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Pregnant women not allowed to leave vessel

Pacnews
Thursday, December 07, 2017

PAGO PAGO - The issue of pregnant women not allowed to disembark in American Samoa by boat featured in discussions between the two Samoas in Apia last week.

Talanei News said these pregnant women apparently in the final trimester of pregnancy violate a policy put in more than 20 years ago whereby all non US citizens and non US national females who are seven months pregnant are barred from entering the territory.

The policy was intended to prevent foreigners entering American Samoa to give birth just so that their babies can obtain US national status, but who had no ties to the territory or were paying any taxes.

Minutes of the discussions obtained by KHJ News say Samoa raised the concern relating to pregnant women from Samoa not being able to disembark the vessel upon arrival but simply asked to return even with the issuance of a valid entry permit.

American Samoa noted that this may be related to an immigration issue to prevent foreign women from exploiting medical care in American Samoa.

Both sides agreed that this situation is in breach of human rights and American Samoa agreed to look into alleviating this.

Samoa conveyed its concerns on ad hoc fees, inspections and inconsistent applications of policies for cargo and shipments into the territory.

The minutes of the discussions said Samoa advised that the concern is not the fees but that insufficient time be given to advice of fees to be expected,

American Samoa noted the concerns and assured Samoa that such fees have been lifted. The only fees currently charged are excise fees.

American Samoa also confirmed scanning fees for personal cargo have been removed. Those for commercial cargo remains. American Samoa reaffirmed that excise taxes only apply to goods imported for commercial purposes and that cargo deemed to be for personal use is only charged a $US5 ($F10) standard fee.








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