During your stay in Port of Pago Pago, the Department of Port Administration kindly requests your immediate attention to the abridged version of the General Rules and Regulations of the Port under ASCA Title 20.


20.1102 | Observance and Promulgation of Regulations.

(a) The regulations container in this charter shall be observed by master, owners and agents of vessels within harbor limits.

(b) The Port Director shall have the power to promulgate such additional rules and regulations as may be required for the proper administration of the areas and matters under his or her jurisdiction. Masters of all vessels entering the Port of Pago Pago shall abide by these rules and regulations, and any special instructions or order received from the port director, the assistant Port Director, the customs officers and the pilot.


20.1103 | Berthing

The berthing of vessels at wharves shall be at the discretion of the Port Director.


20.1104 | Permission for Harbor Movement

Vessels desiring to anchor, moor, shift berth, or move about the harbor will first obtain permission from the port director or his authorized representative who shall charge for such a request fee of USD$25.00.


20.1105 | Cables to ready to veer

Vessels anchored or moored in the harbor shall have their cables ready to veer at all times.


20.1106 | Duty to Aid Port Director

The master of every vessel and crew thereof, when requested by the port director, shall give and afford all possible aid in the performance of his duties in relation to such vessel.


20.1112 | Inability or Refusal to Comply with Regulations.

If by reason there being no person aboard a vessel with proper authority, or if by reason of an insufficient number of persons being aboard such vessel, noncompliance with this chapter occurs, or if the master or crew refuses to aid the Port Director in moving, pumping, mooring or unmooring of such vessel, the port director is empowered to pump, moor, unmoor, place or remove such vessel. To this end, the port director may, if necessary, hire such assistance, equipment and tackle or purchase and put aboard such quantity of ballast as seems to him requisite, all at the expense of the master, owners, or agents of the vessel. All such costs shall be paid to the government of American Samoa before departure is given. Neither the government nor the Port Director may be held liable for any damage or loss occurring to any vessel in consequence of such proceedings.


20.1115 | Violation-Penalty

(a) A person, vessel owner, or master of a vessel who violates 20.1714 is guilty of a class D felony. A person, vessel owner, or master of a vessel who violates any other provisions of this title, or any of the rules promulgated pursuant to this title, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(b) The Port Director may summarily fine a person who, or the master of a vessel who, violates 20.1714 any sum not to exceed USD$1,000.00, or violates any other rule or regulation in, or promulgated pursuant to, this title any sum not to exceed USD$1,000.00 as an alternative to charging a person or persons under subsection (a).


20.1714 | Discharge of waste products from ships prohibited.

The discharge of oil sludge, oil refuse, fuel oil, or any product which may cause contamination of the water of the harbor, either directly or indirectly, or the pumping of bilges into water of any harbor, is strictly prohibited.


20.0320(d) | Safety equipment required.

The Refuse Act of 1899 prohibits the throwing, discharging or deposing of any refuse matter or any refuse matter of any kind (including trash, garbage, oil and other liquid pollutants into the waters of the United States and its territories to a distance of three miles from the coastline. The Federal Water Pollution Contract Act prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances in quantities which may be harmful into U.S. and its territorial navigable waters, the Contiguous Zone, and water within 200 miles in some cases. You must immediately notify the commissioner of public safety if your vessel or facility discharges oil or hazardous substances into the water. Federal regulation issued under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act requires that:

  1. No person may operate a vessel of less than 100 gross tons unless it has a fixed or portable means to discharge oil bilges slop to a reception facility. A bucket or bailer is considered a portable means.
  2. Vessels 26 feet in length and over must have posted a placard at least 5 by 8 inches, made of durable material, fixed in a conspicuous place in the machinery spaces, or at the bilge pump control station, stating the following: “The discharge of oil is prohibited – the federal water pollution control act, prohibits the discharge of oil or oily water into or upon the navigable waters of the united states or waters of the contiguous zone, if such discharge causes a film or sheen upon, or discoloration of the surface of the water, or causes a sludge or emulsion beneath the surface of the water. Violators are subject to a penalty of USD$5,000.00.

