts and spare parts may be brought in duty free providing the boat for which they are intended is in transit. It is advisable to have them sent by PRIORITY EXPRESS MAIL in order for them to be sent by air. Priority Mail will be sent by sea and take very much longer to arrive.

Equipment shipped in as cargo will be subject to 6% Stamp Duty (based on the value of the parts).

Last updated February 2016.

Health

Immunizations are required only if a person has been in an infected yellow-fever or cholera area 14 days previous to arrival.

There is a heightened risk of Dengue in American Samoa.

Medical facilities are basic and serious cases will need to be evacuated to Hawaii.

Fees

US$50 for clearing in and US$50 for clearing out is payable by visiting yachts in addition to another US$25 in and US$25 out fee to the Port Captain.

There is a monthly harbour fee of approximately US$12.50 to US$15, depending on the size of the boat.

All these fees must be paid before departure as otherwise customs will not issue an outward clearance.

Last updated June 2009.

Restrictions

Rose Island, the easternmost island of the Samoan archipelago, is a National Wildlife Refuge administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu. Permission from this service is needed to visit the island.

Traditional Samoan society is still bound by very strict customs and social codes of behaviour. The government issues an official list of behaviour codes for both Samoas.

Skimpy shorts or other revealing clothes should be avoided except when swimming or climbing coconut palms, although disapproval of shorts, if they are not too short, is on the wane.

In the early evening hours, even if swimming offshore, be sure to avoid making any noise that could interrupt the Samoans’ prayer period. Usually three gongs are sounded. The first is the signal to return to the house, the second is for prayer and the third sounds the all-clear. In some villages, swimming and fishing are forbidden on Sunday.

Pets

All pets entering American Samoa have to be quarantined in Hawaii due to lack of facilities on the island. Further information can be obtained from Office of Tourism, Depaartment of Commerce, PO Box 1147, Pago Pago, American Samoa, AS 96799 Tel (684) 633 1093 - Cell (684) 733 5138

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Impi
Impi says:
Nov 15, 2014 11:04 AM

Just as an 'add on' to the above comment ... we had an issue where we had to leave without receiving delivery of a plotter being sent to us by PRIORITY mail. The long and short of it was that it SHOULD have been sent PRIORITY EXPRESS MAIL whereas our package was sent PRIORITY Mail. Sometimes one will get 'lucky' with priority mail if the ship being loaded in Richmond CA is full. If it is not full, the tracking number will show a delivery date within 2 weeks, but the package will not necessarily arrive in 2 weeks .. it will wait until the ship is fully loaded. PRIORITY EXPRESS goes by air. Well , this is how they explained it to us anyway ... so take care and make 100% sure before your mail is shipped. They refused 1 day later to withdraw the package from their system and we ended up buying a 2nd plotter which arrived in 7 days ... by air ... and marked ... PRIORITY EXPRESS MAIL ... cheers for now .. SV IMPI

dmoore
dmoore says:
Oct 05, 2014 07:45 AM

Contrary to the above about crime in Pago Pago, it is almost non-existent. The crimes that happen are locals only. There was an incident a few years back against a "yachtie", but is was quickly resolved (the attackers were high and drunk) they received 29 years in jail.
About getting marine supplies, use priority mail and most things arrive with 2 weeks. Defender and West Marine (for example) will ship directly to you. Use the address as follows:
(your name or yacht name)
C/O General Delivery
Pago Pago, AS 96799







The Post Office will hold mail for about a month if you miss your arrival date. Other items (heavier or larger) items can be shipped in, but allow about 2 to 3 months.
We have spent 4 years (by our choice) here and find the people to be very nice and helpful.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 14, 2014 11:06 AM

Thanks Bart for reporting your experience with immigration in American Samoa. The rules on our website are from the official AS immigration website. As we know, yacht crews are often treated differently to other visitors, but this is hardly ever stated on official sources.

bartbart
bartbart says:
Jul 10, 2014 12:08 AM

Contrary to what is written on the official Samoan website, it is not required to obtain a visa in advance for most European passports if you arrive by yacht. Just rock up, and you will be granted a 30 day permit.

However, you will need a visa if you arrive by plane.

I got in by yacht on a Belgian passport with no trouble at all.

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