Cigarettes and alcoholic beverages imported from Samoa will face a separate and higher import tax if a measure pending in the American Samoa Senate becomes law.
Currently the tax on beer, malt extract and other alcoholic beverage from Samoa is 190 percent of the total invoice, but the Senate bill hikes this tax up to 500 percent.
For tobacco products, the current tax is 12.5 cents per cigarette, per cigar or per 10 grams of smoking product, but the bill will increase this the tax per 20 grams of smoking product from Samoa to 62.5 cents.
For all other products imported into the territory that are for commercial use or for resale, which are subject to the current 5 percent excise tax, the bill says these products from Samoa will be levied by a new 20 percent tax.
One of the bill's sponsor, Sen. Fai'ivae A. Galeai says the main goal behind the measure is to help raise additional revenue to assist the local government in areas of health care and education.