The US Coast Guard says the American Samoa Government's new boat, MV Fo'isia, is certified under recreational purposes to carry just six passengers and no cargo, while it awaits a full certification process.
The Governor, Togiola Tulafono, says he hopes it will eventually be allowed to carry more people.
Since the vessel's launch last month, there have been complaints as to why such a boat was purchased when it could not do much for Manu'a.
The government is believed to have spent about 300,000 US dollars on the craft, which the governor's transportation consultant, George Wray, told the Samoa News would be used to ferry groups of people such as distinguished guests, but not for regularly scheduled runs.
But some Manu'a residents told the paper they understood the vessel was to be used for regular transport between the Manu'a islands.