Price gouging and unfair pricing practices before, during and shortly after a state of emergency has been declared prohibited in American Samoa.
Governor Togiola Tulafono signed into law last Friday legislation prohibiting price gouging in the territory.
He says price gouging during declared states of emergency is a serious problem in American Samoa.
A government task force appointed following the February 2005 Cyclone Olaf as well as Cylone Heta in January 2004 found that some merchants had taken unfair advantage of consumers by raising prices for essential consumer goods and services during the state of emergencies.
Togiola says the government is urging public support by reporting such incidents when they occur.