Samoa's newly passed amendments of the 1965 Alienation of Customary Lands Act has cleared uncertainties raised by local and overseas based Samoans.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment responsible for the registration of lands says the changes to the Principal Act aimed to improve organisation, safeguard the due diligence process and provide clarification on address changes over time.
It took Parliament one year to consider the amendments which had raised concerns by several MPs when they were tabled in December 2017.
The Ministry said the amendments aim to stop the alienation of customary lands.
Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi told Parliament the changes have separated the registration and licensing of customary lands for lease from the legislation passed in 2008, which, he said, had been the subject of many unfounded allegations towards the government.
The Lands Titles Registration Act 2008 is at the centre of a legal action now before the court.
But the Ministry said that following these amendments to the 1965 Alienation of Customary Lands Act all registration and licensing of customary lands have been removed from the Lands Titles Registration Act 2008.
It said "this means that leases, licences and interests are now registered under the Principal Act. This clarifies that for all matters pertaining to customary lands (leases, licences, and interest therein) are now under the mandate of the Principal Act as authorised by the Constitution".