(e) Marine sanitation device (MSD).

All recreational boats with installed toilet facilities must have an installed operable marine sanitation device (MSD). Boats under 65 feet in length may use a Type I, II or III MSD. All installed MSD’s must be Coast Guard certifies devices and are so labeled except for holding tanks, which are already certified by definition under the regulation, if they store only sewage and flushwater at ambient air pressure and temperature.


20.0313 | Violation-Penalty

(a) Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter, or of the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to this chapter, shall be fined not more than USD$1,000.00 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; provided that in addition to, or as a condition to the suspension of the fines and penalties, the court may deprive the offender of the privilege of operating any vessel, in the waters of the Territory for a period not more than two years.


20.0344 | Requiring vessels in territorial waters to communicate in English.

(a) All vessels entering the territorial waters of American Samoa shall provide a person able to communicate in the native language of the Master/Captain of the vessel and in English. The bi-lingual person must be available for translation duties as follows:

(1) On the bridge of the vessel while the ship is underway in the territorial waters of American Samoa; or

(2) In the office of the Harbor Master or where designated by the Harbor Master while the ship is underway in the territorial waters of American Samoa; and

(3) For any transaction involving this Chapter.

(b) The owners of vessel entering the territorial waters of American Samoa are responsible for insuring the presence of a bi-lingual person for the purpose of marine safety communication.


20.1116 | Violation-Emergency order.

The Port Director may summarily order a person who, or the master of the vessel who, violates 20.1714 to immediately discontinue and to remove or clean up, at the violator’s expense, the discharge. A person aggrieved by an order under this section by the Port Director may appeal the matter to the High Court of American Samoa where the matter will be tried de novo.


20.1708 | Decaying matter and dead animals prohibited.

No vegetable or animal matter or goods which are in a state of decay or putrefaction may be placed and left upon any wharf, in the waters, or on the shores of the harbor or upon any reef adjacent to the harbor. No dead animal may be moved through the waters of the harbor.


20.1710 | Rubbish prohibited.

No person may place and leave any rubbish, ashes or refuse on any wharf without permission of the port director.


20.1713 | Rubbish in harbors and streams forbidden.

The placing, discharging, or deposition by any process or in any manner, of refuse, garbage, hatch and deck rubbish, dirt, ashes, cinders, mud, sand, dredging, sludge, acid or any other matter of any kind other than that flowing from streets and sewer overflow and passing there from in a liquid state into any harbor or any stream flowing into any harbor, is forbidden unless permission is granted in writing by the Port Director.


20.1715 | Cleanliness of docks alongside vessels.

(a) Masters of vessels moored alongside a dock are responsible for the cleanliness and appearance of the dock abreast their vessels.

(b) If any vessel fails or refuses to keep the dock clean, the Port Director may order the dock cleaned and the cost thereof shall be charged to the vessel and paid prior to the vessel’s leaving the harbor.


20.1716 | Anti-rodent measures.

Any vessel lying alongside any wharf  shall at all times comply with instructions of the director of medical services and of the port director relating to the use of rat guards, and other measures required to prevent rodents from leaving the vessel, to the extent that such a regulation applies to the vessel. Failure to comply with such instructions will be considered a violation of this title.


20.1801 | Liability for persons responding to discharges of oil.

a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person (including but not limited to an oil spill response organization) is not liable under the laws of American Samoa or the common law to any person for removal costs, or damages and other claims and expenses which result from actions taken or omitted to be taken in the course of rendering care, assistance or advice consistent with the National Contingency Plan or as otherwise directed by the Federal on-scene coordinator or by the Territorial official with responsibility for the oil spill response.

(b) Subsection (a) of 20.1805 does not apply:

(1) to a responsible party;

(2) with respect to personal injury or wrongful death; or

(3) if the person is grossly negligent or engages in willful misconduct in connection with the cleanup of a discharge of oil.

(c) A responsible party is liable for any removal costs and damages that another person (or oil spill response organization) is relieved of under Subsection (a) of section 20.1805.

(d) Nothing in this section affects the liability of a responsible party for oil spill response under the laws of American Samoa.