15 Nov 2006

Samoa government discussing possible increase in permit charges

9:40 am on 15 November 2006

A decision on whether the Samoa Government will increase the cost of entry permits for American Samoans is expected shortly.

A government official in Samoa says a recommendation from Prime

Minister Tuilaepa Sailele will be put before Cabinet at a meeting this month.

In a press statement, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said any increase in entry permits should be negotiated between the leaders of the two Samoas.

Tuilaepa recently wrote to Togiola and voiced his disappointment that Attorney General Sialega Malaetasi Togafau had charged a Circus of Samoa group $40 each for entry permits.

The PM also questioned the handling of a univerity rugby team from Samoa that was refused entry last month because they didn;t have entry permits to enter American Samoa.

The American Samoa Attorney General's Office has said that entry permits have not been increased.

In the case of the circus group, AG Sialega decided to charge them the 30 day permits of $40 because they usually end up staying in the territory longer than 7 days.

There is aslo a $10 permit which is issued to business travelers and those visiting Pago Pago for emergencies such as funerals.