Risk & Compliance

  • Goods that do not qualify for allowances would be subject to Customs duty. The Customs duty rates are prescribed under the Customs Tariff Act 1975. Normally, duty is charged through ad valorem and specific rates.
  • All goods subject to Customs duty are also subject to payment of Value Added on Goods and ServicesTax (VAGST) and certain goods are also applicable to Import Excise Duty.
  • (Starting Importing with Entry Processing)

    • All imported items must be cleared through Customs.
    • Commercial items are anything you’re going to sell or use for your business or personal items.
    • Before you import anything, check it before whether it is Prohibited or Restricted Import into Samoa, and/or
    • It requires approval or permit
  • A Bill of Lading or Air Way Bill is a document that the carrier of goods issues to the “Shipper” or Carrier of the goods. It’s a document to provide evidence or proof of shipment. This is extremely important in International Trade as it provides ‘title’ as to who legally owns the cargo and the amount of charges (freight paid). These documents are used to support the Customs declaration in terms of cargo clearance.
  • Once the goods are available, the supplier issues a commercial invoice to the importer in order to charge him for the goods. The commercial invoice contains the basic information on the transaction and it is always required for customs clearance. This Invoice would enable Customs officers to calculate the correct amount of Duty to be paid for your items/goods.
  • Commercial items – You must submit an import entry with required documents: Commercial Invoice or receipts of purchases, Bill of Lading, packing list with your business license if your importation is for a new business, etc.
  • Motor Vehicle – For Importation of motor vehicle(s): – Submit an Invoice or receipt of purchases, Export Certificate plus Telegraphic Transfer if any. For USED imported Vehicle(s) given by the exporter/relatives as a GIFT: Submit Ownership documents, LTA Registration Certificate to confirm validation of usage of the vehicle at the Exporting country. Motorcycle(s): – Submit an Invoice or receipt of purchases, Export Certificate plus Telegraphic Transfer if any.
    • Personel Effects – For an FCL of Personal effects, all containers must examine at Customs yard. In addition, other console packages of personal effects must through to the Customs brokers and freight forwarders Customs Control Area (CCA) for examination and paying duty taxes. Submit Shipping documents, invoices or use physical valuation when required, etc..


Note: All Imported Vehicles/motorcycles are 100% physically examine while required documents are with Customs to await the final process of clearance of goods

 If you haven’t arranged pre-clearance:

  • The duty officer at the airport or wharf will issue you a detain receipt to hold goods while awaiting the PR4 declaration to release the items as part of the PR4 process.
  • We also monitor export goods, we’re also charged with encouraging Samoa international trade: 
      • Export under preferential trade agreements using EX 1 with a Certificate of Origin and
      • Export schemes which Samoa has negotiated internationally over the years, and which are designed to promote the export of our goods using EX 1 entry with an E Form from Central Bank of Samoa for business items and an EX 1 entry to a near island with a permit or confirmation of other export under family matters.
      • We also link to Statistics of Samoa so that they can produce statistics on:
          • Overseas trade
          • Gross Domestic Product
          • The revenue we collected from export entries.
  • If you submit an entry, there are charges it can add on top of your duty taxes if modification is done before assessment after payment at max:
  • $500 WST
  • Correction on wrong classification, wrong valuation, no scan and attached documents during an entry processing
  • $42 WST
  • If duty is payable, it is calculated as a percentage of the value of the items. If the purchase was in a foreign currency then the Customs rates of exchange are used. The tax base for duty calculation is known as the CIF (Cost Insurance Freight)
  • GST is calculated at 15% on the total CIF value of goods, plus duty (if applicable), plus Excise (if applicable).
  • To clear Imported goods under the Customs Pre-release and Pre-arrival clearance procedures. The importer is required to:

      • Request letter stating the reasons for pre-release/pre-arrival clearance of goods.
      • Pre Release/Pre-arrival clearance prescribed form
      • Bill Of Lading/Airway Bill(except hand-carried items)
      • Commercial Invoices.
      • Registered PR4 entry.
    • You need to submit the application through the Comptroller to grant approval to obtain a Business Licence and a Customs Broker license.
    • Request for ASYCUDA World System training
    • Require to take the exam with a pass mark of equal or greater than 80%
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