In many of the Pacific Islands, the only way for the population to have access to new vehicles is for them to be imported. Oftentimes, people who live in some of these islands have a need to have a car shipped to them.
Relatives also tend to ship cars there as well, such as from Australia, New Zealand, or the United States. One such island is American Samoa.
As a U.S. unincorporated territory, you may think it'd be really easy to ship a vehicle there, but not quite. It's a small island and is inhabited but just over 55,000 people, but the logistical issues of the island means that shipping a car to American Samoa requires you to be aware of a few different things.
It'll Be Expensive.
Even though American Samoa is a U.S. unincorporated territory, not many companies actually offer shipping services there. Because of this, you'll need to be prepared to pay much more than you would in comparison to say, Hawaii.
In addition to the increase in shipping cost, you will have to pay a 4% use tax, as all imported goods in American Samoa are subject to that. The good news is that American Samoa does use U.S. currency, so you will have not to deal with another foreign currency, including have to pay foreign exchange fees.
The Vehicle Must Comply With U.S. Regulations.
Because American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States, all of the vehicles that are imported into it must adhere to the same Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and regulations. You will be able to find out more information about these rules and regulations at:
If you're importing a vehicle from mainland USA, you won't have to worry about checking to see if they comply with any of the rules and regulations, since they most certainly will. However, it's important to note that vehicles that are more than 25 years old have to be in line with the emission requirements that the EPA has designated.
Have Your Documents in Place.
Transporting your vehicle to American Samoa should go smoothly if you're an American citizen and have a car that is eligible to be on U.S. roads. Just have the necessary documents in place, including the vehicle registration, bill of sale, VIN, and so forth. Your auto transport carrier should provide you with a list of exactly what you would need. If not, you need to ask them.
American Samoa is located in the South Pacific Ocean in between Hawaii and New Zealand. Its distance and remote location, as well as the fact that shipping there is not too common, means that you'll have to plan ahead. You can expect the shipping time to be much longer than you're used to, and you should give it a few weeks. Plan accordingly.
A-1 Auto Transport will be able to handle all of your auto transport needs to and from American Samoa. Make sure to contact us today for your free no obligation quote. We're happy to help!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.